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Aging Gracefully: Hell, No!

I am about to turn 60 and get back to modeling and acting after 22 years. I am aging with a determination to try everything I want to. Aging gracefully sounds demure, and I am anything but that. Messy? Yes. Unruly and complicated? Sure. Hell, no is what I say about fading out and fading away.

I feel better than I have in my whole life. Going back in front of the camera after more than two decades in the makeup department has been very good for me. I feel more alive. Modeling gives me joy, and acting lets me explore the hidden parts of my life that long to be seen and heard.

I went to an audition the other day. I sat in a room full of women my age or older, all of us with varying degrees of gray hair. I smiled the whole time! It’s a wonderful time to be an older woman. We are the “in” crowd. We are no longer relegated to useless or less than. Those days are over. People have begun to realize that the over-50 crowd has so much to offer.


I like the word “elder.” That is what I aspire to: a wisdom keeper, a mentor, a role model.


I have parents to thank for my attitude. They are a living testimony at 87 and 89 years old. They are my mentors and my reminders to laugh often, keep moving, eat small meals, keep your mind active, and be creative. Thanks, mom and dad, for showing me the way to age well and happy.

I like the word “elder.” That is what I aspire to: a wisdom keeper, a mentor, a role model. Art is my muse. Creating art with my hands, my body, my ideas, and concepts is essential to my well-being. I was a cowboy boot-wearing kid from the age of 5. At 59, I am a rebel, a strong adventurer, and a lover of the land and animals. I have been knocked down many times, but I keep getting back up. I keep going. My goals for life have always been to create art and evolve spiritually. My soul has a mission that I must fulfill. I must awaken to the greatest degree I can. There is still so much to learn.

Navya La Shay has been in the entertainment business since the age of 17. She describes herself as a “super feeler empath with a drive to understand life and her own incarnation.” 

Want to read more personal essays about aging gracefully? You can!

Photo: Kellie Walsh

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