Thursday, March 23, 2006

The search for the elixir of youth.

I grabbed the mirror the instance I reached home. I shouldn’t have lingered around that cosmetic counter, checking out those eye-creams and wondered why women spend so much of $$ on these little pots of stuff.

I am paying dearly for that somewhat too self-assured view. The sales assistant from a well-reputed cosmetic company (ie, well-trained people from my experience) commented on my fine lines and recommending something for “people of my age”. She overestimated my age for at least five years.

The joke is I am obsessed with my looks now. My husband laughs at how I check my face every morning, and every night before I sleep. Before this, I never bothered about moisturisers, make-up etc etc. The girl with the best skin in class did not have to bother with all these, thanks to the good genes from grandma.

I was also always thought to be younger than my actual age. When I was in university, I still looked like I was in my high school. My mum and aunts all look at least a decade younger than their actual age. Now, I defy the usual expectations or conventions again. I am the only woman in my family to look older than her age. Even my grandma’s aristocratic good genes failed to shield me.

Is it the long hours of concentration in my studies? Is it the stress of juggling family, a challenging work, my thesis and also my rheumatoid arthritis? I don’t really know. Or did fibromyalgia which had just recently joined the list did this to me? I don’t know.

I knew somewhere around a couple of years ago; I started to look older than my age. I just refused to acknowledge the fact. I recognised the “surprised look” on people’s faces were no longer that of admiration, the “oh, what-is-the-secret?” which was usually followed by compliments. Somewhere along the line, this turned to surprised look, a pause and then some scrambling to find a you-don’t-look-your-age “compliment”. Although I hate to admit it, I know that it is not a compliment. It is a fact. A hard fact. My good friends from high school struggled so much to hide it.

May be it is all the crying, all the broken sleep. Or may be the constant struggle to keep worries or negative thoughts at bay. I don’t know which is the real culprit. But all these factors added together had managed to cause a physical dent on me. While I was busy keeping my spirits up, something had been quietly taken away from me. That is what long term pain is to me. It chew off a part of you, slowly and surely.

Now, from somewhere, somehow, I got to find another antidote to cope with this. What would the antidote be? A pot of eye-cream? I hope not.

Another day, another task to fight these things that just happened to me.

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