I am 51 years old. If you consider that the average life expectancy for a woman in the United States is 78.74 years, I am just about three quarters of the way through my life. Or as my decade-younger-than-me friend frequently reminds me, “Closer to death than me.”
In other words, I’ve lived life. And like anyone’s life, it’s had its ups and downs, highs and lows. And some of those valleys and peaks are reflected directly in my face. Fine lines, wrinkles, crows’ feet, laugh lines – I’ve got ’em all. Frankly, I’m proud of them. They show that I’ve laughed and cried, and tried to live my life the best way know how (which is frequently with reckless abandon).
I’ve frankly never understood the appeal of Botox, because it removes the cartographic representation of life well lived, and causes some disfigurement over time. And when you can’t even move your forehead to show the slightest wrinkle, it also revokes the ability to show compassion.
But just because I’m in love with my own life roadmap on my face, it doesn’t mean I want to die in 28 years looking like an albino grape.
I work in an industry where learning and constant development of new skills and technology is imperative for survival, let alone advancement. I do not doubt my mental capacity, but I also know that perceptions are key, and if a person I report to is younger than I am, I need to keep up the appearance of being youthfully eager to learn.
Professional reasons aside, I can remember the first time I looked in the mirror and saw those old-lady lines starting to form around my lips. For the first time, I could see the allure of fillers and collagen treatments and why people eagerly pursue that unfindable fountain of youth.
I have not searched for years like Ponce de Leon, but the good news is, I don’t have to. This allows me to live my life, on my terms, with my roadmap of joyous and not-so-joyous moments on display, without betraying my real age.
Yes, I love my life and my smile lines, and intend on making the most out of both.