This Saturday night, my darling husband and I attended a Cystic Fibrosis fundraiser for a family we know affected by the disease. It was a wonderful event. Good food, good music, great friends and a fabulous cause...and of course, lots and lots of pictures.
That's when I realized things were no longer the same.
As we sat laughing and having a terrific time, camera phones were busy snapping candids and all was right with the world...that is until I hit the back button. I started scrolling through the pictures and found myself staring at the small lcd screen, the words "Oh my God, is that what I really look like?" reverberating from the walls of my brain.
Why is it men always seem to get better looking with age, but as a woman approaches the most vital, most productive, most creative time in her life, everything else seems to go south along with her boobs? It's the ultimate betrayal. Mother Nature's practical joke on womankind.
Sunday morning I got up and took inventory of my face. As I stared at myself in the mirror, it was the first time I saw shades of my mother looking back. The transformation isn't complete, but the outlines...along with the crows feet...are there. And for an urban fantasy author such as myself, it's shapeshifting in its most basic form.
Squaring my shoulders, I realized I had a choice. I could either view my newly discovered signs of aging as badges of honor or signs of decay. Which was it going to be?
Like with one of my stories, it became a matter of point of view, or as writers call it POV. Was I going to allow myself to wallow in what the world tells me is beautiful or was I going to do some world building of my own and create my own definition? So... Botox or battle scars?
For my own sake and for the sake of the two girls I am trying to raise 'till the day they find ME staring back at THEM from some mirror, I decided to place my bets on my own definitions. After all, words are my first line of defense, and whether or not they are on the written page or in the mantra I tell myself everyday, they are powerful.
I am powerful. I am beautiful. I am woman. What's your definition?