Over the past week, I’ve been mistaken for a 20-something a few times. I think I look my age — 36. I wear it proudly. I enjoy getting older and I certainly do not wish to be 20-something again, but it got me thinking:
Why (especially recently) do people perceive me to be much younger than I am?
The misidentification has happened at the pool, when I’m still wearing liquid, my face is naked, my eyes are framed by the imprint of my goggles, my hair is slick, my body is almost as naked as my face except covered in the appropriate places. I’m as pure as one could be — completely exposed.
I thought if there was a time I showed my age more accurately it would be then, but no, I have somehow reversed the aging process.
How? By doing something that I love with all my might. I am the most concentrated form of who I am when I swim — an athlete, determined, linear yet fluid, strengthened in every way from the solitude, with an “I don’t give a shit” attitude. It’s not just in the pool that I am who I am; it’s every day now.
The anti – aging serum began to take effect when I began taking strokes and heading in the direction I want to go — making decisions and exercising my power; doing what I needed to do for my wellbeing instead of compromising my wellbeing for the contentment of others. That’s the wrinkle eraser, the eradicator of rigidity, that’s what has de-aged me.
Since I’ve returned from my trip, people have asked how I’m doing. They’ve been privy to the big decisions I made earlier this summer with my business. It involved letting people go and starting over. No one wants to be rejected and very few people welcome change. Humans internalize change and rejection in different ways — from resentment/hatred to acceptance — these are all natural reactions, coping mechanisms and stages of grief, however, I cannot allow other people’s reactions to dictate my emotional and mental welfare or influence my trajectory.
A swimmer can’t be concerned with her previous stroke; she can only focus on the breath she’s in and the stroke ahead. That’s it — that was the key to unlocking the fountain of youth, I guess.
When I’m headed in a direction (the end of the lane) nothing else matters but my relationship with the water surrounding me, and the future ahead of me.
From the moment I hop in the water, insecurity washes away. The deep grooves of concern over what other people think of me, and my decisions disappear.
I’m lighter. I’m brighter. I’m younger because I’m not saddled with bags of worry. I am uncovered — transparent.
I am who I am. I do what I do, and when I allow that to permeate through my pores, I’m ageless. ~Rebecca