Downward Gaze

Female, age 46 –  (click on image to enlarge)

Overall I feel pretty damned good. I have earned every wrinkle and every gray hair…I am OWNING it all! They are my badges of honor. For me, it’s not about fighting age it’s about CELEBRATING IT naturally!  I still use olive oil as a make-up remover and as a deep conditioner for my hair and have been using moisturizer since I was 13 you do the math.  I truly believe that your skin reflects what you put into your insides. So to me, the less chemicals, preservatives, red dye #7 etc., etc. you put into your body, the better you look and the less old you look and therefore you don’t have to buy into the anti anything. I am still very comfortable and I’m surprised sometimes, especially lately. I think that I’m better looking at 46 ½ than I thought I would be before I reached this age. I used to think…well actually I didn’t use to think about it at all. I do think about it more now I think that they’re (anti-aging product advertisements) speaking more directly to me, but I’m still choosing to just… feel like a duck, like it’s just sort of, you know, rolling off. I know they’re talking to me, I know it’s directed at me, but I don’t really feel like I have to give them my full attention, if that makes any sense.

Cultural role, hmm, actually, I think it is actually kind of a whirl. There’s a part of me that is very much aware of what I’m supposed to be doing at this age, what I’m supposed to look like at this age, having been born here in the US, but my roots are European and Latin American. There’s a different perspective that I get from my family, especially the women in my family. I tend to focus less on what North American society says I should be doing and more on my  internal, spiritual self. But I also feel like I’m here to guide the children who cross my path. I feel like I’m the alpha/nurturing she-wolf of my pack. I’m a storyteller who sings songs, but I’m also a driven entrepreneur.

I would have to say yes, this has changed over time. I don’t think I take it as much for granted. I think that what I say, what I do, what I strive for and what I’m aiming for is much more well thought out than say 20 years ago. I have actually accomplished much more than I thought. Yeah, I think it is very cool actually. I suspect that the reason why it’s so much more that I’ve done and what I’m planning on doing is because when I was younger I didn’t know enough to think or dream as big as I do now. I just didn’t know.

No, I don’t think I would change anything. Not that I relish or enjoy having things a little bit more difficult, but what I do enjoy, what I do cherish is the accomplishment of the challenges that I meet now. When I was younger I didn’t know my own strength. I didn’t know my own capabilities and now that I do or I’m more familiar with them it just makes more sense for me.

I think it changes, but for the most part I’m most proud of my impact and my influence on my niece and other children that I work with in the sense of our children learn certainly by what we tell them and our words, but mostly in my opinion, they learn about life, they learn about coping skills, they learn about the choices they make for their life, they learn all of this by watching us and by studying our actions and emulating us. So I think that’s what I’m the most proud of. I didn’t set out to be a role model per se, but I have become one and with that comes a lot of responsibility so I take that to heart every day. I think it’s important to show and to help them understand that you know you’re not infallible that you’re human and that heroes make mistakes and that hopefully they’ll learn from those mistakes even if it’s, you know, making that mistake more than once. But eventually you learn. I think that’s really important too.

I’m actually pretty comfortable with aging. I mean, I’ve earned every grey hair, certainly in the last year. And I’ve earned the wrinkles. It’s not that I don’t take care of myself, you know, take care of my skin, but I earned them. They’re like little badges of honor for all the things I’ve gone through and the lessons that I’ve learned and the stresses that I’ve taken on, the challenges that I’ve overcome. So I’m ok.

Hmm, number one on my bucket list at the moment…celebrating my 50th birthday with everyone that I love in Paris because my birthday is on Bastille Day.


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