Note To Self

When You Know Better, You Do Better

In the latest Note To Self, Future Women editor Emily Brooks explores the power of age and experience.

By Emily Brooks

Note To Self

In the latest Note To Self, Future Women editor Emily Brooks explores the power of age and experience.

By Emily Brooks

I have an odd relationship with age. It is also a good relationship, which is odd, because most women generally don’t have a good relationship with age. Birthday parties are another story, but age and I are on excellent terms. I’m usually told I feel good about age, and look forward to every age, because I’m still young. Then there’s the counterargument: You! Shouldn’t! Wish! Your! Life! Away! But I’m not. I’m just looking forward to it. All of it. I’ve never really found anyone who agreed with me until Maya Angelou appeared in this interview and ever since then, I’ve pretended we’re friends. Because she summed up my feelings around age better than I ever could when she said this: “I never remember being anxious about it, even when I was very young. I always wanted to reach that other age, as far as I can remember. I thought that if I could live to be 20, it was going to be really wonderful. And then 30, my goodness, it was a knockout. Every age, I’ve been grateful.”

But my All Time Favourite Maya Angelou Sentence (and Maya Angelou has many) arrived in a discussion about her 80s. She and Oprah were chatting (as they do) about the fact Maya was 85, and when Oprah asked (as she does) about Maya’s thoughts on 80 she said this: “Do it, if you can.” I don’t think age has ever been better surmised. Do it, if you can. Because every age, no matter what laugh lines or crows feet or botox it brings with it, is a blessing. And you should do it, if you can. Each decade, I believe, gets better and if it doesn’t, I definitely know you do. Which brings me to another story about Oprah and Maya Angelou, because I really don’t mention Oprah enough in this newsletter.

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