I turn 40 this weekend.
I know it's not an actual big deal. But what if it feels like it is? It's funny because this past fall I sat on a barstool in Brooklyn and told a friend of mine that (verbatim) there's nothing worse than a woman who can't age gracefully.
Bold statement. And kind of a merciless one. I've thought about it a lot since then. What I meant by it. How it sounded so differently then than it does to me now.
I think what I meant is that I wanted to be a woman who could age gracefully, free from the emotional vice grip that is societal pressure to look forever 29. I wanted to walk on water right past that shit unfazed and grateful for my inner beauty (and the fact that I've almost always worn sunscreen).
But I find myself down in it to be honest. The muck and mire of my judgmental and shallow mental state that is probably the result of about 30 years of fashion magazine reading. I've actually done the following several times lately: looked up photos of my 29 year old self on Facebook and thought, I'll never be as hot as I used to be.
So basically, according to my ruthless barstool mentality, this all makes me the worst kind of woman. The kind who can't age gracefully. Clinging to the past. Finding her value in how good her ass still looks in her old skinny jeans.
I quickly google "grace" to see what it even means. (I feel like I do this a lot.)
: a way of moving that is smooth and attractive and that is not stiff or awkward
: a controlled, polite, and pleasant way of behaving
I immediately stiffen. I make several awkward and unattractive faces. I make a decision. I DO NOT want to age gracefully, I want to age honestly. I want to go back to the barstool in Brooklyn and tell my friend who brought the whole issue up that I also struggle with noticing that I'm aging. Of course I do. But I also want to tell her she's one of the coolest most empowering women I've ever met. That I'm damn impressed by all that we've both accomplished in our lives and that those years spent working towards those accomplishments, while they may have caused a wrinkle or an extra pound, they were well spent.
So I'd like to rephrase.
There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who has truly lived her life. Made her mark. Found her way. Accepted herself. THIS is how I want to live my next 40 years.