Yesterday I watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Released in theatres on Christmas Day, this is the story of a man born with all the infirmities of an 80 year old who, as he grows older emotionally, grows younger physically. A love story of sorts that spans two wars, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett star as two soul mates who only share the same age for a brief period of times before diverging dramatically in the opposite direction.
Perhaps it's because I'm almost forty - a time where I'm no longer a child but far from an elderly woman - this movie struck me on several levels. What does it really mean to be old? After all, while I might have a few more lines now than I did in my twenties, I'm also far stronger and more confident in my sexuality.
Written by Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) the movie was slow, but it also showed what true romance is about: Knowing someone's heart. Through years of post cards and letters, the two main characters were able to understand each other's souls. Their affection was built on friendship, not on today's quick text messages and instant jpg assessments of each others' chests.
As the movie ended (a rather contrived conclusion referencing Katrina and the impermanence of time as water washes over an old clock) I once again found myself thinking about aging. It does seem unfair that while one gets more visible signs of fading on the outside, their insides get younger. As one's hair gets white, their souls become more golden - more forgiving. As one gets a bit wobbly with their walk, their purpose in life becomes ever so resolved.
I won't lie and say that I'll never worry about age again. In fact, this is the year I plan on getting my vavoom back with more personal maintenance from exercise to skin care. But I also felt inspired by the movie's ending, and overall message: That it's never too late to change. We are never stuck with others', or even our own, expectations of who we are. Internal change is so much more valuable than external - not to mention far more lasting and fulfilling.
I am grateful that I can experience this through the safety of my marriage. Just because Rex wed a six foot, age 30, 175 pound redhead does not mean he cannot find joy with a 180 pound black haired 40 year old. (That would be me, people.) Perhaps in a few months he'll find ecstasy with a 172 pound brunette with streaks of blond (Also me, people! Fingers crossed!)
We can't change our circumstances but, like Benjamin Button, I hope to find grace and acceptance with who I am, not who I'm not. I hope you do, also.
Until next time, I'm off to age.
And drink Merlot. Now there's something (like sexual confidence) that gets better with age.
Posted by Andrea Frazer
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