Do I like being older? Yes! I’m happier and more content than I have been for most of my life.
Recently I was sitting in restaurant with a number of women, all younger than myself. All successful, and glamorous, and working in beauty.
We were discussing hair I think, and I passed the comment, jokingly, that I was so relieved to have given in and gone blonde, because basically I’m now white underneath so it is so much easier to cope with. One of the ladies, in her late 20’s, blessed with a particularly luxuriant long dark mane of hair asked me, in all seriousness, ‘How does it feel?’
How does what feel?
You know, to be older.
I smiled. The look of concern on her young face. The fear she had of losing her beauty.
Powerful, I said, it feels powerful. I don’t feel the need to compete with others for the attention of suitors. I am not imprisoned by my effect upon others. I am not tempted to lazily achieve my goals through the seducing of others. I am free of the obsession by others to objectify me in my youth. I may be ‘invisible’ to a group of young men or women who don’t know me, but that is fine by me. It allows me to get on with more interesting pursuits, like observing and learning, and working out how to be of most use to others as well as to myself.
Don’t get me wrong. I care about how I present myself. I like to wear stylish clothes, nice accessories, have a good hair style and colour, and clear, healthy skin. When I was younger I was aware that I was always being compared to others. Any woman will know what I mean by this. But now that I am older, I feel that I have been freed from the tyranny of comparison. I am what I am. Or at least if there is any comparing going on I just don’t care! I pluck and tweeze, and colour and cut like everyone else. But who I am inside counts for so much more than what I am outside…this is the unexpected upside to maturing into your own skin.
And of course, with maturity comes some experience! The older you get the less surprised you are by the turn of events. Most often you have literally seen it all before. This experience allows for better, more generous decisions, I hope. It encourages me to say what I mean, and to not be afraid to act on instinct – which is really just the combination of all the learnings from the past.
Yes, I really do like being older. I don’t know if I am wiser and stronger, but I am probably happier and more content than I have been for most of my life. Not a bad thing to be able to say I guess!
Have a comment? Tweet me @alysonhogg – I’d love to hear from you!