Wisdom Says I’m More Than My Reflection

Since July adds another year to my age, I thought I’d post a poem that came to me last week as I applied my makeup in the dim early morning light.  I had to get up close to the mirror to do my eyes because without my glasses, I can’t see detail that far 😦  Anyway, my gaze moved from my eyes to the rest of my face and it was a little shocking; it’s like I saw all of the signs of aging at once for the first time.

I know that life has a whole lot more in store for me and thirty years from now, I’ll look like an entirely different person.  I’m okay with that.  Yep.  You can reread that if you need to.  In fact, I’m a little excited because with the years, comes wisdom.  To me, wisdom is more than just knowing things; it’s a deeper awareness of the gifts of life.  I’m convinced it must be packed inside the crow’s feet wrinkles that become more pronounced every year.

Life experiences contribute to the gaining of wisdom.  At twenty, the thought of being forty and full of wrinkles was depressing.  Now that forty isn’t that far away, I can look back and see that twenty was a silly place to be.  When I was in my twenties, I spent (wasted) a whole lot of time worrying about my appearance.  Painting nails, primping hair, trying on countless outfits to find one that didn’t make me look “fat” and obsessing over my pale skin that wouldn’t tan.  I have to say, there’s something liberating about walking around with naked nails, fifteen-minute hair, clothes that merely match (because none of them can make me something I’m not) and forgetting that my legs glare in the sun.

So, I wear my faint wrinkles proudly as the first sign that I’m gaining wisdom.  Because life is short, it’s important to slow down and take it in because the little stuff doesn’t matter, and I should treasure every moment with my kids because before I know it, they’ll be grown.  Right now, I know these things, but I don’t think I fully understand them-like I will twenty years from now.

Luckily, I only get obsessed with aging this time of year.  Soon, I will move on to more important things…like my next post, for instance.  Tonight, I’m working on getting my pictures downloaded and named from our recent trip to northern California.  It’ll take a while because there’s 207 pictures.  I can’t wait to share a few of them. 

Poem – Mirror

Blue eyes surrounded by creases;

Fair skin mottled with age spots.

One eyebrow sits higher than the other;

Ageing lips bleed lipstick color.

Loose chin threatens to double;

Gray hairs sneak into dark curls.

The mirror tells the truth it sees,

It knows not how to lie,

But it shows only a sliver of me-

Not my youth inside.


13 thoughts on “Wisdom Says I’m More Than My Reflection

  1. Smander July 16, 2010 / 1:52 AM

    I’m in my twenties and I have to admit that I worry about aging. I ran into a friend who I hadn’t seen since leaving school and all I could think was, ‘wow she looks old…which means I must look old.’ But I think you’re right- wrinkles don’t matter. Wisdom and life experience are what really matter. I love this poem. I am still 16 on the inside!

    • jannatwrites July 16, 2010 / 9:31 PM

      Susie, I’m glad you like the poem. Isn’t it strange how other people get older, but we don’t? – at least in our heads, anyway 😉

  2. milkfever July 16, 2010 / 6:11 PM

    We are not bodies. We are energy and that remains as young on the day we die as the day we were born. And beauty has never been about how many wrinkles we do or don’t have.
    I don’t need to see a picture of you JannaT to know you are beautiful. And will still be that way in twenty, or more, years from now.

    • jannatwrites July 16, 2010 / 9:33 PM

      Lisa, you are so sweet; thank you for the kind words! Aging would be so much easier if more people held the beauty on the inside philosophy. I don’t know your age, but it seems you might have wisdom beyond your years 🙂

  3. Lua July 16, 2010 / 10:56 PM

    That is a beautiful poem Jannat! The mirror can only show what we can see with our naked eyes. But there is so much more to humans than that. And that ‘so much more’ part; the depth, the wisdom and the ability to understand and love more comes with age. To me ‘aging’ doesn’t mean ‘getting old’ but means you have been here, living this life for a certain amount of time and the more you live, the more you love… 🙂

    • jannatwrites July 16, 2010 / 11:50 PM

      Well written, Lua. I like that; “the more you live, the more you love.” Here’s to lots more living and loving!
      By the way, I’m glad you enjoyed the poem!

  4. jpcabit July 17, 2010 / 3:39 PM

    I loved the last two lines of your poem!

    It’s amazing that as our inside selves get “Better,” (Wiser) our outside selves get worse. Although I suppose it depends on your definition of “Worse…” Silver hair is actually rather beautiful, in its own way…

    • jannatwrites July 17, 2010 / 9:23 PM

      Thanks for stopping by my blog, and for the compliment! Well, if ‘worse’ is a weathered exterior, then yes, it does get worse with age! As your silver hair comment highlights, beauty is a subjective opinion (or to be cliche; beauty is in the eye of the beholder).

      • jpcabit July 18, 2010 / 6:42 PM

        Shun clichés! Avoid them like the plague! lol

  5. infosponge0 August 19, 2013 / 5:52 PM

    Wow. i liked “mirror”. “But it shows only a sliver of me- Not my youth inside.” is my favorite part. I just turned 32 in July. Though I perpetually feel 17-18yrs old. I can’t say that I share your acceptance of physical aging. What I can say is reading this poem and the set up before it has made me look at aging in a different way. .

    • jannatwrites August 19, 2013 / 10:15 PM

      I’m so glad you liked the poem, infospongeo! My birthday is in July, too. I’m 40 now. Sure, there are moments where I wished I looked more youthful – but they are fleeting moments. (Staying away from mirrors helps 🙂 I’m with you – I feel younger than I am. And I still believe that who I am inside counts for more than the wrinkles, belly pouch or sagging chin. (Even if our youth-loving society might feel differently.) I hope you are able to embrace your inner self and enjoy the beautiful side of aging.

      • infosponge0 August 25, 2013 / 6:35 PM

        You’re welcome. Your poem surely helped me see aging differently. What lead me to read the poem was i awoke thinking of mirror. Thinking of which side of the mirror I’m really on. Do I see things or feel things in life backwards sometimes. I don’t buy into what society has to say about pretty much anything. Keep writing and keep reading. 🙂

        • jannatwrites August 25, 2013 / 10:29 PM

          Good call being skeptical of what society dictates, IS 🙂

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