I’ve started noticing a pattern in my own response to ageing. Aside from the usual bemusement when I notice a stray grey hair or a deepening line around the corners of my mouth and of course the feeling that the youthful masses online are speaking a language I don’t understand – I know they’re speaking English, but they’re using words that have completely different meanings and connotations. Or they speak entirely in acronyms – WTF? FML. But hey, YOLO. (seriously hoping I used those correctly)
What I’ve started noticing is a sense of deep appreciation for women who are older than me. Those who are embracing their age and who seem to be in a place of content self-acceptance. They are becoming my beacons of inspiration as opposed to the sullen faces of hungry models/bloggers/fashionistas/actresses/socialites wearing the latest in EVERYTHING and who look like they need to spit out a sour sweet.
With my next birthday looming just around the corner, I’ll officially be on the wrong side of mid-thirties, which, in the grand scheme of things is not ‘old’. However, I’m aware that I’m definitely in a transition phase of my life. When I was in my twenties, in my mind I still identified with my 18 year old self. I was youthful, naïve and in some respects still childlike, all the way through to my 30th birthday.
That’s when it felt like a massive clock started ticking in my head and I suddenly became very aware of the passing of time and the years that ticked by. Now I find myself observing ‘these youngsters’ and still feeling naïve, but in a whole different way. Now I feel naïve, because I have no idea what they are talking about, what the latest trends are, what the hottest new music is etc.
Damn! I sound like a fuddy-duddy!
The result is that, now, I don’t know where I belong. I’ve lost my identity as a youngster and I need to establish a new, more mature identity. My fear is that I run the risk of being an ‘older’ woman who’s trying so hard to be hip and happening that she ends up being the butt of the youngsters jokes.
I’m Inspired by My Clients Who are Older Than Me
That’s where my awesome clients come in. I’ve had the enormous opportunity to photograph so many elegant women who are older than me and who epitomise elegance and grace. Like Sharyn…
Sharyn came to my studio for a shoot earlier this year. I’ve known her for a number of years having met her at Xtraordinary Business Women’s network and I’ve always enjoyed her company. What I love most about her is her positive energy and her zest for life. She’s a woman who carries herself with such poise and always has a beautiful smile.
She’s comfortable and confident enough to allow herself to be vulnerable. During the shoot she pushed herself out of her comfort zone and allowed herself to take risks. She was happy to take guidance and she gave herself permission to relax into the process and to let go of the analysing and the anxiety that naturally comes with being photographed.
These women, like Sharyn, are who I’m going to look to for the latest trends on being a mature woman who sees herself without judgement, who accepts herself without question. Whether they realise it or not, these women encourage me to be who I am authentically, without the pressure of latest fads and trends. To do the things that make my soul come alive. And to have an acceptance and an understanding of my place in this world. We each have our own paths to journey, being anything but true to ourselves just means we’ll be given more opportunities for learning along the way. So the sooner we accept our journeys as they are, the sooner we can start enjoying them.