I was chatting with my darling friend Priscilla the other day, we’ve been friends for twenty years, our conversations are epic. We talk about everything. Including, in our last conversation, beauty, looks, and how our supply has been steadily draining out since it peaked at, oh about 25 (Pris, her opinion) or 30 (me, mine). She is fifteen years older than I am and so gives me the “aging report,” scouting out the newest horrors for me to look forward to. Joy. Anyway, this morphed into The List, every woman I know has one, the newest shocking development, belly is a bit too belly-ish, triceps are starting to flap, skin under eyes has melted like old wax, skin on thighs…well, let’s not talk about it.
Priscilla listened to my litany, laughing, telling me her own, and then she said, “You know, I saw a picture of myself the other day from when I was your age and I looked fabulous. Just gorgeous, especially compared to what I’ve got to work with now. But I remember the moment when picture was taken, I was wearing that bathing suit I thought looked no good, trying to suck in my stomach, thinking my hair was bad—I had no idea how great I looked. I was standing there looking great, but feeling ugly. It was all downhill from there, I should have been enjoying it while I still had it.”
“I know!” I said. I, too, saw a picture of myself recently from around seventeen years ago: I looked radiant! Shiny with youth! Wrinkle-free! Paul is next to me and he’s so young he’s got braces. And yet, I remember that moment of being photographed, too. I was worrying that my face had broken out the day before and that my butt was too big. The twenty-five-year-old version of The List.
(An acquaintance of mine, a lovely twenty-five-years-old herself, saw the old photo of me, too, and, a bit insensitively I thought [sniff], said, “WOW. You looked amazing!”
Oh, just, just, thanks a fucking lot for that. I lookED amazing. Yeah. Nice. I mean, I know I’ve changed. But jeez, rub it in a little.
“I was an idiot,” I said to Priscilla. “I wish I had known how good I looked back then. I mean, the flaws I was worried about don’t look like anything from where I’m sitting now. The biggest “flaw” was my insecurity about how I looked.”
“I’ll probably be seventy,” said Pris, “and look back at a picture of me now and think I looked great. It’s so unfair.”
Which stopped me.
Is this stupid cycle of self-judgment…inevitable?
I say not.
Priscilla and I decided on the spot that we are, from now on, just going to go ahead and feel as good about how we look now as we will when I am 55 looking at a photo of me at 40 and she is 70 looking back on 55. In other words, we are going to take that future appreciation we will have for our current looks and feel it today.
I mean, why not? Not that looks are all that, lord knows if I cared more about mine, I would put more effort into my personal grooming *cough.* But still. Why not jettison The List in favor of the viewpoint that perspective will give me in twenty years? I know how I feel looking back at my 25 year old self. I’ll just assume I’ll feel that way in the future about me now…and enjoy it, now.
It’s a kind of time-travel. Psychological time-travel. I mean, do I dare to feel as gorgeous as I will think I am? Let’s find out.
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today's yoga practice
November 21, 2013 | 9:54 am
Primary to navasana.
November 21, 2013 | 9:54 am
Skip. Dentist again.
November 18, 2013 | 12:02 pm
Primary to uphivista konasana. Finishing never felt so good, I am so stiff today. Could the extra salty Chinese food last the culprit?
November 18, 2013 | 12:01 pm
Primary to baddha konasana.
November 18, 2013 | 12:00 pm
Primary to navasana.
- Archive for today's yoga practice »
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