If you had to pick an age to be forever, what age would you pick and why?
I will turn 41 years old in two weeks and I can honestly say that I would not go back to any age. Not for anything. Sure my metabolism is a little slower than it used to be, I've acquired a few fine lines on my forehead that I'm not exactly fond of and let's not even get into the parts that never really were quite the same after pregnancy or the fact that the skin on my neck is beginning to lose its firmness just a tad and that no matter how many chair dips, push ups and tricep kickbacks I do, my upper arms just will not cooperate as willingly as they once did.
But not only do I understand the person I am now more than I ever have, I just plain like her more. I don't want to go back but I wouldn't mind stopping the aging process where it is right now. At least for a little while. There's a line in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by one of the Ya-Yas (Caro, maybe?) that I just love. She is looking through an old photo album, sees one of herself in a swimsuit and says something like, Oh what I'd give to have known then what I know now, but with those legs! I think we all have a photo or two like that.
So while I don't want to go back to stay, I suppose it would be okay (you know, hypothetically) to go back to certain ages and give my old self some unsolicited advice and words of wisdom...
To my 6 year old self (1977): Lighten up, kid. Things really aren't bad enough for you to be scowling and looking like somebody just licked all the red off your candy at your very own birthday party complete with balloons, presents galore, and a sheet cake with happy clowns and candles while wearing a kick ass pink jumper, pigtails and white patent leather party shoes. I know you don't like being the center of attention. That will never change. But you are beautiful and you are capable of so much more than you know. And all these people are here for you because they love you. Cheer up, sweet girl! You've got a lot to smile about.
To my 15 year old self (1986): I know you are struggling with your self-image right now and cannot imagine for one second how you are ever going to survive that move to North Carolina this summer but trust me, you will do far more than survive. You will thrive. I know that seems impossible to believe right now but I assure you it's true. You have no reason at all to be insecure. Remember this though, a smile can go a very long way. Just a simple smile. Oh, and prepare to say your goodbyes to that training bra soon and very soon. Good things come to those who wait, girlfriend!
To my 21 year old self (1992): This is the one you've been waiting for. You're legal now. I know you don't have any big plans to celebrate today though, what with it being Easter Sunday and all. Tough break. But don't worry. You've got plenty of time to make up for it. I could sit here and give you some old lady lecture but I know you'd just roll your eyes, shrug me off and do what you're going to do anyway. That is one hard head you've got on your shoulders underneath all that hair there, girl. So I'll just say this: Do NOT drink that tequila straight and chase it with that bottle of lemon juice this summer. Please, listen to me on this one. You WILL regret it the next morning.
To my 28 year old self (1999): I know you feel like a big, fat, ugly, waddling bowling ball right about now and don't understand why you can't stop consuming ten pounds of Japanese hibachi chicken with shrimp sauce every week but you will drop this weight before that baby's 3 months old. I promise. And motherhood? Well, it's gonna look good on you.
To my 33 year old self (2004): I wish I could fast forward you through this storm you're being forced to weather right now but I can't and even if I could, I suppose it would be the wrong thing to do because you are going to come out on the other side of this grief storm a far stronger and better person than you have ever in your wildest dreams imagined yourself becoming. Keep your chin up and be gentle with yourself because some of the best days of your life? Are just up ahead in the distance.
And then I'd hop back in my 1985 DeLorean time machine and head on back to the future, to the now, to the right where I belong...
|The years teach much which the days never knew. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson|