Aging is SO hard when you're a woman.
I will be forty next year. I wish I were more relaxed about it, but I can't help freaking out just a teeny tiny bit.
I was never much into looks until I got married. Then I felt like I had to "please" this man and look good for him. I guess I also wanted to see how good I could look, if I had the money to spend on my appearance, which I did. I have done a lot: dyed my hair, nose job, boob job, Botox, lip filler and teeth whitening. I have done my nails. I dieted and gymmed.
At thirty-five I looked twenty-five.
But now the wheels are falling off. They just are. I can't fake it or hide anymore. I am my age, and I don't want to keep up the exhausting work it takes to look younger/thinner/blonder than I really am. I just don't want to anymore.
I am doing the opposite of what a lot of women my age do, which is, as they approach forty, they suddenly join a gym to lose weight, or something along those lines. I am "undoing" now that I am reaching forty.
My current thinking is this: I have EARNED THE RIGHT to my wrinkles. I have earned the right to look my age. And the feminist side of me says: why do men get to relax as they age, but we don't? Sorry, but eff that!!!! When do I just get to relax into my own skin? When am I allowed a tummy? When am I allowed to just look like I am without covering up or faking it? Sometimes, being a woman takes so much energy that there is nothing left for much else. No wonder I can never just sit down and write a freaking book. I am so busy running around doing things to improve my appearance! Well, I say, no more.
I will do things that I WANT to do from now on. Only things that I love. If I want to wear make up, then fine. If I want to dress up on a particular day, fine. But that's it. Nothing over the top. I am done making other people rich based on my insecurities. I am done spending ridiculous amounts of money on Botox and fillers. I will NEVER go for a facial peel again - did it once, it hurt! Felt like a thousand ants were biting into my face. What for?
From now on, exercise is for joy. For the sheer pleasure of moving my body (and it IS pleasurable, just think of dancing, or running for fun like a puppy tearing around the garden, or sex). From now on, I also want to eat with/for joy. From now on, denial has no place in my life.
I am happy to be aging, actually. Yes, I am a little terrified that people are gonna say "What's gotten into her?" "She's lost the plot!" "She's just let herself go!" "She used to be so pretty, so thin, so....etc, now look at her!" So yes, I am a bit worried, I won't lie. But I don't really care either. Those who know me will love me. Those who don't, well, does it matter?
I think most people will learn to love and accept the "new" more relaxed me. I think if I am more relaxed I will enjoy myself more, I will laugh more, I will smile more and hopefully, those around me will see that I am growing into a BETTER version of me. The new version of me might be softer, rounder, older, with a few wrinkles and the start of (gasp, yes, I saw them) jowls. But so what? So what? So what?