I started the day with a younger version of myself on a morning mountain climb. The 22 year old iteration of me was decidedly hung over, attempted to smoke a cigarette before we embarked, carried a small bottle of water, and nearly passed out one-third of the way up my usual climb. I looked at my sweet little-sister-friend and remembered those confusing and festive days as I reached into my camel back, handed her another bottle of water and her inhaler, and suggested we sit on the rocks of the lower falls and just talk. There was no need to climb further.
I recognized the invincibility of youth and remembered the days of my twenties when after a night out in the mission, breakfast at Ghiradelli's, I hurled painfully out the side door of my best friend's car. A perfect night led to a painful morning followed by yet another perfect night. And so we bantered on about how she is an amazing, compelling, sexy, young woman with the oyster of her world awaiting, perfect - ready for the fun adventures ahead. This hangover, this hike, this morning, was just one of many, and tomorrow, or next week - she'd join me to try to climb again.
I didn't envy her youth, and while I remembered it fondly, was glad that my climbs have gone higher than they did ten years ago. I would not return to being so young if I could.
Every woman, as she gracefully counts the years from her early twenties to thirties, watches the men around her fawn over younger women, and it is terrifying. Do we become less desirable as we age? We cannot change the passing of time, the gaining of self, or the changing of our form. We are stronger, smarter, more graceful, better lovers, better friends, yet something makes us think that men will desire us less.
There is a woman in the burlesque troupe, who ageless, dances at thirty-six years old. Her wild hair and exotic eyes compel far beyond her perfect frame and carved thighs. She is not a number. She is a vision. She is perfect.
So we are reminded that while we think fondly on the exuberance of our youth, tomorrow morning we will awaken knowing precisely what we did the night before. We will open our eyes graceful, sensual, and able to climb whatever mountain we face. I loved seeing the reflection of my younger days, as I meet my adult self in the mirror as if for the first time. I wash my face, I brush my teeth, and I tuck myself soberly and safely in bed - Naked with Chanel No: 5.