My son texted me this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon yesterday. I thought about the dishes I haven’t used. The sheets still in their packaging. The wine still unopened in the bottle. The earrings never worn. My life on hold just waiting for an “Okay to go.” And all of this is tragic. Really tragic. I have decided that I can no longer wait. I may never hear “Go.” So I am moving on. I am giving myself permission to live…not someday…today. To toss chances to the wind and breathe a sigh of relief, a freedom of sorts. It is an exercise in catharsis. The need to let go of anything holding me prisoner to perfect.
And then there is something else, that association that old and used is no longer beautiful. The notion that aging itself is tragic. So many women talk about becoming invisible. That they are no longer seen. Some women feel compelled to give in to aging, as if it is an expected ritual, to go gray, to blend in, to tone down to a faded landscape. I have thought about all of this. But why do we feel this way?
I love to visit Isabella Rossellini’s Instagram page. Isabella was once a top model. She graced the covers of every fashion magazine. Now she lives on a glorious farm in Long Island, New York. Her parents were famous, and so her beauty was never invisible. In fact, she turned heads. Today, her hair is a pixie. She wears lipstick and big glasses. She has had no cosmetic procedures to prolong youth, and she has gained a few pounds. And yet, when she speaks, her eyes twinkle, her smile is contagious, and she speaks with her glorious Italian accent. She is far from invisible. She is exquisite. Imperfect. Beautiful. She has an energy that is unmistakable. Halley Bieber cannot compete with her, yet many people would say, Isabella gave up and succumbed to aging.
Yes, the crayons wear down, the wrappers fall off, and the colors smudge, yet they still create beautiful art. I was telling a male friend about how invisible older women feel, and he said, “Do you feel invisible?” I thought about it and said, “No.” In reality though, I am not sure I ever felt visible. I have just gone through life loving what I love and feeling the need to constantly justify it. There is this constant expectation that we must fit certain roles, look a certain way, feel a universal thought. I think what makes Isabella so beautiful is that she was this beautiful person before, and she is this…