Chasing the elusive youth: Growing younger inside
Every woman my age has experienced it; every woman navigating her way through life has seen it; and every young girl taking her first few steps into womanhood is beginning to feel it—the pressure of looking younger than you are.
Just when you think society is pressuring you to look younger than you are, you realize it’s not about that. The pressure somehow becomes about looking even better than the younger you did!
And this led me down a line of thought that there truly is something about keeping a hold of one’s youthfulness. Humor me for a moment! Who says that youth is confined to how young you look?
I feel we put far too much stock into our appearances. And when you truly think about it, being young is more about feeling young. Isn’t it wonderful to live without second-guessing your own self? It’s freeing to let go of all superficial attempts to look a certain way.
I have dealt with my own fair share of concerns about my appearances as I’ve grown older. Having lived with a drooping eye condition since my youth, it would make me quite apprehensive about being on camera, which was vital to my work at times. And the stress caused by this apprehension would make the condition even more prominent.
But while teaching myself how to stay calm through it all, I realized that everything flows from me—I had to accept myself first, flaws and all.
And once I embraced myself the way I was, I recognized this: Something amazing happens when you present yourself as you are, without any airs or pretense about yourself. People accept you as you are. And what you have to say takes centerstage over how you look.
The same applies with getting older, I believe. Not only did I accept getting older, I also started enjoying it. I did not, and do not let anybody else’s idea about “age-appropriate looks” and behavior influence how I wanted to feel.
And there’s the point of it all—we create our own hurdles. It’s all about how you perceive yourself!