Monday 1 July 2013

On the fear of growing old, and how I decided to capture my youth.

For years, my mother, the talented musician, photographer, and video editor, has been hassling me to make a music video for one of my songs. I think she has actually been bugging me to do it for about five years. Yes, that long. And I kept saying no without regret.

I'm shy in front of the camera. And the fact that I would have to "act" in front of my mother made me even more reluctant to do it. How would you feel about acting all rock-starish and sexy in front of your mother? ... Haha. Exactly.

But this year I turned 32. This year the lines around my eyes have started to become more noticeable. This year, I've noticed that it takes more effort to keep the weight off. I'm aging. And although I don't have a fear of getting old, I did sorta freak out about it not being long until the flesh on my body began to head south. I need to capture myself while I've still "got it", I thought. :-)

So I bit the bullet. I shut out my fears and became a rock star for a day. In front of my mother. And you know what? Once I let go, it wasn't bad at all. My mother made me feel beautiful, and yeah, even a little bit famous. I'm so glad I did it!

Here's the result:

How do you feel about 'growing old', does it scare you, or have you embraced it?

CLICK HERE to subscribe to my newsletter. Every subscriber will receive The Hum of Sin Against Skin for free, and be the first to know about new releases and special subscriber giveaways.


  1. Growing older is a skill which takes commitment and practice if one is to do it well and become the best that one can be as the years pass, continuing to grow, as opposed to shrinking into the smallest (safest?) parts of Self as so many do.
    It is ironic that we live in a youth-obsessed age when, if one lives to a reasonable age, as most can expect, say 85, the majority of one's life will be spent as an adult who is not 'young' per se: or 'young' as society defines it.
    If we take adulthood as 18, then we have say 20 years before our body will begin to register what we see as signs of aging, although there are individual differences in that process.
    That means we will have 50 years, half a century and perhaps more, living as someone who is 'not young,' and continuing to see physical evidence as we grow into our mature selves; as women, our Crone selves.
    Even if we have the luck or the genes to remain looking 'youthful' or 'beautiful for our age,' we will still carry the signs of age and not look as that which is defined as 'young and beautiful,' beyond 50. So, at best, we will have 35 years as an someone who is not 'young and beautiful,' although we may well be beautiful, the young will have long passed.
    So whether it is 35 years or 50 years, depending on how kindly the years treat us, we will spend most of our lives as 'not young,' or, as the young will see us and society might label us, 'old.'
    Deciding who we want to be and how we want to be during these years is probably the most important thing we will ever do, for living the years as 'not young' when there is less time ahead than there is behind; when some dreams whether of people or profession or just life become less likely; and when it becomes harder to deny the reality of aging, which of course walks hand in hand with mortality, is not easy unless we can bring full acceptance to this irrefutable fact of life and embrace all that it brings.
    The more we know who we are and the more we can enjoy all we become as the years pass, the better our life will be lived and the greater our contribution to Self and others.
    Logic suggests, that given we will spend most of our life in this phase, we should put our focus on it sooner, not later. In a youth-obsessed world that is hard to do and harder for women than for men because of the hold which patriarchy and sexism still have on cultures, but, the stark reality is that there is only one way to avoid getting wrinkled and getting old and that is to die.
    'Dying' to Self and Ego and physicality is a much better alternative and makes for a life well lived no matter what age we may be.

    1. Roslyn, wow. This is SO true. I think you may have changed my way of thinking forever ...

  2. Fabulous video, Jess, and I'm sure you'll never regret having summoned up the courage to make it. And believe me, 10 years down the line you'll look back at this video and think how young 32 was! In any case, having a rock-chick as your mother will keep you younger than your real age for a very long time to come...

    (Just been musing on this topic myself on my YoungByName blog, having rediscovered a memoir I wrote when I was about the age you are now...)

    1. Yes, I am very glad I did this. Thanks, Debbie! You wrote a memoir at 32? Wow ... that must be really interesting to read.

  3. Aww crud, i can't watch the video on my work PC. I'll have to check it out later

  4. That was very cool! Glad your mother talked you into it. And that you smiled a bit during the video.
    You're still really young. Besides, it's all in the attitude.

  5. That is so awesome! I'm so glad you went through with it. It's funny about the aging thing, I swear I feel younger every year instead of older. It's all in the attitude and I think you have plenty to keep you young for a long time!

    1. Thanks, Johanna. Yep, I think I just need to think differently about growing old. As Roslyn said, physical youth is so fleeting!

  6. Absolutely smashing music video. Love it, plus the fact that there is no end to your creative talents, as it should be. Good on you Jessica. Go on creating.

    1. Thanks, Rehan. I really appreciate your kind words.

  7. LOL, thank you, Karen! :) Don't question your sanity. We just have different voices!

  8. You feel old? I have a daughter your age! I’ve always been old. I suppose it had something to do with starting to lose my hair at fifteen. I was as bald as I am now by the time I was twenty-one. Every time anyone guesses my age they get it wrong. I recall when I was about thirty going with my last wife to a bridal salon along with her sister and her sister’s fiancé. As we went in the two women there were making such a fuss: “It’s most unusual to have the bridegroom here, let alone the bride’s parents.” Of course my wife and I looked behind us to see who these old fogies were that must have walked in after us but, no, they meant us. And do you know the worst thing? The bride was older that I was! The last time I asked anyone I was forty-eight and the girl guessed sixty. I keep waiting on catching up but I never have. That said I don’t enjoy being an old fifty-four. If I feel this bad now what the hell am I going to feel like in my seventies?

  9. I'm not really scared of getting old. I turn 33 this year and I say bring it awwwwn! My life is getting better by the year despite the fact that I'm getting older as well. ;)

    Plus, 33 is awesome 'cause it's a Pumpkins song. ;)

    LOVED your vid, very sexy and rockstar-ish indeed!

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Hi Jess .. must read Roslyn's comment properly - the post is sitting in Feedly somewhere .. and everyone's comments ...

    I'm old - and I don't feel it - it's the attitude to life .. and the realisation that there are other things ahead and can always be ..

    Yeah - loved the video - it's amazing .. and your mother was right - great idea!!

    Congratulations to you both .. cheers Hilary (corrected my grammar now!)

  12. You are AMAZING, Jess! I really enjoyed watching that, and since I'm already a fan of your music, it was even more fun. :)

    I just turned 33. I do not feel 33. I do not, overall, look 33 (and yes, I don't like that I don't look 33 because everyone still treats me like I'm a naive 20 year old, not cool). I'm not sure how I'll ever hang onto my youth because I'm starting to see those lines around my eyes too.


“I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.” ~John Mellencamp

“Allowing an unimportant mistake to pass without comment is a wonderful social grace” ~Judith S. Marin

“I don't ever try to make a serious social comment.” ~Paul McCartney

“I'd make a comment at a meeting and nobody would even acknowledge me. Then some man would say the same thing and they'd all nod.” ~Charlotte Bunch

“Probably what my comment meant was that I don't care about the circumstances if I can tell the truth.” ~Sally Kirkland

“We're not going to pay attention to the silliness and the petty comments. And quite frankly, women have joined me in this effort, and so it's not about appearances. It's about effectiveness.” ~Katherine Harris