Cara Schrock - 4 Even though I reject most of what society tells me to do and be as a woman – I’m not polite when it’s demanded of me and unwarranted, I don’t often shave or wear a bra, make-up is reserved more for special occasions rather than a daily occurrence – even still, physically aging is a strange thing that always seems to catch you off guard. We get accustomed to looking a certain way, for years. There seems to be a stretch of time where things remain relatively unchanged unless we want them to. And seemingly overnight, everything has shifted. Usually downward. Suddenly our profile changes and the angles we’ve favored are no longer our preference. Cheekbones and jawlines soften or become more pronounced, usually the opposite of what you were expecting. You feel one way and the reflection displays something different. I assume it’s a temporary transition, at times an uncomfortable one, however I imagine we eventually stop holding on to something we are no longer. We accept that our external self is rather meaningless beyond temporary housing for far more important things.

Cara Schrock - 3 Cara Schrock

I’m very comfortable with the actual human I have become further motivated for growth in order to offset hurtful or inconsiderate things I’ve done in the past. I feel more confident and wiser than ever. My introverted observations over the years have given me valuable insight into the workings of the universe and human behavior – basically I can see through a lot more bullshit and egos and have a very low threshold for wasting time on them regardless of the source. I feel no shame distancing myself from those who evoke negative feelings, preventing me from being my best self. I show my respect for the life with whom I share the planet through my daily actions and have less desire to accept those who excuse and deliberately ignore the harm they cause. I focus on putting things in and on my body based on how they make me feel as opposed to how they make me look. I give value to material items less and less every day and replace them with experiences. None of this came effortlessly but it became important. I owe much of this to Veganism because once I removed a big chunk of the hurt I caused on a daily basis, it cleared space in my heart to see all the ways we are connected fueling a desire to do the least harm to everyone while I occupy this temporary body. I’ve grown more in tune with my true self and my needs, but still I find the desire to photoshop away the creases of my experience and wisdom, evidence of my struggles and most favorite moments, and too many hours enjoying the warmth of the Sun. It would be so easy to brush away the differences between how I feel and what I see. Instead I realize that I still have some growing up to do. Maybe that’s what our 40’s are for. 

 Cara Schrock - 2