5-11 On Aging

Beautiful oldfala at the Blacksands Market

So, I have like 6 back blogs to write. And a bunch of photo things to do. But instead, I’m going to write a non-cultural, non-event related blog because I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. We’ll get back to regularly scheduled programming in the near future.

There are so many products that offer to remove wrinkles, save your skin, blah blah blah. I’m not interested. Maybe I’m saying this because I’ll probably go gray in 2 years, (My mom’s hair did. She’s had white hair more or less my entire life.) but I like to think I’m saying this from some deep seated wisdom and compassion for the aging masses.
I am proud to wear the impact of my life on my face, my hands, my skin, my hair. I am proud of the things I’ve done with my life, so I am proud of how it shows on my body. If smiling is going to give me crow’s feet, I welcome them. If sunlight is going age my skin, turn me into a mummy.
Youth is beautiful in the way that a blank page is beautiful. It is full of potential and possibility. It hasn’t been marred or scarred by a mistake. It is simple and beautiful in that simplicity. But staring at a blank page for hours looks a whole lot like writers block, not like literary analysis.
I hit my hand with a bush knife in February of 2011. I went to Brisbane and had surgery on that hand. It was kind of traumatic. Now I have a scar under my left thumb that will forever remind me of Vanuatu. I am proud of that scar because it is more than just a slip with a bush knife. It means I have a story about joining the Peace Corps and my life in Vanuatu. Wrinkles are the same thing, just written over a lifetime of smiles and worries.
The way our lives mark our bodies are the outward signs of the changes we’ve gone through. They are the loss of youth but the process of gaining wisdom. We may not be free of mistakes, but the lines in our faces show what we’ve learned.

I will add as a caveat that I am much less fond of the ache in my torn rotator cuff, how slowly my bruises heal and a my new found inability to recover from hangovers.  Those are not signs of mistakes I’ve learned from.  If I’m still getting hangovers, I’m really not learning my lesson fast enough.

PS – I passed the 300 blogs mark!  Whoop!  That’s gotta be worth at least a cookie!

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