Thursday, September 18, 2014

Handing over the baton

I am now at the grand young and old age of 43.  Some days I feel like I am twenty and I look down in amazement at the top of my hands which betray my age more than any other part of my body. 

Growing up we are given a title, an identity.  This sounds somewhat conceited so please forgive any inadvertent vanity but my role was The Pretty One.  The Model.  Mel-the-model.  I have always been a sensitive soul and a deep thinker so I took no pride in the fact that I was a model.  It hardly takes a genius to wear whatever the stylist has handed you and pose for a few photographs.  I never fitted the scene because I was quiet and shy and the dramatic me-me-me types I met who did my hair, my face, my wardrobe and took my pics basically ignored this quiet teenager who they probably dubbed stupid or boring.  I didn't care.  My face was my air ticket and my travel bug was insatiable.  I would shut up and smile and wear boiling hot clothes in summer and splash in icy water in my bikini if it meant I could see Paris, Milan, Madrid, Hamburg, Miami, Rio, Salvador.  I could sail on fancy yachts and ride horses bareback on the beach.  I smiled quietly on the inside and I took all the perks modeling had to offer as I protected my mind, body and soul from drugs, sex, gossip, apathy, vanity.  It was not a nice world.

At age 20 I quit.  Enough already of the BS of the business.  I had made enough money to be independent, to buy my car, to travel, to support myself.  Life went on but I knew I could use my looks in other ways.  I suppose if I was a die hard feminist I would refuse to be treated any differently based on the fact of being attractive or not attractive.  I am afraid I was more of a realist and I knew when it came to getting what I wanted being The Pretty One could be milked a while longer.  I met Gary at age 30 and I know looks are important for him.  He likes to call me his trophy wife but I do not play the role very well.  Being completely non materialistic I refuse to wear the brands that supposedly dictate success and status.  He knows better than to buy me anything expensive or labeled.

As time goes by my looks of course fade and I used to wander what it would feel like not to be noticed anymore and to blend into the crowd.  Would I mind?  What would my new identity be?   Gary jokingly calls me the aging beauty.  Emphasis on AGING.  This is not a fish for compliments because at most I will are lovely for your age. FOR YOUR AGE.  And it is OK.  It really is because here is the thing.  The years of life that have taken away my youth and my looks have bestowed other gifts upon me.  Lasting gifts like insight and wisdom and compassion and curiosity.  Grace and tolerance and a brave heart.

What is being pretty?  It is fleeting.  I can be attractive and sexy and still look good for myself and my man and I will be all that.  I will never let myself go because I enjoy my femininity and I want Gary to feel pride when he has his old trophy on his arm.  I, myself, want to feel attractive regardless of my age.  So, the time has come for me to pass the baton to my lovely daughters.  I will NOT be that jealous competitive mother desperately hanging onto her youth.  I will stand back in pride and watch my lovely girls grow into themselves reminding them all the time of what makes them truly lovely.

So guess what I am now...The interesting positive one!   Seriously.  My doc loves me, he keeps me there for ages and we chat about so much stuff.  He thinks I am an interesting person with views worth hearing.  Then I met my Chairo the other day and he told me I was a really positive and interesting person.  It was one of the nicest compliments I have ever received and I thought right, I had a good long time of being TPO and now I am TIO.  Time to go, Sofie has a casting.  Kiddie modelling for now but I will decide later if I will allow them into that world I once inhabited.   Feeling liberated!

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