“If you travel far enough, one day you will recognize yourself coming down the road to meet you. And you will say YES.” ~ Marion Woodward
I’m not saying it won’t come with it’s own challenges, this turning a new number every year. But it’s just that: a number. I might have a few more gray hairs each year (or each day!), I might have a few more laugh lines, I might feel a little less firm in certain areas.
Does it matter? Even if I dye my hair and cover my wrinkles and crows feet with foundation, I will still be the same number. Even if I work out and get my tummy tucked and my face worked on, I will still be the same number.
In the U.S. the average life expectancy of women is 81, for men it’s 76.
We live in a time when men are respectable and distinguished looking when they become grey, but women are not.
We live in a time when youth is valued over the wisdom that comes with age, and beauty over intelligence.
We live in a time where we’re encouraged to be inauthentic, to pretend we are a different number.
Age, weight, income. What is in a number? We assign values and there is a target, a range that is “good” and a much greater range that is “bad.” Too much, too little. Too old, too fat, too poor.
Happy 29th Birthday, Beck! Keep this number as long as you can. Say ’29 and holding.’
Why? To continue being inauthentic? Because if I tell you I weigh 90 pounds, I sure hope you would raise an eyebrow and look me up and down. Maybe reach out and poke me. And when I’m 30, and tell you I’m “29 and holding” please, walk away.
I’m not saying it won’t come with it’s own challenges, this turning a new number every year. But my goal is to be authentic. My role model is an older woman who is reading inspirational books about women who are older than her. She is actively growing older, her hair is grey*, her eyes are sparkly and she is visioning her future.
I want girls and women who are younger than me to look on my life and look forward to growing older.
I want an end to this worship of youth.
I want a celebration of age and wisdom and laugh lines and the joy it is to breathe another day.
What’s your birthday numerology? Mine is 5:
Five: The spiritual meaning of number Five deals with travel, adventure, and motion. With the highs that come with these attributes, Fives also carry instability and unpredictability, and radical changes. The spiritual meaning of Five draws our attention to the wonder of life, and beckons us to appreciate the perception of chaos all around us. Five has wild vibrations: primitive and erratic. When Five continues to pop up in your life be prepared for some action, like a trip. Remember, trips aren’t all necessarily taken physically. Some of the best journey’s are taken in the mind and spirit.
(Poem from hannahmarcotti.com)
*I mean NO offense toward men and women who dye their hair.