Last week I was upset because I plucked three gray hairs from my left eyebrow. I watched my mother begin to go gray around this age, but she never made it beyond 45, poor lamb. So she is eternally youthful in my mind, brown hair, bobbing with energy and vim. She never aged beyond the few grays that popped up on her Mary Tyler Moore-like coiffure.
My good friend stopped by yesterday and sat on my sofa joking and laughing with her adorable and twinkly ways. We talk about dating and films and food and the adventures we find in Phoenix. She's pretty damn awesome. And she's ten years younger than I am.
But that doesn't matter.
Age does not matter when it comes to human interaction.
The value I gain from my experiences with people is what matters. I have a student who is really talented. I mean he is star material. He could be the next Leonardo or Brad if he had the motivation to be so. And he's easy on the eyes. And he's deep. He's 21.
But that doesn't matter.
Age does not matter when it comes to sharing talent and art.
My best friend of the last 28 years is six weeks younger than I am. Each year when I turn the dial up one notch she insists on teasing me about always being older.
And that bothered me.
So much so that when I turned 40 I told her she had to stop teasing me about being old.
And she did.
That doesn't matter.
She's a wonderful woman. She's funnier than any comedian and wiser than the Pope. She's intelligent and curious and a hopeless romantic.
So why worry about how old we are?
We are a culture that reveres the young. We think of chances as slipping by. We think of ourselves as too old to experience things such as love, hot sex, and sky diving. But age doesn't matter.
It does not matter.
I am 46. I am proud of my age because my rebirth began a year ago. I am new. 46 means new. 46 means possibility.
So when people tell me, "But you don't look your age," I am supposed to feel flattered.
But I do look my age. Because I AM my age.
I look 46.
This is what 46 looks like people.
It looks like a woman who is reinventing herself.
It looks like a woman who is curious.
It looks like a woman who is sensual.
It looks like a woman who has given birth, lost and gained over a thousand pounds cumulatively throughout the course of her eating disordered life, and has chosen to drink green smoothies and exercise to feel well. It looks like a woman who has slept with dozens of people, and enjoyed some of it. Especially that Russian. WOW! Zing! It looks like a woman who has endured agony and loneliness. It looks like a woman who has been fired while her bosses sat in her living room. It looks like a woman who has been panned, revered, and overlooked by critics. It looks like a woman who is a little crazy but at least can recognize that she's a little crazy. It looks like a woman who is a mother.
46 looks like a woman who doesn't want to be a crazy cat lady, but somehow turned into one.
46 looks like a woman who has to remind herself to drink water because she lives in the desert.
46 looks like a woman who eats dessert more than a few times a week and does not feel guilty about it.
46 looks a little codependent, but not as codependent as 36.
46 wears purple eyeshadow after a decade of no makeup whatsoever.
46 looks like a woman who has to go to the doctor a few times a year because she's a little hypochondriacal.
46 looks like a woman who drives a 17 year old vehicle and has a Costco club card.
Being 46 is a gift. I have grown, learned, earned, and given.
I bear the scars of my abuse, trials, joys and tribulations.
46 looks like me, because I am 46.
When you tell me that I don't look my age, well that's important to you, I guess.
My mother is eternally young to me. She is dead and gone. She died 31 years ago at the age of 45. So she is what I guess most would revere.
I however am vital, alive, new, graying and full of possibility. Who cares what I look like?
I am 46.
And that doesn't matter.