Thursday, June 13, 2013

almost forty.

catching up

I've thought about this space often in the past month as I've posted not so often.
Good thoughts and bad thoughts. Thoughts of indifference.
I've been thinking about what to say here and my mind draws a blank.
Nothing feels all that important to share. And at the same time the things on my mind lately are far too important and personal to share here.
And I don't have any fabulous photos I'm just giddy about.

In fifteen days I turn 40, and I'm feeling rather blah about it all.
Another decade has almost passed, and it's left me with a lot of thinking about what has transpired since I turned 30:
got engaged
moved back in with my parents
planned a wedding
got married
quit a job
moved to a new city, leaving a city I had always called home behind
found a job
got laid-off
found another job - hated the commute
found a job two miles from home - loved the commute!
got pregnant
had a baby
went back to work
quit work
heartbreak over the death of a best friend
stayed home
had two seizures and broke a shoulder blade all in one night
started taking medication I will be on for the rest of my life
stayed home with my sweet little Max
tried like crazy to have another child
then threw a crap-load of money at the attempts to try to have a second child
gave-up trying to have a second child
more heartbreak over the death of my beloved Maggie dog
took a few college credit classes here and there
drove Max here there and everywhere - school, speech appointments, swim lessons, tball, soccer, parties, etc.
watched my only boy get on a school bus last September
lots of trips to the city that will always be home
lots of visits with my sister friends in that city that will always be home
angry words
more tears
more laughter
enthusiasm and dreams traded in for reality of mid-life adulthood

Who knew you could shove so much into a decade?
No wonder I'm exhausted and feel more like I'm turning 50.
No wonder people say the 30s are the hardest years.

I always thought the older I got the more sure of my self and my life I would feel.
But I think I felt surer of myself when I was in my 20s and in college.
The path was clear. My mission was clear. I wasn't doing too many things at once.
I wasn't wearing too many hats and trying to fill others' cups and spreading myself too thin.
I was simply and unapologetically, ME.

Funny thing about the passage of time - looking back at gives you more points with which to reference what was really good, what was really bad, when you felt sure of things, when you had no clue. Sure, if you had asked me when I was 23 and just starting my MA if I knew what I was doing, I'd have looked you straight in the eye and told you "No, but I'm just going to do it anyway. And I'll do it with flying colors and bells on." Looking back - that 23 year old sure as hell knew what she was doing. That girl knew what she was doing far more than the almost-40 year old person I've become. Ask me that today and I'd likely not look you in the eyes, shrug, burst into tears and tell you I have no clue what I'm doing or who I am anymore.
Mid-life crisis? (Yeah, just a bit...)

So I'm left wondering, "what's the point of this post?... why am I writing it all here?...who's going to read it?...." I'm writing this to leave this as one of those reference points that I will look back on five, ten, twenty years from now and be able to say, "Yes. That was hard, but you got through it. See, it all turned out okay."

I'm in that place of "what's the point? does any of this really even matter anymore?" (I know it does, but humor me for a bit..)
Maybe it's the monotony of motherhood.
Maybe it's a lack of sole focus on just me that comes with marriage and motherhood.
Maybe I took off in such a sprint once I got out of college 15 years ago, that I didn't take the proper time to take care of myself along the way.
And now I'm paying the price for all that sprinting.
Sitting on the sidelines of my life, head in my hands, dripping in sweat, salty tears on my face, trying desperately to catch my breath while I wait for that 25 year old me to slowly catch-up. And man, I think that 25 year old me is a little pissed I left her behind like that...oh boy, have I got some explaining to do...

I'm not sure anymore.
I've over-thought it to death and it's rolling over in its grave now.

Forty will come and go. It's just another day.
Another trip around the sun.
And I'll keep on keeping on...
Maybe I'll slow it down a bit this next decade.
Maybe I've learned from some of the mistakes of the past.
I suppose time will tell.


Amy Bramer said...

Andrea. I seriously wish we could sit and drink a beer together right now. And if you don't drink beer then I will...and probably cry through it. I relate so much to a lot of this! I have been feeling directionless and a bit lost since Charlotte started school this past Fall and I feel like an idiot about it all.What am I doing? What am I supposed to be doing?! Mid-life crisis? Yes, I think so. I totally get it. Hang in there, mama... and from the bottom of my heart, thanks for sharing.

Michelle said...

For not knowing what to say, I'd say you said it brilliantly. Absolutely perfectly stated, Andrea. I think Motherhood (and Wifehood) muddles things for us. I think when we are single or childless it's a much more black and white road, that pretty much revolves around us (singularly) and things are so much clearer. Add in husbands and children and pretty soon you're trying to do what's best for multiple people at once... and that muddies the waters.

I adore this post. I know that each decade has had it's highs and lows. I love your list because it's so full. Even when it feels like we're living these mundane, repetitious days, they are full of some incredible (some good, some hard) things.

Happy Birthday, A!!