Maybe it’s because my birthday is just a few days away, maybe it’s because I have a few strands of grey growing out of my head or maybe it’s because I have already grown tired of the constant bombardment of messages telling me to stop time on my face, but I have decided I would like to age gracefully.
On vacation with my mother, laughing and enjoying the sun, I had a man stop me at a kiosk to offer me samples.
Anti-aging cream samples.
“For your wrinkles around your eyes,” he boasted.
You mean, where my face creases every time I smile, throw my head back and laugh with glee? I would like to remember my laughs, thank you.
“For the lines between your brows, then.” Quieter, but still pushy. I made him uneasy.
You mean, the lines from all the furrowed brows I have worn when people puzzle the sh*t out of me?
Yeah, maybe those moments aren’t as great, but that was my first wrinkle! My first visible rite of passage, caused by battling the emotions of life. It used to freak me out. I used to sit in the mirror and pull and prod that single line, willing it away. But I wear it proudly now; it reminds me I have yet to lose.
And guess what, it’s still here. And now (gasp!) it has friends!
“Well, here, we have some cream that will help with the scars.”
My chicken pox scars that I’ve had since I was six years old?!
Three little circles gracing my cheek like Orion’s belt. The beginning of a constellation yet to come. They used to be the first thing you would notice, before my laugh lines and inquisitive expressions made their faint, but permanent impressions on my face.
No sir, you can keep your creams.
I am not anti-aging.
I am pro aging.
I am aging gracefully.
I am sure there will come a time where I will feel old, and look it too, but my God! I am not even halfway into my life; it sure as hell isn’t gonna start now. This moment, right now, is the youngest I will ever be from here on out.
No, I want to age as long as I possibly can. For all the people who never had the chance to have Orion’s belt on their cheek, or laughter imprint itself on the corners of their face, or concern adorning their forehead like a bindi. But really, I want to for me.
I want to be 101 years old, surrounded by friends from all over the globe, laughing, drinking tea and comparing all the stories that come with each wrinkle.
And there will be a twinkle in my eye.
I have always worn my feelings on my face. Why would I want to start hiding them now? I will let my grey hairs grow; I’m kinda curious to see what they will do. I have already had every hair color and style under the sun—why not?
Please. Give me age. Give me life. Give me grace.
I surrender to it all gladly.
Author: Shona Marie
Editor: Toby Israel