Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Changing Face, Part 2

Y'all are too kind.

I mean, your comments after my last post about my changing face made me feel as though I'd missed the point I meant to convey. That point being, that now, nearly ten years later, I appear older, greyer, wrinklier and altogether different than I did in that photo. The face I have now is not the one I had then.


There is a shock which comes when your face changes as mine has this past year. I wasn't writing about my crows' feet (which I'd thought were kinda cute and added character to my face). I wasn't even speaking of the grey hair which has framed my face for years, but now glows like a neon light when I wear light blue sweaters.

No, I meant that my face has Changed. It has jumped the track I knew so long and is now zooming along the Old Lady Track, instead.

And it's when your face does that that you have to spend some time, some real time, accepting that what you've seen happen to others, you will now watch happen to you. And that is where I am, still walking through the acceptance mode and not at the end of it yet, either.

Oh, I know that "pretty is as pretty does". I know, I know. But still, it's going to take awhile for me to accept that--for my life's remainder--I may act in pretty ways, but my pretty ways will be done with an aging-by-the-minute, wrinkling, crinkling, sagging face. Unless I do something about it (surgery), but as of this moment, I'm not planning on it, being allergic to pain and all.

(And for the record, I have absolutely no negative opinions about any older woman who has plastic surgery. I applaud your bravery, actually.)

This is one of those things you have to experience to know what I'm talking about. And up until this year, my 47th year, I hadn't experienced it yet, but I'm going through it now and even though I know everything is going to be all right--even though I realize I'll be just fine with the face I end up with--right this moment, I am, as I said, still accepting this new face. The one which has magically, somehow, appeared like a mask over the face I once knew so well.

After all, most days I feel 25 years old inside, so imagine my shock when I pass a mirror and see that odd, haggard-looking woman who appears more like 50. And I don't know about you, but it's going to take more than kind words or reassurances and more than just 15 minutes to accept that aging woman staring back at me. Like anything else, this is a process and all process takes time.

So here's the funny part. I was going to post a recent picture of me and place it beside that one in my post below just so I could prove to you what I'm talking about. Just so I could prove my face has changed incredibly since 1997.

But then I laughed.

I mean, what would you kind-hearted people all do? Write in my comment box, "Eeew, Debra, you were so right! You DO look so much older now! What happened?" ?

No, you would just write the same sort of compassionate things you wrote after my last post. You wouldn't be able to help it. So there goes the point.

What am I trying to say? Just this--if you're around my age (or older) and your face, too, is changing, well, you're in good company. Millions of us are right there beside you with shifting faces of our own, there at the mirror wondering, staring--and accepting, too--in time.


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