We Are Not Invisible
We are not invisible - we make that choice. The reaction I get from getting on the elevator first thing in the morning going out for my morning walk - wearing my sneakers, sweatpants, visor and sunglasses with no makeup - are very different from when I am going to work a few hours later in dress shoes, work clothes, washed hair and makeup. Completely different interactions, conversations and responses. Going for my walk I am looking for quiet and time to be alone. I exude that energy and that’s exactly the response I get. However, I turn up the visual volume when I go to work. I am ready for attention and I am louder and brighter, all by choice, because I choose to be “on”. My energy shifts. I draw the conclusion, I choose how I want to be treated. So knowing this, I question the belief that we become invisible as we age. Really? I think we choose. And it has nothing to do with age, but our own choice. I believe we have the power of being noticed or being visible if we choose. It’s also not about how we look. It’s how we feel. We make a choice every morning when we go out into the world. To shrink or stand out. Just today, moments before I was about to publish this post, I read an article from the Times of London featuring Paulina Porizkova who was during the 1980s the highest paid model in the world. I wouldn’t have immediately thought that she and I had very much in common but read what she has to say here, “We need to stand up and insist on not being invisible. I wish there were more women who left their marionette lines [which run down from the corners of the mouth] and forehead lines and crows’ feet. I wish there were more women who dared to age.” And what about Iris Apfel? She’s 100 years old and she’s still rocking it with bangles, brilliant lipstick and oversized glasses. Want more evidence that we are not alone in our refusal to fade into the background? How about the reboot of the ‘girls’ from Sex and the City now featured in And Just Like That? The new series revisits Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte - now in their 50s - to explore their now more complicated lives. They are most certainly not fading away. Here’s what I know - we are on to something and we are not alone! The question of being invisible or not being invisible after 40 all revolves around a concept that suggests we disappear into the ether slowly while losing our value and beauty every year. Really? The vibrations are getting very strong, the noise is getting louder and we’re repeating a resounding NO. We need to take a look at how we want to be perceived with each year, and how we will march forward knowing that each year is a blessing not a curse and the more years we accumulate the better life gets. As you can clearly see I, and countless others, are starting to speak up to challenge the ludicrous thinking that we have accepted. I need some back up here. No one person alone is going to get this moving in the right direction. It will take many drops in the bucket. I am convinced that the shift is on its way. Let’s change the mindset together. Ask yourself this - how do you want to be received? Our appearance doesn’t diminish, it changes, that’s all. Our voice doesn’t fade. The words become more clear and powerful. I don’t believe that the older you get the more you fade away. It’s up to us if we want to pump up the volume. My burst of positive thinking and my conviction that life is better with each year and the best is yet to come, comes from looking and finding others who crack the mold and live to be their truest and most authentic selves. We can choose to fade away or we can choose not to. You can be anything you choose. Just please don’t say you're invisible unless you want to be.