A Wrinkle in My Life.
By Jenn Wilbur
Lately I have been spending extra time in front of the mirror. Counting. I have never really worked too hard to prevent wrinkles but somehow I was caught off guard by them. They started around my eyes. The results of squinting into the sun and “adjusting” my vision to read. ( I need new glasses) I have been annoyed by them, a sign of my age and the fragile nature of life. Whit, to his credit, claims to not see any wrinkles. He is a good man!
The other night I noticed a new wrinkle in a disturbing place. A little parentheses mark around my mouth. I had started to accept the squint lines but this! This was an insult!
I took a few days to get used to it. I talked to it. ” Why did you have to come now?” “Could you not have waited another 10 years?”
Then I caught a glimps of my smile in a window and there was that wrinkle, like a little half hug, gracing my joyful expression. That little wrinkle is visible proof of a life where laughter and smiles were abundant.
My mom has a picture of me, from when I was about 12 or 13. I used to hate this picture. I thought I was ugly and fat and a total loser. I hated the laughter in that picture. I hated myself for finding joy in anything when I was sure that I was leading the hardest life imaginable.
Now, I have no clue what made me laugh so hard almost 20 years ago. In the picture I am on the couch, curled up in the corner, mouth wide with loud and boisterous laughter. Thinking back on it now, I am glad that picture exists. It is good for me to know that no matter how hard I thought my life was, there was always something to smile about. I did not have an easy childhood, but it was not as bad as I once perceived.
This little wrinkle is a testament to a life where joy was always lurking around every corner. Even with the troubles of my past and the decisions that I have made, laughter has been there at every turn. Sometimes, like in the photo, it was out loud for everyone to see. Other times it was quiet, contemplative joy that had my lips curling up. The important part is that it was there.
I will not be getting that new anti wrinkle cream and there is no botox in my future. I choose to embrace this new part of my life. If each line has a story then I hope that someday, my face will be a novel of LOTR proportions! Bring it.
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