Crumbling girl

andrea_bed_355.jpg
self portrait, Nikon Coolpix 4500

I’ve been feeling older lately.

I’ve actually noticed lines on my face that were never there, that quite literally, appeared a few weeks ago. There are also the occasional grey hairs, which for some reason, I don’t mind. I like to pluck them and examine each silver filament. Maybe I will start to save them, paste these angelic threads into my journal, until there are simply too many too paste.

And then there’s the teeth. Something felt strange in my mouth on Saturday. Upon further examination (me, mouth wide, showing my friends) it was confirmed – part of one of my bottom teeth was missing and a rough edge remained. Only a chip really, but how did it happen? Are parts of my body just falling off now? Am I crumbling slowly but surely?

Is this what aging is?

I am caught in this middle place, where I’m not sure if I’m a kid, a girl, or a woman. When I chat with my mom and refer to my “women friends,” she gets confused about who I’m talking about. She thinks I’m suddenly spending all my time with her contemporaries. It even sounds awkward to me. When did I become a woman?

Lately I’ve been feeling like I’ve lost something, some part of me, some lighthearted, joyful part of me, with all of this adult stuff about getting married and running a business and people getting sick and all that…

I was talking with a dear friend yesterday and I never asked her the question that was on the tip of my tongue, “Where has my joy gone?”

I just couldn’t ask, or explain what I even meant by it. I just know it has something to do with aging and worry and crumbling teeth and being afraid of moving forward into adulthood.

I want to stay being a girl forever.

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ME >

17 Comments

  1. Julia

    You will stay a “girl” forever!! As long as you can continue see the beauty in the “little things”, and can create such wonderful, playful and colorful objects,(ie:your great jewelery designs and paintings…) You will be forever young!!! I too, stressed out over my 1st wrinkle, my 40th birthday etc…. but I wouldn’t trade my age now(42) and all the joy, pain & wisdom that has come along with it. Hang in there!! The best for you is yet to be……

  2. amy

    honey dear, how old are you?, and you will always be a girl, and by following you my friend, I can see you are definately a woman. i was holding my friends little girl of 8 mos. today, i was watching her look at a toy, watching her eyes, thinking to myself, someday those eyes will study books, and see things by themselves, on their on volition. someday these joyous little girl child eyes will see the world, and the weight of it, and they will be surrounded by wrinkles, and perhaps have a mark of experienced life, like a blood shot or yellow spot. i am finding aging is a beautiful thing if you look at it with gratitude, as a new experience you can share with others and realize you are not alone, it brings laughter, pain, complications, change, fear, but also power in a strength kind of way. wisdom, old croney wisdom, and i am only 33 years young! but i too am noticing things, and many say, just you wait. I heard recently about a study a woman did about indigenous cultures from around the world, and the strongest most productive and wisest members were the older women. and you attract joy, you create joy, just look at your life! peace out:)

  3. David Maki

    I feel the same way! And I am not that old. . .but I feel like I am not “cool” anymore you know? I think that you rock and the things that you do are amazing and you are getting married that kicks ass!! I thought that you might like this. . .
    when gods let my body be
    by: e.e. cummings (1894-1962)
    HEN god lets my body be
    From each brave eye shall sprout a tree
    fruit that dangles therefrom
    the purpled world will dance upon
    Between my lips which did sing
    a rose shall beget the spring
    that maidens whom passion wastes
    will lay between their little breasts
    My strong fingers beneath the snow
    Into strenuous birds shall go
    my love walking in the grass
    their wings will touch with her face
    and all the while shall my heart be
    With the bulge and nuzzle of the sea
    Well, I hope you liked it!
    It’s bin looooonnnngg day 🙂

  4. anissa

    I used to smile about old people saying “You’re exactly the age you feel you are.”, until I learned that they were right. I ignore the grey hairs [oh, and don’t plug them, it means bad luck]. But I cannot ignore the fact that I seem to gain weight more easy now, and they say it’s a fact of aging [starts around 25].
    I have to think for a second when ppl. ask for my age. I’d answer 28, but no! Gosh, I’m 31, and I keep forgetting it. Yet, somebody recently laughed and said “Nah, you’re not older than 25, come ooon!”. That was when I took offence.

  5. jeff pitcher

    and time plays its silly games. i too feel the not so gentle hands of age resting themselves on my shoulders. sometimes, they feel warm and inviting like those of an ancient lover, while other moments find me cringing beneath their impetuous claws. during the week after my 29th birthday, standing in the bathroom at my parents’ house, i discovered a hair growing in my ear. i stood there looking at it for quite some time, rather mesmerized, as i had always figured that ear hair didn’t show up until my 80’s…i had only just accepted the fact that i must indeed be conscious of the nose hairs that attempt to peek out from their little cave now and then, and trim them with these new little scissors i bought. i giggled…and now i am saddled with the burden of having to check my ears from time to time as well. i stood in the bathroom laughing and called most of my friends to tell them of my newfound proof of age. this year, after my 30th i found my first gray hair, plucked it out, and taped it in my journal. it looks wondrous there on the blank white page. the wrinkles by my eyes seem to grow unhindered. i wonder, when will they slow their rate of reproduction? alas, this process is so hauntingly beautiful. one that i adore infinitely. one that i embrace, even with its often cold fisted hands. its hollow bird-bone claws.

  6. celisa

    there is a different kind of joy that comes with getting older…it’s calmer, and more appreciative of what we HAVE rather than what we WANT. until the other day i felt such loss at the intense enthusiasm i once had…now i see it’s still there, only now it’s spread out…touching the simple things i do, it’s in the way i call to say ‘i love you’ to my parents just because, the way i stay up until 5:00 am with a friend because she’s upset, even the way i feed my cat every morning, not out of obligation but out of love…anyway, joy takes on different shapes and forms as we get older…it at times is calm, and other times it’s ecstatic.
    andrea, you have a beautiful soul, that will be forever young. you have a radiant light that shines forth that belongs only to those that see the delight in the simple pleasures that make life worthwhile. love you!!

  7. Andrea

    Thank you all for your beautiful words~
    They made me so happy to read this morning.

  8. brixton

    I want to stay a girl forever as well. I’m 23 – but my coworkers apparently think I’m closer to 30, which is difficult for me. I’m in a conservative work environment, so I dress conservatively – which may make me appear older than I actually am.
    And I worry about my body and the changes age will bring. And I hope that those who love me will still love me when what I have fades.
    I never felt old until this year – and I know, I know, I’m still quite young – I guess it’s just the memento mori that we all encounter sooner or later.

  9. Melanie

    As part of the love-in, I just wanted to let you know what I love about your blog. I love that you are so bright and cheerful. You are extremely creative and bring joy to my day. 🙂

  10. Jo

    Well it looks like I’m the cronie in this group. Anyway…I wanted to let you know that this getting old thing is okay. I turned 44 this year (and I didn’t think I’d live this long!) You do look at the world differently. For me, it has given me lots of creative freedom…freedom to try new things and make my art, my way. To have my framed picture of The Cure on my studio wall, dye my socks weird colors and just not care what anyone thinks. And…I’m lucky to have a significant other who likes my dyed socks! Life is good.

  11. Rachel/Tchatchke

    I have a French friend that I adore. And if he asked me to marry him, I would say yes in a heartbeat. He’s thirty years older than I. Sometimes, he’ll give me a wonderful compliment usually about my looks or body and before I can say, “Merci bien, tu es trop gentil,” he says, “Mais je suis vieux monsieur.” So you’re an older man, I want to say, je m’en foue! I don’t care! An earnest compliment is an earnest compliment no matter who gives it to me or how old they are. If it’s how you feel, why should your age change its earnestness?
    We change as we age (more wrinkles, but wiser if we’re lucky), but we don’t necessarily change how we feel about things. It dawned on me not very long ago while my mom was telling me a story about her childhood, that she’s the exact same person. She reacts the same way today that she did when she was seven. I think about my thoughts and feelings about things when I was little and compare them to my thoughts and feelings of today. My values are still the same. I look at the child inside people and love that most essential person.
    Andrea, you strike me as such a fantastic creative person, very in touch with her essential Andrea-ness. Your post reminds me that one can be all those things, but still have doubts and worries. It’s okay to doubt and worry, but we should find the remedy before it extinguishes our respective fires!
    Now go do something that you’ve never done or haven’t done for a looooong time. It’ll help! (I should so take my own advice!)

  12. Andrea

    Rachel, I will take your challenge! and carry it with me this weekend in Stinson Beach.
    It WILL be a bachelorette party however, so the thing I might do that I haven’t done in a loooong time is drink too many margaritas and do a silly dance for my sister.
    Look out.

  13. Chloe

    Age 1 n. length of past life or existence, a long time, old age. 2 v. ageing (cause to) grow old or show signs of age; (cause to) mature. 3 come of age reach legal majority; under age below this age.
    Andrea, and fellow posters, you’ve all created a really nice transition spot for the aging. I hope to retire with wise folk like yourselves.
    I feel age on certain days, and question it as Andrea has. It passes. It is interesting to query age, and it’s effects on us. Grey hairs, wrinkles, sags. This was never so. I used to be firm, yet unwise. Tricky.

  14. Jennifer

    Such comforting words of wisdom from so many people…I enjoyed reading it all. I was feeling a bit blue myself until I stumbled into the “love fest”…My mother has always said that she enjoyed her forties the most (and I am fast approaching that) because that is when really feel as if you’ve finally gained that wisdom, strength and confidence that you’ve always looked for and never thought you had.

  15. dana

    hello.
    i too am getting married this spring and just had my bachelorette party a few weekends ago. it was silly.
    i just found your lovely site today by way of the willotoons site, by way of the little yellow different site…however the route, i love where it has taken me. i am a 32 year old girl who never thought the day when i’d be planning my own wedding, instead of helping friends plan theirs would come. i love the bright, whimisical, lighthearted little bit of your site that i’ve seen so far. thanks!

  16. Kathleen

    Leading up to our wedding day, I felt like I was falling apart : my teeth began to bleed, I nearly fainted in a store, and I had so many panic-attacks I couldn’t even categorize them.
    When the actual day came…I felt as if I was walking on clouds. One of our guests even called me “Earth Angel”.
    You will have the most fantastic day of your life. Congratulations to both of you!

  17. Barbara

    You are indeed very admirable, brave, energizing, inspiring. If you will keep on doing what you are, just tweeking, pruning, and amending as needed, you will go on, and on, and on . . .continuing to build the beautiful life you
    are certainly deserving of. At 53, I am sharply aware of losses of loved ones, too many. I can’t
    ask, “How did I get here?” I know. I can’t ask,
    “Why didn’t I make different choices?” I know that too. (It was fear of unknowns.) I feel
    that I have been “picking up the pieces” most of
    my life, and continuing to look for inspiration is
    crucial. Ten years ago I began a new chapter in
    my life, moving to an old farmhouse where the field and sky behind it are beautiful. Two hungry
    cats and one abandoned dog all found their way here, and they became my new family. I have treated them well and welcomed their love; I have
    also learned that with very little human contact,
    I forget how to live – and that is very scarey.
    I am experiencing first hand the lesson that it is the exchange of life energy between people that is so necessary to feed my soul. I can
    obtain and use information of take care
    of my body, and I can learn to have the grace
    to accept inevitable bodily changes, which is easier if my soul is at peace. Loneliness is not
    fun; and there is much in the course of a day which is not meaningful, so it is easy to lose
    the way. But a conscious journey of connection
    to other hearts and souls is beautiful. Thanks
    for giving the world yours.

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