Now, that is a question.
There is no right or wrong way to grow old. You can sit on your butt or hit the gym daily, either way it is going to happen. What matters is our attitude. Whether we wish to acknowledge it or not, our aversion to aging is a fear of dying. Once we wrap our noggin around that concept, we’re golden.
If death is the great equalizer, than let aging be the final liberator.
Ever since cave men dragged women into domestic bliss, we of the fairer sex have been indoctrinated to believe our worth is the sum total of our bodily measurements. Somewhere around mid-life, after years of drinking the cultural Kool-Aid, that begins to change. We can let go of trying to meet the ever changing criteria of what women should look like, smell like, walk like and talk like. We are free to be.
Perhaps 2020 will mark the decade women began to view aging as the super power it is. Unfettered by expectations, they will follow their hunches without trepidation, experiment boldly, or unapologetically do nothing. In this way, growing old is the ultimate cloak of invisibility.
Make no mistake, I am not saying that older women are unattractive or lack vitality. Juliette Binoche and Brené Brown put that myth to rest. Nor is this an argument to forego self-care. This bottle rocket is my new exercise guru. The game-changer is that fine lines and grey hairs herald an opportunity for women to seize a new, authentic way of being.
Due to incessant conditioning, this freedom is often viewed with apprehension and fear. In lieu of cloning Helen Mirren, which I am all for, we need to stand strong for each other. We, intelligent AF women, need to light the way and let the world know we no longer care for their limited view of how we are supposed to be. As Pam Houston says:
A woman is told in a million different ways that if she finds herself alone at middle age it means she is unlovable, unattractive, unappealing, unsexy. But what if it means she is independent, self-entertaining, free-spirited, and self-possessed?
You know it when you see it in woman. It is undeniable. She is fierce and unflappable because she knows her worth comes from within and has earned it by wrestling with her demons in the trenches of life. The journey of being human is that our bodies are changing every day. Never give up nor be afraid to be yourself. It is the means to finding your true nature and source of liberation. It is who you are, right now, grey hairs and all.