Yes, my friends, it has been TWENTY-FIVE (25) years since I graduated from high school. That makes my alumni friends old. At least that’s what I was gossiping last night upon viewing many of the pictorial offerings from Facebook. My God, I crowed, I’m so thankful I don’t look old and bloated like “those” people. However, way deep down inside where I don’t EVEN want to consider going is the realization that I, too, am no longer a “young one.”I suspect that I look more like my alumni friends than I care to admit.
While I was never beautiful or blessed with a hot body, I was well into my twenties and was considered, by some (the myopic or extraordinarily kind), as being able to pass for someone just out of high school. Hell, I was even stopped by the police when I was 28 and mistaken for being underaged and out after midnight (Yes, I returning from 7-11, having bought a BIG-ASS GINORMOUSGULP). Even into my 30s, I thought I looked pretty good for my age. Now… Well, let’s just say I look my age (at the very least). My list of “issues” is fairly long and extensive — wrinkles, marionette lines, discoloration, what looks to be Greenland developing across the bridge of my nose, bags under my eyes, loss of elasticity, and pimples. If I didn’t see it myself, Igor nicely pointed it out last week during a session of Skyping.
Now I read with great interest what products I should be buying. I seriously consider (but never research) that I should have some sort of laser resurfacing or microdermabrasion. I should get a skin peel to refresh the surface. I should consider fillers for my marionette lines and some Botox for where I frown. I wonder if there’s anything that can be done for the extensive and intensive sheet impressions I awake with.
Yet, growing older is part of the process. It’s the only indicator of time passing, and perhaps the acquisition of wisdom. It seems that my face is my life’s work — the canvas on which my life is expressed for the world to see. Shall I cover up the hard times, the sugar abuse, or the time I forgot sunscreen? Should I rewind my face’s clock so I can “compete” with the younger crowd. I think not.
While I can’t pretend that growing older never hurts, but it’s very liberating at the same time. Truth be told, I’ve never felt better. I like this age. I love growing older. Perhaps learning to grow old gracefully is part and parcel of the process.
Congratulations Class of 1985! We’ve made it into middle age. Wear your bloated, wrinkled, well-loved, spread, and aging bodies well. See you in 2015!