I’ve been holding back on this, but it’s starting to really bug me. So file this away, please.
My peer group is starting to approach and crush 40 years old. Everywhere I see and hear, “But you don’t LOOK forty! SERIOUSLY, you don’t! You’re so beautiful!”
I was faced with this for the first time ever a couple of months ago when I turned 38, and people kept insisting I don’t look a day over 27.
I speak strictly for myself, but maybe this will resonate with others.
1. Age is an abstract number based on a unit of measurement. Different countries have annual calenders of different lengths and start counting years differently. And know what? No one has ever taken a picture of age. So how on Earth does anyone know what it looks like???
2. That said, I DO look my age. I live inside a body that is a certain age, and this is what it looks like.
3. Newsflash: Implying that “looking my age” is the opposite of being something you’d want to look at is not actually a compliment.
4. I have earned most of the changes in my body. I have worn sunscreen and eye creams or not, I have slept or not, I have exercised or not, I have cooked or not. My worry lines are there because I have cared. My laugh lines are there because I have found joy. I have physical scars because I had adventures. I have stretch marks and round cheeks because of the journey my body and I made from enemies to soulmates. So remember, when you try to compliment me by erasing 11 years of my life… That’s what you are actually taking away: Me.
5. My life is so very far from over. A few months ago I was getting a little worried, then I stopped and conducted a full 10 seconds of first-grade math. I discovered that I’m not even half way into my career yet. This is comforting, because it feels like I’ve been in this for a REALLY long time already.
6. And think about it… If NO ONE “looks their age,” then clearly whatever standard we are using for this is no longer the standard.
So when my age comes up…
Tell me I look healthy.
Tell me I have lived well.
Ask me about my adventures.
Ask me what’s next.
Tell me the years have been good to me.
Please, do not tell me I don’t look my age.