In the trail of human existence, an age-old temptation remains—the quest for eternal youth. Across cultures and centuries, we have sought ways to reverse the sands of time, yearning for the vibrancy and attraction of our younger years. But as we sprint through life in this marathon, it’s essential to remember: no matter how fast you run, someone will always be faster.

The ceaseless chase after agelessness often blinds us to a fundamental truth: the undeniable, inescapable, and beautiful impermanence of life. In our aspiration for forever, we often forget that forever is an illusion. For every moment spent basking in our prime, there will inevitably come a time when there’s someone younger, smarter, stronger, or faster just around the corner. And what then? When beauty fades, as it inevitably does, what remainders of self-worth are we left clinging to?

When the reflective pools of our youth transform into the sometimes distorted mirrors of age, it’s easy to get lost in the abyss of regret, pondering the “what ifs” and “if onlys.” When beauty has run its course, and time seems to pass us by, it’s worth asking—did we waste our younger years chasing after fugacious moments, or did we invest them wisely in experiences that enriched our souls?

There’s a piteous saying: “Youth is wasted on the young.” This doesn’t mean young people are unworthy of their tip-top condition, but rather that the wisdom of age often arrives too late. As the dawn of beauty rises, it brings with it the enticement of infinite possibilities. But as it sets, those same possibilities narrow. The question then becomes: What decisions did we make when the horizon seemed endless?

It’s not uncommon to hear tales of people who, in their prime, made choices driven by vanity and instant gratification, only to find themselves in challenging situations later in life. Being young and broke might carry its own air of romantic rebellion, but growing old with empty pockets feels like a tragic ballad of missed opportunities.

However, even in the aftermath of poor choices, there lies an opportunity—for growth, introspection, and learning. Broken relationships, for instance, can offer invaluable lessons about oneself, about the nature of love and commitment, and about the resilience of the human spirit. We must ask ourselves: did we nurture our relationships as diligently as we pursued our narcissism? Did we invest time in understanding and growing with our partners, or did we let the seduction of eternal youth guide us away from commitment and stability?

Our journey through life isn’t solely defined by the pinnacle of our youth, but by the entirety of our experiences. Every wrinkle tells a story, every gray hair a testament to a challenge faced and overcome. When beauty fades, we are not left empty-handed. Instead, we hold the memories, lessons, and relationships we’ve cultivated over the years.

So, as we continue this voyage, let’s remember to value not just the glow of our Best But also the twilight of our years. For in the end, it’s not how we looked in our brightest moment, but the legacy we leave behind that truly defines us.