Thursday, February 25, 2016

Age is More than Just a Number

Because nothing says "young and hot" like being full of angst. 
Tomorrow, February 26, at exactly 3:57pm PST, I will be another year older.

It's weird, isn't it, how it feels as though you wake up one morning and you're just...old?  I don't necessarily feel old and I don't think I look that aged (though, let's be honest, a little botox wouldn't hurt), but in Hollywood I'm barely even considered human anymore.  I am no longer young enough to be considered "f*ckable" by whoever makes these kind of asinine rules.

It troubles me sometimes, this obsession in our country with youth culture, because when I was youthful I was an idiot.  I did stupid things, and slept with stupid people, and made life decisions that I didn't realize would impact my future.  I don't think I was all that different than other people in their teens and twenties - perhaps I had worse taste in men or roommates than the average Jane - but when you're young you just don't have the life experience to make informed, well-thought out decisions.  I mean, no one with half a brain goes to college and gets a degree in theater, amiright?!

As much as I miss my pre-baby figure, I wouldn't want to be 20 again.  I do wish, however, that I could go back in time and tell my younger self some of the things I know now.

You were beautiful.  I wasted so much time thinking that I wasn't pretty.  I agonized over my body, my coloring, my style, just everything.  Now, when I come across old photos of myself - actual photos, not selfies on my iPhone - I can't understand what I found so offensive about my appearance.  I was a pretty young thing who wasn't bitter and could still drink heavily without waking up hungover.

You'll forget.  As hard as it is to believe when you're crying in your dorm room over some guy who rejected you, or a friend who abandoned you, eventually it all kind of fades from your memory.  There were only 60 kids in my high school class, and I honestly don't remember the names of many of them.  I don't think it's because I have early onset Dementia, but rather that as you get older your world expands, and the people and situations that seemed so important just a few years prior cease to leave much of an imprint.

You can do anything you want to, but you probably shouldn't.  On the one hand, I'm lucky, because I had a parent who believed in me and allowed me to pursue a dead end career in the arts.  On the other hand, because I chose that path, it's been a long and not all that financially lucrative row to hoe.  The world may be your oyster at age 18, but when you're pushing 40 and still living like a broke ass college student, you may wish that you'd gone the law school route after all.  Trust me, it's a lot more pleasant to be a miserable, rich lawyer, than a miserable, poor actor.

Everyone suffers.  We're all narcissists in our 20s, and I was no exception.  We all think that our suffering is worse than everyone else - that we've been wronged the most and are the most broken - but no one lives a life without hurt.  No one escapes unscathed.  Don't let all the ways you feel that you've been dealt a shitty hand completely define your life.

It works out.  Probably not the way you think it's going to, and definitely not in the way you planned, but it does work out.  Are there days that you wish it had turned out differently?  You bet.  You muddle through, and you make peace with it, and you just keep going.

You won't give a shit.  Hands down, the best thing about getting older is that you stop caring about the stuff that doesn't matter.  Once and awhile you'll see a perfect specimen of humanity and you'll wish that you worked out more or that your laugh lines weren't quite so defined, but overall you're pretty comfortable with yourself.  You know what you'll put up with, and what you won't.  You don't waste time with people who are assholes.  You don't bother doing stuff you hate because it's what's cool.  You wear what you want, you do what you want, and you live on your terms.

So, I'm officially giving the finger to my 20's.  I'm 37,  I need Botox, and I pee myself when I cough, but goddamn I'm fabulous.

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