Our Junk Beliefs About Ageing

I wrote this inspired, thinking someone else may relate, then cringed realising it's kind of self focused. But why? I love it when others post their personal stories, why doubt it? So here goes. 

Forgive me if I mentioned past stuff before. It's relevant now. 

 In 2015 after pivoting countless times on command and being fired and rehired by the same venues, an agent (I liked, and just the messenger) called and said  'Oh yeah.. that venue, they don't want jazz now .. ok, their exact words - they want an eighteen year old girl singing Coldplay covers.'   

It was no different from a zillion other phone calls (they're saying you're too old / don't wear enough makeup / don't smile enough when you sing etc) but this time something snapped inside.  

I realised I had to get a job where it no longer mattered how I looked and had to do it ASAP because something was really messed up.  

I'd chosen a life path based upon my love of sound yet in order to work, so much depended on how things looked.  

The whole point of music for me is its human vulnerabilty. That is the actual drawcard.  

What is human about having to look perfect and young all the time? These weren't movies or magazines, I wasn't a model, they were just regular higher end venues and corporate gigs. Why did I play along with that for so long? Because I loved doing the gigs. 

The worst part is I'd also bought into toxic attitudes about ageing myself, which honestly I'm still working through. Yes in 2021. I'm still only 51! 

 One of my grandmothers embraced ageing more than she needed to, joining Senior Citizen's clubs in her 50s, while the other fought full bore against it, wearing make-up even on her hands. The irony was, her fear distracted me from noticing what I now see was a real elegance about her. 

I don't want to carry these conflicting junky residue ideas about ageing anymore. Because there is also society's obsession with plastic surgery. 

That said - Dolly Parton looks great, why?  Because she radiates self respect, acceptance and love. So there is no right or wrong way. Each to their own. 

Anyhow, not long after that phone call I stopped performing and went grey and it was fantastic. No-one at the supermarket cared!  

Maybe I will gig again without that pressure. However right now recording is perfect for me because sound is all that matters. 

This Christmas I bought hairdressing scissors and cut my hair off. It was no big deal. Cutting off all my stupid limited ideas from the past. We must be who we are. Happy 2022 all!