I’m a bit baffled why the way we discuss age. In truth, I’m a bit baffled that we discuss it at all.
This year I noticed the first signs of fine lines around my eyes. I’m well overdue for them, as many people younger than I am experience them. My first thought was a bit of dread and then came the thought of “lines are empowering!” “I’m aging gracefully!”
Then I thought, “Why the hell do I care about aging gracefully? Why do I care about aging at all?”
(I should add that I am by no means “old.”)
We’ve put this spin on aging so that it’s something positive, as opposed to the negative view that our culture oddly developed.
There’s also the marketing of aging. Sure, I intend on using moisturizers to reduce and prevent wrinkles, but not because I want to look young, but because I want my skin to be healthy. I also want to look my best – which something people of all genders want.
What I can’t stand is the way that things things are marketed and, not so coincidentally, the thousands of magazine articles about aging gracefully or how to find aging empowering.
I don’t understand why these conversations are happening. I understand they are to counteract the idea of aging and all that comes with it being shameful. However, the fact that we’re talking about aging at all is still making a big deal out of it.
Why? Why do we need to make aging shameful or empowering? Why do we need to tie it to our sense of self?
All of these conversations and marketing tactics are about tying your age to your sense of self. That’s dangerous.
Your sense of self shouldn’t come from how many years you’ve been on this planet. You should define yourself based on your experiences, your knowledge, your desire to explore and contribute to the world, etc…
Maybe this idea comes from the ticking of the clock and that we have less time to accomplish things the older we get. But worrying about that is a waste of time.
Just do what you do and if you’re not doing what you want, then take small steps to become the person you want to be.
That’s how you empower yourself. You don’t do it through pep talks about how you can grow old gracefully.
Stop worrying about that and just grow.