I am lucky to say that I’m still tight with my girlfriends from childhood. We talk about everything you can imagine a bunch of middle age moms would talk about, but for some reason, the conversation always has a smattering of bizarre topics that make me snort laugh. This morning I choked on the spit I inhaled while re-reading a chat thread which included all of the following topics in no particular order:
Contempo Casuals, Bocephus, penis size, gluten free food, pooping in your pants, mean girls, lesbians, snoring husbands, frequency and quality of current sexual activity, frequency and quality of past sexual activity, food in general, good eating habits, shitty eating habits, kids acting like jerks, the difference between an 18 year old penis and a middle age penis,
shopping for “fuck me” shoes, money, not having money, being fat, being skinny, being old, being young, and the good old days when wearing fringed boots made you feel “unstoppable.”
SIGH. It was so awesome.
"Youth is wasted on the young." George Bernard Shaw
PREACH IT, GEORGE! Your wise words might just be one of the only well known old adages that rings true for everyone. I have yet to hear a person who wasn't a full blown sociopath or schizophrenic deny that hindsight gave them 20/20 (another one of those adages). I don’t know if it’s the same for men, but almost all the women I know regularly find themselves contemplating and then communicating their contemplations in an effort to make sense of the chaos that is their current life circumstances.
Maybe that’s why women tend to live a bit longer than men? Maybe the universe is all, “Hey you over there with the saggy jugs! Yeah, you! Good job thinking it through and being curious about stuff and wanting to find meaning and wonder and all that other shit. Ima give you some extra years to figure it out.” So the big U gives us a handful more years to over think every goddamn thing five times 100 to the cubed to the infinity times.
That’s what I think. But as usual, I digress.
The last couple of weeks wreaked havoc on my heart. I spent a lot of time in quiet contemplation, phase three squared times 16, wondering what the fark my problem could possibly be and why I was so lost in my own head. I mean, Jaysus, I’m totally on the right meds, my personal life is stable for the first time in I don’t know HOW long, my first book came out, my stress level is manageable for the first time in I don’t know HOW long, my kids are healthy and happy. Overall, I have very little reason to feel so very blue. Oh- but I did, and my shade of blue was smurf in the dark.
But why? WHY was I down in the dumps having a slumpy funk?
The reason was simple really, yet I didn’t really put it all together until I had coffee with my father last Sunday morning. What? I had coffee with my father? How is that possible when he’s been dead for 10 years? Easy! I bought myself a cup of coffee and went to the cemetery where my pop is buried and we talked about it. Well, I talked and he listened.
At least I believe he did.
And I realized that although it seems immature and pathetic since I’m a 43 year-old woman, but goddammit I just really miss being young! IT WAS SO MUCH FUN! I miss being taken care of. I miss the simplicity and safety of being a naive kid who could make mistakes and really muck things up, yet still have a soft place to fall when the pain of learning came crashing down. In hindsight, the reason for my funk is so damn obvious, but I was lost in it over the last few weeks, feeling a wee bit pissed that I had to keep putting one foot in front of the other because I am the fucking grown up now.
I just had to wrap my head around the new normal, again, to embrace a different life where the reality is exactly what I always hoped it would be, yet a reality that is fraught with unknowns. I am a middle-aged woman with two children and those children feel about me the way I felt about my parents growing up. They trust me. They aren’t afraid to fall or fail and they know I’m always here cheering them on and making sure they know how special they are. I celebrate them. Sometimes that reality needs to up and smack me upside the head to push me through the unending cycle of grief that comes with saying goodbye to the past.
My time as a child has long passed. It just took me a bit longer than most people to realize it and I seem to require frequent reminders that I'm not that 16 year old girl that is alive and well in my head.
Life. It’s what happens when you are busy making other plans ( John Lennon thankyouverymuch)! I am so glad that life didn’t happen to me while I was busy making other plans. I’m ridiculously grateful that I experienced all the moments that made up the years. It makes sense now, my temporary blue mood. I’m glad I have something to grieve, something to contemplate, people to miss and that I have such wonderful girlfriends who provide me with a soft place to fall with – especially since that place allows me to briefly feel like I'm still a careless teenager, even just for a moment.
"Friends are the family you choose for yourself." Edna Buchanan
Hey Edna - I think you'd really like the family I chose, because every one of us would bury a body if the other one needed help. No questions asked.
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Tags: Aging, Edna Buchanan quotes, Friends are the family you choose for yourself, George Bernard Shaw quotes, Grieving the loss of a parent, Moms who drink and swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind, Stages of Grief, Youth is wasted on the young