August 29th ushered in another year of life for me, and I’m not afraid to admit that I see my body changing. When I turned 25, I noticed that my body’s natural lean was disappearing, and that the only way to make it reappear was to torture my body with consistent gym workouts. Since then I have watched black hairs turn grey, (sometimes overnight), noticed small lines around my mouth, and observed teeny tiny black marks plop themselves on my face, foreshadowing where moles will emerge.
But I’m not upset about any of it. It’s a sign that I’m growing up, proof that my body is maturing, just like the rest of me. It suggests that perhaps a little bit of wisdom resides in my no-longer-twenty-one-year-old body. What I’m upset with is what I didn’t know about aging; I’m upset about all of the stuff that people didn’t tell me.
I didn’t know that grey hair can come as early as your mid-to-late twenties…until it happened to me. Turns out that most people either dye their hair or get cellophanes to cover these hairs, which is what I did this year for the first time. (The TV camera doesn’t like grey on people who aren’t “old.”) And it was only a few years ago that someone told me that some women become slightly incontinent after birthing children. As the older women in my life experience menopause, I’m learning that hot flashes aren’t the only symptoms; Thinning hair and fatigue are too.
Last week, while typing away on my laptop, I caught a few minutes of ABC’s The View. In the middle of the show, Whoopi Goldberg laughed and then said, “Whew! I just had a hot flash. My underwear are drenched!” I laughed and appreciated Whoopi’s honesty. Who says stuff like that? And on TV?
As I mature in age, especially as a woman who works in entertainment, I wanna appreciate all of the changes and be honest about them, so that the women who come after me can embrace these changes when they experience them, and tell themselves, “Happy Birthday, Girl! You’ve earned every year.”