Last week, actress Julie Halston took us to the frontlines in her valiant battle against aging. (Read Part I here.) This week, we find Julie waving the white flag. So how exactly did she arrive at this point? Read on.
SO HERE I am: stuck between the young lovelies who populate the city’s casting offices, and the “surprised poodle”-faced women who populate Madison Ave. And I’m asking, what are our options?
OK, well, we can get really depressed and kill ourselves. Or we can get really pissed off and kill others. (The second option is more appealing to me, but I value my freedom.)
Yes, the Youth will always be worshipped, but can’t the Older at least be respected? Even if you’re not gorgeous, rich and famous? Even if you don’t use Retin-A (which, just sayin,’ you can get online for $15 bucks)? I wish we could have a reasonable approach to all this getting-older business. Yes, keep exercising; yes, have a little work here and there; yes, try some overpriced products; yes, eat more vegetables.
But inevitably, at a certain point we all must go through The Seven Stages of Grief … of Aging. Only then can we finally transition into the healthy, forward-thinking — and yes, OLDER — individuals who can appreciate our own hard-earned wisdom, and perhaps even a wrinkle or two. So herewith, I give you …
THE SEVEN STAGES OF GRIEF OF AGING
1. SHOCK: Why do I suddenly look like one of our Founding Fathers?!
2. DENIAL: No, no. That “George Washington” look is just bad lighting.
3. BARGAINING: Sure, it’s 90 degrees. But do you suppose if I wear this turtleneck, no one will notice my neck? What if I tape my face under a scarf? Maybe I’ll look up some doctors in New York Magazine. Just to look. No calls.
4. GUILT: How could I even consider cosmetic surgery? People are dying in Africa!
5. ANGER: Damn. DAMN. WHAT THE F*$&?!? Why are my breasts now part of my stomach? I thought gravity was for apples and planets, not my jowls!
6. DEPRESSION: I am a total loser, and I must stop all correspondence — email, phone, Facebook — with younger, prettier people. I must crawl into bed, drink too much white wine and not care that it will increase my puffiness and make me further depressed.
And, at long last, …
7. ACCEPTANCE/HOPE: OK. Enough of this. Time for me to allow someone, anyone, to yank me out of bed and get me to take a good look at myself, physically and emotionally. Time to accept the changes that come with time passing, and allow myself to consider the worthiness that comes with being a person of experience. I’ll value what I’ve gone through, and others will value it, too. And if they don’t, I’ll REMIND THEM! I’ll stop trying to be young, but I’ll embrace a youthful spirit. I will learn new things at whatever pace I want. I’ll look back to the past and see a wealth of history, and I’ll look forward to the future which, if not blindingly bright, is still a good, clear light. I will be happy. And that is beautiful.
Photos: Walter McBride via BroadwayWorld.com
Hear Julie’s 2013 interview with Sandi Klein here.