As we are

What are your thoughts on your body and your look as you age? I've had my own body and the slow decline of it on my mind for a long time; especially in the years after giving birth, again in the aftermath of an infertility diagnosis, and especially so since I've started gravitating ever closer to my 35th birthday. I wrestle always with a simultaneous natural inclination to revere and lament. 

I like what I see when I look in the mirror; confidence isn't something I struggle to conjure up. But at the same time, there's a distinct push and a pull for me; I wrestle on an ongoing basis with the slow and steady deterioration of my body; I look at my tummy and I see my skin starting to wrinkle and drop. I default to disappointment when I look at my breasts, which look nothing like they did back before my nipples started staring dejectedly at the floor. I'm seeing the effects of aging settling in; and while the women in the generation above me scoff and try calling my bluff, I still feel the weight and the loss of the girl I used to be. That's the push. 

The pull, though, draws me in. The pull nestles inside the lines that have formed around my eyes; it marvels at the silver hair I stopped dyeing a nearly decade ago. It's the wisdom that comes with age that propels me to say fuck no to one thing, and hell yes to another; it's a sloughing off of the trying-too-hard and a settling comfortably inside doing what I want to do, and unapologetically so. It's my confidence and my drive; it's the fire that burns in my mind, and it's the spark and flame outside of me that says, "As you are." 

Women, do you pay close attention to the ways in which your body is changing? And men, do you do the same? Why do the vain and self-conscious parts of us compare to others, wail, and yearn for something else when the rational parts of us fight for the opportunity to say be grateful for the here and now? 

As we are, after all.