I hate how I’m aging.
I never cared about the smile lines or dozens of grays before I had a baby. But what changed when I had a baby was my skin.
I got melasma pretty early on in my pregnancy and it just got worse and worse. All the books and my doctor said it would go away by four months postpartum. Well, I’m now twenty-five months postpartum and that shit is still here.
My skin has never been the same. And also, from being so tired for like, two years, it is just different. Dark circles, crows feet, and yes, actual wrinkles.
I always looked young for my age and I naively assumed I’d just always go on looking young for my age. It didn’t occur to me that things would change, and change so fast!
I was never vain about my looks, only about my weight. The way I used to obsess about girls with flat stomachs, I now do about age. I see people my age and immediately clock if I look older or younger. I see people with four kids and perfect skin and wonder what they did differently from me. I get super scared about having another kid — if one kid did this to me, what would another one do?
There is a wiser part of me (thank God?) that recognizes that in these moments, my ego is running the show. All of this this is about how I look and I’ve just replaced obsessing over the number on the scale with the number of lines and dark spots on my face. And I hate it. My mom sent me some sweet photos of V and me today, and the first thing I saw was that I wasn’t wearing foundation and immediately launched a whole barrage of critiques on my face.
My inner voice said things like:
V is going to be embarrassed to be seen with me when she’s older.
I look like one of those old moms.
I wish I could afford to do whatever the Kardashians do to keep them looking the way they do.
I heard a quote recently that said — no matter what you use to get attention when you walk in a room, whether it’s money, power, sex appeal, or your career status; that at some point in your life, you will lose that thing. And then what will you have?
That was like a big gong on my head.
For the first time in my life, I started moisturizing a few months ago. You guys, I didn’t even wash the makeup off my face at night until five years ago. I am wayyyyyy behind the times in self care! The moisturizer has retinol in it and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t do anything, but it makes me feel better. Sometimes I think that maybe the retinol will just freeze my face like this (hope?), so that in another thirty years, I’ll look really young for my age again? Ugh.
I started getting gray hair at 28, and eight years later, I think my entire head must be gray now by the way those suckers creep in six weeks after I get my hair done. And then I think: Am I really going to dye my hair for the rest of my life?
Is there somewhere I can go (definitely not here in LA), where people (“people” = I) don’t care about this so much? Where it’s okay to look like you’re thirty-six and had a kid who didn’t sleep for a year and a half straight, and that can be its own kind of beautiful?
Anyway, this is one of the things I think about all the time, that I never really talk about. And I feel shame saying it, but this is the truth.
Do you guys worry about aging? Is there anything you do to keep Time just hovering at your door instead of straight-up pounding it down?