I looked in the mirror the other day and saw a middle-aged woman staring back. I tried to be grateful as my alternative to aging would be death (given that a time machine has not yet become commercially available). But I failed the gratitude test. Instead I was consumed with “when did this happen?”
I’ve always looked young for my age. This was less entertaining when I was 22, and the library asked if my parents could co-sign for my library card, but as I’ve aged, I’ve started to appreciate it more. Getting carded in my 30s for the occasional alcohol purchase would actually bolster my spirits quite a bit some days. I know I’m not alone in that– I’ve seen you doing the “I just carded” dance, too.
So, what happened? I mean, maybe it was just a dead skin day, but I couldn’t stop starring in the mirror. I half imagined that my face was starting to drag and melt in a Poltergeist-reminiscent way.
I’m sure I’ll get used to this new reality. Twenty years from now I’ll look at pictures taken yesterday and marvel at how young I looked—after all, perspective counts for a lot. But that perspective has not yet come. For the moment, I just keep startling at the new face in the mirror.