Maritza Ruiz-Kim

Artist, San Francisco Bay Area

Sorta More Wiser

Go ahead and take a good look. Because if you look closely enough (it’s not that hard) you will see the wrinkles around my eyes, and the pores in my skin and the evidence that I have not been in my twenties for a few years. And do you know what I have to say?

I am so very glad.

I actually enjoy seeing my wrinkles and seeing how I don’t look like I used to. I am glad that I am not the person I used to be. I am glad I am not young and naive, glad that I know who I am & mostly what I want out of myself, out of life. I love being seasoned by some years and knowing I have many ahead of me. For years I have looked younger than my age, and I have almost always been surrounded by people older than me, from school years, onward. It does get old, being the youngest one. It’s often that I am in a room of women (such as the first play group my son and I were a part of) and I realize… I am the youngest one here. By over ten years in some cases. And that’s just been the way things are for me. I graduated high school at when I had just turned 16, graduated college at 20. And when I have looked in the mirror, for years I have seen the same 15 year old looking back at me.

Until this year. This year I look in the mirror, and I can see the crinkles around the eyes. I can see a bit of that cherub layer of roundness missing from my face. I am more comfortable with realizing that when I shop for clothes, that I need to stay out of the sections made for Youth. I am so cool with that. I embrace it. I still giggle when I laugh sometimes, and I probably always will. But I am more conscious of the fact that when I am in a hurry, maybe I shouldn’t skip or run around… maybe I should just be on time. I see my friends aging, too. I wish we could all have a collective sigh of relief that we have changed. I wish we could reclaim that for women, growing older is sooooo goooood. We don’t have to sadly say good-bye to the days of our youth. We are so much more than we used to be. It is so much better now. I was thinking about decades past where women my age typically had teenagers, and how we’d be the “older parents” to the ones in their early twenties with preschoolers. We’d be the wise ones. And the truth is, even if we have little ones just now (or no kids at all), we still are the Sorta More Wiser ones. I like being able to see an early-twenty-something aged girl, and call her a Kid. Because I am not a kid anymore. Maybe it’s just my way of saying: Finally, I am not the youngest anymore! I wouldn’t have wanted to be told that, in my early twenties, that I didn’t have a handle of myself or my life. I was pretty sure I did. But now that 10, 15 years have past… I do know better. I like myself better now.

So, yup, I love the evidence that I am not new to Life. I don’t want to have a smooth round flawless face. I love that the warm soft light in my bathroom makes me feel pretty and that in the harsh light of the sun, I can see the years in my face. I love that what I see in the mirror is a tad better than real life, because hey, why not? But when I look in my rearview mirror and the sun is in my eyes, and I can’t count the wrinkles scrunching up on the sides, I am going to say Thank You. Thank you God for the years that I have laughed in the sunshine and the wisdom I’ve collected along the way. And as more & more years pass, I look forward to experiencing a rich life, even as it gets it’s share of heartbreaking tragedies & inexplicable joys along the way. I will be there. And I will live my life with the ones that I love, and I am just glad about this Life. Gratitude for the passing years and how we change.

Thank

God

for

That.

One Reply to “Sorta More Wiser”

  • Amen to that. I love where I am now, and I wouldn’t want to go back to my 20s even if I could.

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