AGE AS A PRIVILEGE

I complain. A lot. I don’t live every day to the fullest. This doesn’t mean I don’t want to. Or that I don’t have super good intentions. PS - I don’t think it’s possible to live EVERY SINGLE day to the fullest. Eventually you get a sinus infection or something that impedes that ability. Or you know when you stub your pinky toe on the side of a door or the washing machine…. That shit knocks you down for a good hour or two. That being said, I feel like I try. When I say try, I mean I am conscious of the fact that it is something I perpetually need to work on (yet will never be perfect at).

feeling old on the inside, pretending to be young on the outside….

feeling old on the inside, pretending to be young on the outside….

Age is a privilege. I have been stewing over this concept quite a bit over the past few months and it has elicited a wide array of emotions, and basic disappointment in humanity. Truth be told, in the past, I too, have been a victim of the ever persistent quest of looking/becoming/being ‘younger’. I have put chemicals on my face in an effort to get rid of wrinkles, made Botox consultation appointments (which I later canceled), and looked at myself as not measuring up to whatever the standard is that society has set forth. 

Now, disclaimer: no judgement to those of you who do whatever it is to make yourself feel better about yourself. However, I think most of this vanity is instilled in some sort of sickening societal standard that we desperately need to come together to change. I just turned 33. And (I am in no way seeking compliment here, so please spare me) I am aware I look older than that. I FEEL older than 33. I have been through a lot in my short time on this Earth, and that is okay. It’s all okay. I don’t know who or what decided that who or what defined ‘beauty’. But I am pretty bound and determined to start looking at myself and others in a different light. What if we measured beauty and happiness by how we FELT on the inside. I know that sounds cliche. But it’s true. When I think of wellness, I think of happiness. Not of the amount of wrinkles I may have on my forehead (which happens to be a few). And that’s okay.

photo cred: my boo thang, Marc

photo cred: my boo thang, Marc

As a medical professional and science geek, I should know better than to be putting things in or on my body that we really do not know the long term effects of yet. So, I refuse to do that any longer. I will no longer succumb myself to being some sort of guinea pig or lab rat for a strange comparison experiment.

When I was doing my clinical rotation work in my last year of Pharmacy School, I met a patient in oncology who made me so incredible sad, yet so thankful to be alive. She was in her mid 30’s and one random and normal day had been bouncing her baby on her knee when the baby’s head struck her chin and she bit her tongue. She bit it hard enough to wound it to the effect that she did several rounds of antibiotics, yet her tongue wound kept getting worse and worse. Eventually doctors discovered some sort of unusual cancer had developed, whether or not a result of the wound, who knows. But it ended up being stage 4, and she was undergoing the last option treatment when I met her. I guess the reason I tell you this story is, this woman did nothing wrong. In one innocent act, she had everything stripped from her and the thought of her children going on without their mother is heartbreaking to me. Growing older and being with the ones you love is a privilege, not to be taken too lightly. I don’t know about you, but I would choose bouncing my babies with wrinkles as deep as the Grand Canyon, over not at all, till the cows come home.

photo cred: Zack Vowell, Bozeman Mont.

photo cred: Zack Vowell, Bozeman Mont.

I find myself watching what I say on almost a daily basis to try to provide a positive influence for my girls. No matter what my true opinion of myself is, I want them to grow up thinking they can look in the mirror and see confident beauty regardless of what is staring back at them. Wendy Euler’s tag line (@goodbyecroptop) is 50 is the new 50. I love this. Embrace. Age isn’t so much as the visual as the relationships we form, the energy we portray, and our ability to grow and spread positivity to those around us.

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