Tuesday, January 12, 2010

This Is who I Was In My Fifties

I have known so many young women who dreaded turning 30, then 35.  I know women for whom 40 means the end of youth, the end of beauty, the end of all good things.  I know women who think 50 is really old.  But this is me in my mid fifties and these were some of the best years of my life.  I was more successful as a model in my 50s than I was in my 20s.  I was in demand as an actor in my 50s.  The only thing that brought that all to an end was my mother's vascular dementia.  Taking care of her aged me in a way that all the years leading up to 57 hadn't.  Taking care of my mother in her final horrible years damaged me in a way that all of life up to that point hadn't.  I'm now finally just about recovered.  But I want you to know, you lovely younger women, that your 50's just might be the very best years of your life, so do not dread them.

I was a woman who always claimed to be a bit older than I actually was.  I wanted to be thirty.  I thought people would take me seriously when I was thirty. I thought being older than I actually was would bring me credibility and gravitas.  I hated being treated like an object, like a brainless twit because others couldn't see past the pretty face.  And I had the kind of looks that made me seem ageless.  That's no longer true. And I take a certain comfort in the fact that I can move among you nearly invisible now.  I no longer lie about my age.