Monday, July 25, 2016

As I Get Older...

atheist blog
Me, 1980
Getting older is not an option, yet so many of us fight it tooth and nail. And no wonder. Our country fetishizes youth. Photoshop and everything related to marketing and social media hypes us up to want to look thinner, younger, more perfect, inhumanly thin/young/perfect. It's weird and hurtful and I have no idea what to do about it.

I've talked with the kids about the impossible standards that social media puts out there for appearance and the kids both seem to get it, but I would understand completely if either one of them felt inadequate, too fat, too natural, etc. The pull of the false images is unmistakable. Some adults even fall for the falsified images of what being human should look like.

I'm so grateful the pictures during my youth were largely unretouched. But appearance was a huge issue back then too. (Back in the dark ages.) Maybe it always has been. But because of a number of personal experiences during my youth I have never had the desire to remain young. Instead I have always had a strong desire to be older, wiser, more legitimate, someone to be listened to. And that's saying something because I was pretty cute back then.  *wink*

But I wasn't taken seriously and I needed to be.
I was twelve when my parents divorced, leaving me the eldest female in the house. For a variety of reasons, that put me into a pretty parental role in the house, especially for my two younger sisters. 

The world-at-large, however, didn't accept my parental role; they weren't convinced. (And who can blame them; I was twelve!) But there were still times when I was the one calling the school, the doctor, making appointments, signing things, being there for them, making sure they had what they needed, household management. * Although I was the de facto parent to my sisters in many situations my parental role wasn't publicly sanctioned or understood. Or believed.  For that reason I was constantly battling for legitimacy from an early age. 

SO, getting older is actually such a good feeling to me; it feels right, like I'm finally the age that I feel inside.

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