I had a weird moment while looking at myself in the mirror. I have been looking at the same face for as long as I can remember. I have the same smile, the same light in my eyes; it’s a little bizarre. You see, I thought when we age, or at least when a decade has passed in our adult years, we would see some significant difference in the way we look. This is not the experience for everyone, but for me, I grew up thinking getting older was such a horrible occurrence. I grew up listening to the “elders” around me telling me to watch what I eat, take care of my body, do this, and do that because it’s all going to catch up to me, and everything is going to slow down and that I won’t be able to recognize myself once I hit thirty; I’m 32. What I’m starting to understand and accept is that their fears were not mine to own. Of course, I spent a significant chunk of my twenties infusing my body with burgers, funnel cakes, alcohol, and the occasional partaking of Mary Jane, but I never abused anything I consumed. In a way, I think their pessimistic projections made that possible. Sometimes the most excellent teachers are those who you never want to emulate.
Aging is a blessing; It’s a blessing to be able to see ourselves evolve, and I mean that in every aspect. However, it’s also a blessing to know and understand that we have control over certain parts of our aging process. The most critical part is how we age mentally. What our mind consumes is what will physically manifest. So, if someone has negative thoughts about aging ruminating in their minds, eventually it will physically show. How else do you explain a 102-year-old woman running a marathon and, more recently, an 89-year-old woman climbing the highest mountain in Africa? Your body will respond to what you tell it to do.
I do not look my age, nor do I feel it. But, what does that even mean? What does a 32-year-old look like, how are they suppose to feel? I don’t think there is a definitive answer to those questions; it just depends on the person. At this point, I’m just grateful for all of my rotations around the sun and hope I have the stamina to run marathons and climb mountains in 50+ years.