I stood in front of the mirror in my bathroom and scrunched up my face in all ways imaginable (and possible). I tend to make faces at myself in the bathroom mirror, because why the heck not? It’s fun! But this time, I noticed something.
Was it simply the lighting, or were there tiny lines at the corners of my eyes? Had they always been there? When did they get there? How did they get there, and why hadn’t they announced their arrival? A bit rude of them to not, if you ask me. And then there were these furrows in my brow that I don’t recall having ever seen before. Were the laugh lines around my mouth always that deep looking? Is my skin still tight? Is it even supposed to be? How tight was my skin before? Is this normal? What is even considered normal for skin tightness?
There was a moment of panic that had my heart hammering in my chest. Oh, god. It’s happening. I have to start using night cream, eye cream, day cream … are there other kinds of cream that I should be using? Are they any different than lotion? I’m getting old.
Wait. Not old. Older. I turn thirty in a few months, and it’s not the end of the world, but sometimes it feels like it might be. I’ve been in my twenties my entire adult life. I’ve never been anything but in my twenties since I became an adult (though most times my adulthood exists strictly on paper). So much has happened in these past ten years, and I can’t possibly imagine what my thirties could hold.
But isn’t that the point? Not knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow? When I was a teenager, I couldn’t imagine getting older, not being in high school, doing “adult things,” which in my twenties consisted of being able to go to bars and drink (aim higher, young Megan). So, now with my thirties on the horizon, I can’t imagine what these next ten years are going to bring. Are they supposed to bring something? For a long time, I thought that they were. Marriage, kids, dogs (oh, so many dogs), white picket fences, etc. It wasn’t even until recently where my vision of my future began to change, as the reality that yes, I am going to get older began to sink in.
I think it’s always been there in the back of my mind, I think it’s probably in everyone’s when you’re in your twenties. You’re going to get older, but that’s not for a long time. And then suddenly, you’re staring down the barrel of thirty and wondering why it seems like it was just yesterday you had a weekend long party at your friend’s place which consisted of sleeping bags strewn across the floor, listening to Snoop Dogg’s “Sensual Seduction” on repeat, and watching one of your friends beat Super Mario the Lost Levels. And while it seems like just yesterday, it also seems so far away. Time is funny like that. I look back on pictures from those years and see someone who I don’t think is all that younger than me, but someone who is just beginning to build the most exciting chapters of her life – the stories are just beginning to get really good.
There are times when I want those years of my early twenties back more than anything. But then again, there are also times when the prospect of a weekend long bender makes my stomach churn at the mere thought. I went out drinking for a few hours last Friday to celebrate a new job, and I’m pretty sure it took the entire weekend for me to recover from just that. Two straight days of partying would require me to take a leave of absence from my job. I don’t miss it as much as I thought I would.
I’m not trying to be morose or anything of the sort. I’m actually quite looking forward to turning thirty. I’m in a place where I never expected to be, and it’s wonderful. Even a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have expected to be where I am, geographically, physically, spiritually. And where am I? On the other side of the country, living with the love of my life, exploring the Pacific Northwest together, working a job that I love, and with so many friends, both old and new. I can’t think of any place I would want to be right now more than where I am right now.
I have come to have a sort of fondness for the lines on my face. I don’t love them (yet), but I may get there eventually. They’re as much mine as any other part of me is. They’re my lines, and they tell my stories. No one else has lines like these, no one else has stories like mine.
All of the lines on my face? They’re from the joy that my life has brought me. Lines around my eyes, and my mouth speak to how many smiles have graced my face, how many times I’ve laughed so hard that my sides ached with it. My skin isn’t flawless like porcelain because I’m an actual living and breathing person, one whose experiences have left their marks on my skin, just like everyone else in the world.
I’m, in a way, looking forward to seeing what additions the next ten years will bring to my face.