March 1, 2012

Losing it.

Posted in My Five tagged , , , , at 5:23 pm by openendedcomment

About a week ago, my girlfriend and I had a discussion…well, more like a b–ch fest, really,  about how hard it is being in our thirties.

She is one of my five and that means that she and I tell each other pretty much everything.  Glitter, (obviously not her real name but she will get it) is gorgeous.  She is of the opinion that as time has marched on, she is less stunning than in past years.  I disagree, but then I’m not really coming from a good point of reference. I am not gorgeous.  Not now, not in the future and not when I was younger.  I am, however, an overachiever.  For me, the loss of a youthful aspect of myself is not so much my looks, but rather the feeling of having done more than others at my age.  I used to walk into a boardroom and enjoy the look of shock on people’s faces when I opened my mouth.  As in “Wow, this girl actually knows her sh-t!” For Glitter, it was the feeling that when she walked into a room…any room, all eyes were on her.  And they either a) wanted to be her or b) wanted to bed her. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, Glitter is not vain.  At all.  Her being beautiful was/is no different from me being ahead of my peers.  It just was.  She didn’t ask for it, she just had it. It was a part of our identity, these traits. 

A part of ourselves that we are, as time marches on and age evens the playing field, losing.

So the conversation went to a very difficult question:  Is it better to have been that beautiful and lose it, or to have never really had that be a part of your identity so it doesn’t bother you as much when its gone? I mean, you have to understand that neither of us have a filter when we speak to each other…but a woman we know who is the kindest, sweetest, most brilliant specimen of the female mind…but isn’t exactly “pretty”…at all…is this whole aging thing hard on her, too?  To be blunt, looks were never a part of who she was, instead it was/is her mind, and that’s just getting better. If you never were all that successful in your younger years, do you feel what I’m feeling?  That I’m hitting a point where I’m going to be the one impressed with the young chick in the room? Is it so wrong that that actually kind of upsets me? 

How does this aging thing work? Why can’t we just accept it?  So many do…are she and I inherently flawed? (Actually, don’t answer that) Does everyone at this point in our lives hit that wall of “Oh, sh-t, I’m actually getting older” and do each of us have that one thing that triggers it?

For me, it triggered about three weeks ago.  I was in a meeting that was, frankly, above my pay-grade.  It was my turn to present and all eyes were on me…and it hit me.  I’m expected to know this stuff.  Not it’d be very, very impressive for me to come across as a subject matter expert, but that they were already anticipating I would be.  I looked like I should be.  WTF?

When did this happen?

Inside, I still feel like that 22-year-old who had no business holding the title I did.  Inside, Glitter still wants to wear a bodysuit and a mini-skirt with 6 inch heels…to a club.  But she doesn’t, because she knows that it would be highly inappropriate.  PTA Moms don’t do that. 

Maybe there should be a mandatory class at age 30.  “Identifying and embracing what you’re about to lose.”  Then maybe we’d appreciate it while we still can…

I would be remiss not to point out that there is far more to me and to my self-identity than being ahead of myself professionally.  There is waaay more to Glitter than being beautiful.  There were times in her life where she hated it…hated being seen as the “hot chick” instead of the smart girl or the funny woman; both of which she happens to be. 

Having other things that you are proud of and that are a part of you does not, unfortunately, distract from the nagging feeling that a part of you is slowly fading away…

When is this acceptable? At what age do we become comfortable with the aging process?  When do we feel like we look? Do we ever? Does my Mother feel her age?  Do I ever want to?

Ugh. 

Perhaps I need to be enlightened or deep enough not to care…I’m sure that’s the answer.  There has to be something in the self-help section on Amazon for that.  When I find it, and when I’m mature enough to accept it, I’ll let you know. 

In the meantime, I need to call Glitter and talk her into a joint botox appointment.

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