by Cara Schulz
On Monday, I didn't get a position because I'm looking older. It wasn't said so starkly, but words like vibrant and fresh kept popping up. It's hard to explain unless you were there. There to see their expression as they see your face for the first time. There to hear the disappointed tone in their voices before they even ask the first question. I'm no longer a dewy youth. I'm 42.
So I've moped and laid in bed. For two days. I've struggled to get into the shower. To brush my teeth. To not feel a crushing weight smothering my heart. To not feel useless and discarded. To not feel that every year older drains my worth to the world.
I know that's not true. I know that's not true. But much of our society doesn't and that is what hurts so damn bad.
I don't mind getting older, looking older. I'm not one to cry on my birthday or lie about my age. I won't shoot poison into my face or undergo surgery or spend a fortune on creams. I know how much I have left to do and offer and contribute. How much I've learned and grown. I know that it's crap that older women are ugly but older men are distinguished looking.
I know all this. I know all this. But when the hell will our society know this? It doesn't do any good for me to know this if we have to live and work in a world that doesn't know this.
When will age been seen as a benefit? When will older men and women be judged the same? I'm vibrant and alive. I have fresh ideas with experience. You don't have to look 25 to have value. Or perhaps you do. I don't know.
I have a good, comfortable life with a great family. I have friends I can count on. I have a grounded spiritual life. I didn't need this job. I wanted it, but I didn't need it and it's not the end of the world. So I'm going to stop bitching and crying and laying in my bed eating cereal out of the box. I'm going to return emails to people. I'm going to write the three articles and two book reviews I need to get done. I'm going to wash my hair and put on make up.