‘We’ve got the eyelash extensions. We’re dribbling collagen into our coffee. We’re thinking, ‘Maybe I just need to drink more water.’: Woman urges ‘separatewho you are, from how you look’

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“Ladies 35 and up, I’ve got to tell you something. Something to tell US. Our looks? They’re fading. It’s not quite time to say they’re gone but…they’re fading. I’m sorry. They ARE.

As sure as I stand, I’m writing this with some ‘Amazon’s Pick’ wet, slimy, drippy collagen-supposedly, eye patches underneath my eyes, in an attempt to wake up tomorrow morning with eye-bags slightly less prominent than normal.

Courtesy of Hayley Hengst

We’re over here trying hard. We’ve got the eyelash extensions happening. Some of us have Botox. Others of us have augmentation. Some of us are dribbling collagen into our coffee in the morning. I’m not even sure WHAT we think is gonna happen from that (insert the Contemplative Emoji here). We’re getting fillers. We’re trying the products. We’re thinking, ‘Maybe I just need to drink more water.’ Nah. Nope. Not really gonna help at this point, sis.

These products…these augmentations…these makeup-tricks…aren’t doing what we want them to do. Because what we WANT them to do is make us look like we are 24 again. What they’re actually DOING is…making us look like the 35-year-olds that we are with products, augmentations, and makeup added. I’m not saying it’s BAD. I might do some things, okay?

I likely will have to get a preventative mastectomy and breast reconstructive surgery done early next year due to my BRCA gene, but full disclosure…gene or not…I probably would have done the ‘reconstruction’ portion anyway. I might even go get a shot of Botox into my forehead wrinkle, and there’s no ominous gene to blame for that. So, I’m not knocking any of this. Necessarily. I’m just (sadly) admitting, as well as reminding all the rest of you…we’re still 35ish. And…I’m cringing as I say this…it’s only gonna get ‘worse’ from here.

Courtesy of Hayley Hengst

Even the very most Cream of our Crop are only a few years away from becoming ‘cute for their age.’ For their age. We just wanna be cute, PERIOD. Not ‘for our age.’ Wahhh.

Okay, but that’s not possible. We’ve established that.

So now what?

Now we have to concern ourselves with different things. Things that matter. Things that will last. Things that are real, meaningful, and worthwhile. Things that are good for our very SOUL, not for our complexions. The things we SHOULD have been concerning ourselves with all along. We have to figure out WHO we are underneath this outer wrinkling and withering shell.

Courtesy of Hayley Hengst

And dare I say…the prettier you WERE…the harder all of this is. If you are a girl accustomed to being praised and recognized…made to feel significant and special because of your looks, this process of separating who you ARE from what you LOOK like is going to be infinitely more difficult for you. The two things may be so intertwined that you don’t even know the difference.

We must do this, though. It’s soul-crushing to have your identity wrapped up in ANYTHING that can be taken away from you…not only your looks. Maybe it’s a person. A skill. A title. A possession.

Courtesy of Hayley Hengst

So, ladies….

If you’re 24 and gorgeous, perfect, shiny, and radiant and you are reading this, I hate to burst your bubble but this aging thing…it’s gonna happen to you, too. Start NOW separating who you are, from how you look. Figure it out.

If you’re 35ish, and you’re sipping your Collagen Coffee as you read this…spit the crap out. Go do something that feeds your soul and brings you joy. Figure out how to be a great friend and an authentic person. Get healthy because you want to stick around to watch your kids get old. Do something that will feel exhilarating to you. Grow.

Courtesy of Hayley Hengst

If you’re really old…so old you aren’t even cute ‘for your age’ anymore, take some of us younger gals under your wing and disperse your wisdom to us. Teach us about the things that really DO matter and show us how to embrace them.

Some things are fading, sure…but plenty others can just start to GLOW.”

Courtesy of Hayley Hengst

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Hayley Hengst of On a Lighter Note. The story originally appeared here. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Hayley:

‘Do I breastfeed? Do I not? Do I blow the budget and buy all organic? You don’t know answers to ANYTHING.’: Woman shares candid look at ‘mom life’ in mid-30s, admits it’s ‘hard, but beautiful’

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