What I Know For Sure: On Growing Old

There was an interesting conversation that I had the day after my birthday.

Girl: Oooh, belated happy birthday! How old are you?
Me: {Slightly shell shocked} Twenty eight.
Girl: Yay!
Me: Yay why? {Puzzled}
Girl: You're older than me! Yay! 

I guess I've been praising way too many women for the fact that they're still young, as many women older than me have been doing to me. In a veritable number of social gatherings I've been to for the past years, I often find that older women tell me "You're so young!" when we hover over the topic of age. In turn, I pay the compliment to younger females, in order to somehow, continue the tradition. In the Philippines, it's customary to praise whomever is the youngest, whomever is at her prime age, and see wrinkles, white/gray hair as bad.

Astoundingly enough, in France, older women are quite the celebrated lifestage. Une femme d' certain age, is what they call her. She's that older woman whom we all look up to. She's the one who has been molded by life's fires and trials. She carries herself with that distinguished grace and she does not need to prove herself to everyone, or anyone at all. The image of Inés dela Fressange comes to mind.

This, in turn, begs the question: why are we, as a society, not good at celebrating the 'older’ woman? In France they don’t feel this way. They worship older women. Think of the women who are held up as beauty role models in France: Isabelle Adjani, Inès de la Fressange, Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Rampling (British, but she has lived in France forever; ditto Jane Birkin), Jeanne Moreau and Carole Bouquet.


You know what I realized though? I'm happy to be where I am. I'd love to have my skin when I was younger, but I don't think I'd like to be where I was when I was 20 anymore. I do not regret my past anymore, but I like what I've come to now, all the lessons I've learned --- all of which I wish I knew earlier! This do not mean I know everything at 28. I do not wish to be 60 tomorrow and my goal in life remains to be to live each day the best way I could, but I am glad to be where I am here and now.

Having said that, I really should stop commenting how young people are. I have obviously, have been sending the wrong message. Age might just be a number, after all. =P

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