My Take on the Aging Process; Wrinkles vs. Passion Lines

I am big on doing things when you are feeling passionate about them.  That passion and energy comes through, and it definitely makes a difference.  This is a topic that I have had sitting in my back pocket for over a year now.  I have had several moments where I got fired up about it and should’ve written a post then, but decided not to because sometimes strong energy around sensitive topics can cause drama.  This is a drama-free zone.  So, I kept deciding it wasn’t worth it.  Until now….

I was at the salon getting my hair done the other day and my hairstylist and I were talking about my grey hairs.  I have admitted this many times, so that is no surprise.  I definitely noticed them when I colored my hair black…can’t hide anything with black hair!  I told her that they really don’t bother me, and I meant it!  I have been highlighting my hair for years now, and I’m sure someone is thinking “if they don’t bother you, then why do you dye them?”  If you have colored your hair, you know it’s not that easy to just stop.  You have this weird half colored, half natural hair thing going on that is definitely not natural or cute looking. lol.  I started toying with my hair color in high school when it had nothing to do with grey hair; however, I am not in high school anymore!  So, until I figure out how to make that transition to natural in a way that I don’t have to cut off all my length, I will probably continue to highlight.

Having said that, when we were talking about my greys, I also brought up wrinkles.  I was watching some trashy tv show one day with 20 year olds sitting around laughing and one says “We need to stop laughing, we are going to get wrinkles.”  They all went silent and erased their smiles in an attempt to avoid those god awful wrinkles.  What is wrong with this picture?  It is an obvious sign that our culture is obsessed with looking young.  This is where my opinion starts….

There are no procedures that will make you look 20 again.  So, I would never want to chase such an unattainable goal.  Then I start asking myself, what if I could be 20 again, would I want that?  My answer is very strongly “no.”  Don’t get me wrong, college life was an amazing time, I had amazing personal growth during those times, and I had more life adventures than I can count.  However, now that I am well into my 30s, I know who I am, my purpose in life, confidence in my abilities, and what I want.  These things only come with life experience that you just haven’t had time to have when you are 20.

Within those years, I have laughed, I have passionately argued, I have stood up for causes, I have experienced.  Therefore, when you look at me, I have wrinkles that I call “passion lines.”  I eluded to this in an old post.  The lines on my face mean something to me, why would I want to erase them?  They tell me:

  1. I have laughed (with friends, family, at movies, with people)
  2. I have smiled (to greet everyone I see, when thinking about my blessings, for photos of experiences, when I’m happy)
  3. I have concentrated heavily (So much studying, working on patient cases, reading, etc)
  4. I have researched (I can’t count the hours of studying to be where I am)
  5. I have listened (when I do this I often furrow my brow…to patients, to friends, to teachers)
  6. I have practiced empathy (You make a face when hearing someone’s story….I promise)
  7. I have taught (When I teach, I get so fired up that I often have dramatic facial expressions when touching on important points)
  8. I have endured (look at anyone pushing their limits physically and you will see that you make a face when you endure something that makes you want to give up)
  9. I have had years to experience life
  10. I have had years to express my feelings

Why would I want to erase any of that?  Why would I want to portray to anyone that they things have never occurred?  Why would I want to minimize my life for a more naive version?  If I wouldn’t want to be 20, why would I want to look 20?

The lines on your face, scars on your body, and greying of your hair all have stories.  They are your own personal blueprint.  Take care of yourself in order to “look great for your age,” but don’t feel the need to erase your journey in the pursuit of youth.  That may mean erasing all the things so important to you….spouses, kids, careers, travels, etc.  Feel comfortable with aging.  Look forward to what the next 10 years will bring (inevitably it will include more lines, too if you are living).  Love yourself not just for how you look, but where you’ve been.  If not for your own happiness, for your future generation to appreciate what living entails.  I have hope that we will start to cherish age and quit running from it.  I hope my passion lines continue to develop because I fear if they weren’t, that I may have lost my way.

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