This morning, I told my face to pick an age. Any age. Just pick one. I said, “Face, if you’re going to be 40, then I’ll live with wrinkles. But if you’re going to be 15, then I’ll live with pimples. But what I’m not willing to tolerate any longer is BOTH at the SAME TIME! So Pick an Age!”
Seriously. Wrinkles and pimples should not appear on the same face at the same time. It’s unreasonable!
An enlightened face would know better. But mine is confused. Should it be adolescent, or mature? Should it be vibrant or subdued? Should it be young and shiny, or old and saggy? It’s a conundrum.
A perfect complexion is just one of the many disillusions of turning 40. About a month ago, I was singing the praises of 40. I was full on into welcoming the big four zero with open arms. I was pretty sure that the things that plagued me in my thirties would magically disappear overnight.
Things like caring what other people think, comparing myself with “perfect” people, feeling guilty about eating bad stuff, feeling guilty everything. 40 was going to be magical! 40 was going to be care free. 40 was going to be epic!
Michelle at 40 would look in the mirror every day and say, “Damn, I’m hot!” Michelle at 40 would affectionately pat the fat roll around her middle and say, “I never want to live without you.” Michelle at 40 would say what she really meant and not obsess later that it offended someone. Michelle at 40 would know what she wanted to be when she grew up! Michelle at 40 was going to ROCK!
So, when the alarm sounded on the morning of April 30th, I readied myself for my radical transformation. Cautiously opening one eye, after the other, pushing my body out of the bed, I expected nothing less than greatness! I will have arrived. Finally.
But what really happened the morning I turned 40, was an emerging painful bump on the tip of my chin. Nooooo! Really? 40 year-olds shouldn’t have zits, is this some kind of joke?
And all the other magical stuff didn’t happen either. The guilt-complex, the jealousy, the obsessive maniacal over-thinking, the cursing of the muffin top- it was all still there. I think I’m going to be stuck with my adolescent self forever. I like her enough, she’s fun and sweet and has rocking big hair, but she has all those adolescent insecurities. I was just hoping, that, you know, I could outgrow her. And become… conflict free.
Doesn’t that sound nice? Always sure of yourself. Always confident. Always pimple free. YES!
Back to reality.
So, instead of being disappointed that I didn’t magically morph into a grown up, I’m going to embrace my yin and my yang, my strengths and my weaknesses, my wrinkles and my pimples. I’m going to validate the struggle that’s inside of me as good and necessary. I’m going to embrace the insecure part of me that wonders “am I ok just the way I am?” and the brash part that says, “Hell yes, now kick some tail!” Turning 40 doesn’t mean the inner conflict goes away. It means you just learn to hold all the parts of yourself with acceptance.
Ok, I’ll take some of that. And some benzoil peroxide too, please.