Yesterday, as I was stopped at a stoplight on my way to work, I glanced in the rearview mirror. I'm always particulalry self-conscious going to the high school and I'm also incredibly vain, so it was a totally normal thing for me to do.
And I had one of those slow motion moments where everything slows down and you look, and then look again, surprised by what you see. Because for the first time I noticed a feature on my face that I had never noticed before. Here's where you need to be kind: I'm sure you all noticed it ages ago but for me, wow. Never seen that before.
Lines. Not-so-teeny tiny lines sprouting out from my eyes like little whiskers. I looked again. I smiled, watching them increase in size. I turned my head to the right. To the left. Yep, silly little lines changing the landscape of my face ever so slightly.
I'm not going to lie. I thought about those lines for a good part of the day. When did they show up? How long have they been there? I thought about my daily cleansing routine and what I should change, add, remove, etc to help escort those little lines on their way, away from my face. I had a brief moment of thinking that I could get them to take up residence someplace else because aren't I too young to have the dreaded Crow's Feet?
Um, not so much.
And then last night, I watched Brothers & Sisters with my mom. I love that show and as often happens, I found my thoughts playing out on the screen. The show's matriarch, played by the amazing Sally Field, spent the episode feeling old, feeling unattractive, feeling unlovable, and even consulted with a plastic surgeon to change the landscape of her face. She rationalized that she deserved it, that it would help her feel better, that she didn't need to explain her motives to everyone and while I agreed with every word she said, I especially agreed with her words at the end of the show. She realized that her face showed the wear and tear of a life well lived. That the lines accounted for every moment she spent loving or worrying or crying over the people she loved. She realized that the changes in her appearance weren't anything to push away but needed to be welcomed as a sign that she was here, that she had lived, and that she had loved every moment.
So to the little lines dancing about my eyes, I say welcome. Make yourself comfortable and stay awhile. I worked hard for each and every one of you and am proud of the stories you could tell. I have lived a life worth documeting. I am happy about the things I have done and the experiences that have brought me where I am today. I am thrilled to have lived a life laughing and crying and feeling everything there is to feel. I am honored to have you.
But maybe, just maybe, you could tell your friends to take their time in joining in?