Your Wrinkles Tell Your Story: My Philosophy on Aging and the Legacy of Smile Lines
People-watching is a guilty pleasure of mine. I enjoy sitting still in busy public places like airports or shopping malls and silently, invisibly, taking stock of passers-by. I like to look at people and imagine their secrets, troubles, hopes, and fears. Sometimes it seems that I'm encountering them on the best day of their lives...and sometimes it seems like their worst.
The last time I found myself lost in time analyzing a sea of faces, an epiphany struck - and although it seems quite obvious now, it was a thought that my mind had never completely formed before: Toward the end of our lives, our stories are permanently engraved in our faces, for everyone to see. The older you get, the deeper your past is carved into lines around your eyes and mouth, your forehead, and that little space between your eyebrows. Those who have spent more time frowning than laughing have the history of all those scowls to carry with them always, like self-inflicted scars.
I know you can't truly 'judge a book by its cover', but I maintain that you can guess quite accurately whether or not the majority of a person's life was spent being happy by observing how their skin creases. It really only struck me quite recently, and perhaps you've never thought of it before either. Consider this:
Every day matters when it comes to these lines. To some extent we choose the way our faces will turn out. Now, granted, as women, we tend to put a lot of effort into 'reversing the signs of aging' and spend a fortune on products and creams trying to erase fine lines and wrinkles. But we all know, despite the fact that we can slow down and 'reduce the appearance' of these awful nuisances and dose ourselves with antioxidants...that eventually, nature will prevail. The truth is, we're going to have wrinkles one day, and as far as I'm concerned, when that day comes, we want happy wrinkles instead of angry ones. So all the time we spend worrying, frowning, or scowling we have to make up for tenfold to be sure our smile lines will be deep enough to overpower the others.
The day my ephiphany struck, I vowed to spend the rest of my life working to deepen my laugh lines, and I henceforth promise to do my very best to choose the path that leads to the place where, when it's time to turn around and survey the fruits of my journey, my story will be a proud one. One of happiness and laughter; of time well-spent with family and good friends. My oath is that all decisions I make from here into eternity will be ones that set me on a path of more stillness than pain, where the tears of joy will fill up a hundred times more jars than tears of sadness. There will be trouble and anguish inevitably as life pulls on, but I solemnly swear that when I am old, my wrinkled face will be a creased legacy of a life well-lived by a person well-loved, and when the smooth-faced young'uns gaze upon my visage, they will see the laughter inside my heart written upon it until the very end.
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