My Mommy is 41!!
My sweet 4 year old boy yells as he skips with sheer joy through the aisle at the supermarket. He's so happy he knows my age, he looks at me with his wide eyed sweet dimpled grin and says "Mommy! You are 41! And on November 24th you are going to be 42!"
I kneeled down to him, sharing his excitement and said "Yes baby, you are right, I am! And I think 42 is a magical number. Did you know that!? I can't wait to be 42!"
He pumped his fist and said YES! and continued to skip down the aisle and naming everyone he knew, there age and their birthday. He was elated and so excited that he knew all these numbers.
People are staring at me to see my reaction to my son admitting my age in front of anyone and everyone. I found myself smiling..... until I saw their faces. Many of them were shocked and looking to be to have a negative reaction or to shush my son? Ugh. He has no idea that getting older is considered a bad thing in our society. And I suddenly got protective of this little man's innocence. I never want him to know that its not ok to talk about anyone's age. I looked away from the negative people's glare and walked away.
Why on earth are we so obsessed with age? The number? And getting older. When did we stop thinking it was a privilege to get older and began to think of it as a burden?
I live in Los Angeles, right in Hollywood, and of course I'm an actress in the entertainment industry. No matter if you are an actress or not, NO ONE in Hollywood wants anyone to have anyone shout out their actual age. So, no one at the supermarket thought it was cute that my son was yelling that I'm 41, except me. I mean, I distinctly remember my talent manager from years ago telling me I was "getting old at 27 and I better book something huge soon or it will be too late".
Fuck you, I remember thinking. My career is a marathon not a sprint, and I plan to be an actress and an artist until I croak. If I book something huge, great, but if I don't....am I washed up? Is that it? Giving yourself a time frame doesn't always mean you will be Jon Hamm and suddenly book Mad Men. It doesn't always work like that, and those awesome performers and actors who are beyond 30 or even 40 are still viable and wonderful artists. Fuck you sir, politely with a smile, fuck you.
I am 41 and I'm damn proud of it
I have lived a rich and wonderful life, and I am still living one every day. I consider every day and every birthday a gift.
Because that's what it is. For all of us.
I'm sick of people in society and in the entertainment industry wanting to shave years off their age and there life, or my life. I have lived 41 years! I celebrate that. Of course its great to have people tell you that you look or act years younger. Everyone wants to look happy, healthy, feel vibrant, and energetic. But I don't want to go backwards. I don't want to waste valuable time thinking about being younger? What a waste of time and energy! I am proud to be older.
I am grateful for every day I have. Why? It's in my nature. But I also come from a family that has genetically inherited a neurologtical disease called Huntington's Disease (HD). Not every day has been promised. My incredible relatives (my grandfather, great aunt, uncle and cousin) have all fell ill to HD and died young.
So if I ever get into a place where I feel "old" in life and the entertainment industry is telling me I'm washed up and being over 40 is death. I will snap out of it. Say fuck you to all of them with a smile and keep at it. Remember my son's enthusiasm at the store for birthday's, remember my family who wished they had just one more day of being happy and healthy, go outside take a deep cleansing breath and smile at the sun.
Because I'm so happy and grateful to be 41.
These are confessions of my life as an actress working on Broadway, TV and Film for 20 years