I arrive at the feeling that I finally know myself, only to look in the mirror and discover fine lines that weren’t on my face the day before.
It’s a race against the clock as my energy slows to half speed: I feel like I’m a car whose engine has blown out and replacement parts can’t be sourced, because now they’re obsolete.
In our house we joke about the age virus—it’s contagious, and whether you like it or not one day it will catch up with you.
The problem is that I never thought that it would happen to me.
I was under the illusion that I could exist on very little sleep, run myself into the ground and never suffer the consequences. And more importantly, that I might be saved by my Asian genes.
So I would question why anyone would ever need botox or a facelift, but now it seems like a logical measure to rectify a problem—not that I would ever go there, but I will confess to buying my first ever age-defying cream.
Which brings me back to those times where I should have been more cautious, and perhaps more—or maybe less—vain, depending on how you look at it.
Like the time that I went to Hanmer Springs with a friend and got burnt for the very first time. We spent a week in the pools, soaking up the summer sun and I went without sunscreen, because I wanted a golden tan.
By the end of the holiday I had more than that.
If you have ever removed flaking sheets of skin from your body, then you’ll know what I’m talking about. I was fried to a crisp. I mean, really fried. I didn’t recognise myself.
I turned at least 3-4 shades darker, and not in that golden orange tan that I had hoped for. It was like a reverse Michael Jackson scenario, only I came out the other end looking like a patchy burn victim.
It took months, and at least two changes of season for my skin to repair itself, but part of the damage was done…
Time is cruel, stupidity has repercussions and I feel like my Asian genes have failed to live up to their cliched expectations. Or maybe I’m just in denial of reality?
I am exaggerating just a little, because my fine lines have yet to become fully ingrained in my face and my skin hasn’t begun to sag in places that I didn’t know existed, but the prospect of ageing hits hard.
All I know is that when it reaches full capacity, I want to do it well. I’ll just have to remind myself that growing into my skin means accepting what I can’t change and that one someday, somehow, somewhere…we will all contract the age virus…