I know I said I was taking a break, but I just wanted to share these things while I am thinking of them:
My birthday is this week, and I tend to do a lot of thinking and self-evaluation as another year of life rounds the bend. I am very grateful for my life and the blessings I have. While there are a few things that seem to haunt me and cause me pain, overall, as I said, I am very blessed.
The past few weeks, I have been thinking about the positives of getting older. I’ve been noticing a change in how I think about myself. I do still tend to be critical of myself, but I am quick to notice that no one is perfect and to put that kind of pressure on myself is a useless waste of time.
When I was a teenager, I was always concerned with the superficial things found in material items and even in relationships. At the same time, as any teenaged girl is given to do…I had that false sense of thinking I knew what I wanted (the ladies can back me up on this). I see it everyday in my students. They seem so confident and focused. They have their eyes on the future; however, at their tender age, what they don’t know is that there will be all of those potholes we all hit…all of the distraction, hurt, good things that sideline our dreams and aspirations, and the not-so-good things. They see the potential and the dream of the future. With some maturity and some experience, though, I’ve realized that taking one day or week at a time is probably best, now. Having dreamy-eyed hope and a belief that my goals are a 100 percent obtainable and that my path is limitless…well, that is the dream that belongs to a kid who doesn’t know better…yet.
When I was that wide-eyed kid, I had hopes of being a wife and a mom. That’s all I wanted. Well, I’ll be 42 in a few days…don’t think it is happening for me…at least the mom part. Even in that disappointment, and I admit freely that disappointment (when my kids ask if I’m married and have kids, I do have a hard time fighting back pain in front of them), I’ve had to adapt and find a life for myself that I didn’t dream of: going to college at a non-traditional age, succeeding greatly, and then becoming an educator.
Then there are those things I thought I wanted as a younger girl, that as I got older, I realized, I wasn’t ready for them or would not have been happy if I had them, because, again…with age comes experience.
That experience in life is priceless. As I get older, I feel myself settling into the foundation, like a house. There might be a few creaks and cracks, but the house is sturdy and loved. A lot of life has taken place in the house.
I know what it is like to sit and enjoy some quiet and to not have to be out and about all of the time, when at one time, all I wanted was to flitting here and there. I know what it is like to smile in a very contented manner because I just had a good time sitting watching television with a friend or just going to get some coffee with a friend. I can truly appreciate not having the angst of a young teen or even as a woman of 10 years ago—not caring too much what others think and enjoying the moment. I’ve even started to embrace some of my jiggle (would be nice if other people would, but hey, can’t win them all).
I often tell my teen girls that I would not trade places with them at all. I don’t miss the false confidence and falsely thinking I knew what wanted. When we are young we have stars in our eyes and are blinded by the flash and dazzle of what we perceive to be the wisdom and worldliness of those older than us. We follow them like pied-pipers.
Now, as I get older I realize, we are all pretty screwed up at times. However, when we embrace our imperfections and our ordinary mundane selves…then we are real, we are honest, and we are adult.