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There comes a point after forty when you realize you're no longer growing up at all but in fact you've stopped growing and you are, without having given permission to do so, actually deteriorating. It's not that you may not still be incredibly fit, hot, gorgeous, lovely, sexy, talented, smart, brilliant or happy; in fact you may be more of those things than you've ever been in your life. But looking down at your feet while they are swinging from a chair, they just look, suddenly, so different to you in ways you can't really describe.
You check in with yourself and try to remember how it felt to be twenty, to be thirty. You try and remember and you wonder if you really feel different or if you're just imagining things.
But then you begin to feel that way more and more often and quite often you feel you're not really any age at all. You're ageless in the wonderful way of skin rejuvenating advertisements; the agelessness of being yourself without the anxiety of fitting into some media model of a perfectly flawless seventeen year old's jeans, but you're also ageless quite literally in the way of just feeling connected to your age at all. You're no longer striving in terms of age.
I'm reminded of the phenomenon of trying for years to avoid getting pregnant until the years when you want a child and then, as if by magic, you are suddenly doing the complete opposite. Aging and agelessness feels like this as well. After an entire childhood and teenager period of trying desperately to grow up, to grow older, to grow into someone of worth, of value, to be taken seriously by your parents, your teachers, your employers, now all you are every trying to do is to avoid feeling that you are aging or growing older. Even though I have to admit there is a large part of me that enjoys tremendously the slower pace of my body, the softer tempo of my ambition, I am still working hard to stay in somewhat of a decent physical shape and am aware of changes in the texture of my skin, changes which are more than disconcerting, they are very, very strange.