Why is aging such a mind f*ck?

Why, from the time we are old enough to know what “aging” is, does it become a way to limit, generalize, qualify, and generally screw ourselves out of this beautiful and precious present moment?

Everyone (especially women) seem to have been force-fed the dysmorphic Kool Aid of ageism since birth. Even the word “aging” reeks like stinky old yellow newspaper and evokes the hokey climax of a cheesy black and white movie where an “older” protagonist breaks down (set to some freakish circus music, of course) in front of a broken mirror after at least an hour of mentally unraveling due to her fading good looks. I mean seriously… Wtf?

I remember when I was in my early twenties, when (if we’re applying the theory) I was supposedly in my “prime.” Did I enjoy one second of it? No, darling. I was unfocused, I had low self-esteem, I hadn’t found my voice, I didn’t own or support my own boundaries, and frankly, I was too preoccupied with forehead acne and how fat I felt on any given day to even think about being young. I wasn’t basking in the luxury of youth, I felt like a neurotic mess whose worth was based on anything and everything outside of myself. I just wanted to have my sh*t together, and I hoped that time and experience might help me. By the time I finally felt I was coming into my own and enjoying some hard-won self-esteem, I realized I was now supposed to be freaking out about how old I was. Pardon me (once again)… but f*ck that noise.

As a woman, have you ever noticed if it isn’t one societal projection hijacking how we should feel about ourselves, it’s always going to be another? When we limit our self-worth to some physical measurement or qualifying detail, we are always going to be screwed… and society has done such a bang-up job of brainwashing us that we might even subconsciously remind each other how we’re “supposed” to feel about ourselves. I remember even as a teenager, the wry comments my mother’s friends would make, telling me to “appreciate your body now” because “you’ll find out one day.” Shockingly, that didn’t exactly make me feel triumphant. It made me fear life and the passage of time. Who is supposed to win in that scenario?

So I have a proposal: Let’s stop. Now. No one’s going to do it for us. This ridiculous BS has been around for centuries and it’s obviously not going to leave politely. We need to stop it at its source—the truth we accept within ourselves. Let’s take our power back. It has always been ours anyway. Let’s see what happens when we refuse to define ourselves, our potential, and each other based on the physical minutia of this life. Everything we create is the result of our beliefs. If our peace of mind relies on the stale old dynamic, we are working ass backwards. No one can convince me that a woman doesn’t become even more beautiful, talented, successful, strong, happy, fulfilled and centered the older she gets. People will try to tell you differently, but I strongly believe that statistics are only important if you’re interested in becoming one of them.

I know it seems like a lot of noise to tune out, but here’s the blessing of it— it all begins and ends with you. You don’t have to worry about what anyone else is doing, thinking, saying or believing. Anything and everything wonderful is possible moving forward from this moment. So please turn down all that crappy background music. It’s clichéd, overplayed, and is, quite frankly, getting pretty freakin old.