This might sound odd, but I can’t stop thinking about being 13-15 years old. I remember hating it so much at the time–but I miss the innocence. The drama (ok sort of miss that), the excitement the newness of everything. Not that current life isn’t dramatic or exciting..its just that now I am an adult and I feel the weight of being one. I know I can’t do irrationally impulsive things, I can’t throw dramatic fits of rage because my hair doesn’t look cute ( well, internally they still exist) and I can’t feel that overwhelming sadness over wishing I was a singer or movie star. I don’t want to be a singer or movie star, wait…I guess I wouldn’t mind being one. But when you are 13 that is pretty much what you want to be. You long to look like the girls on tv, you yearn for the days when you will be old enough to do those worldly things and then one day you realize, hey guess what? I am 37 and I didn’t do those big dream things that I wanted to do. I did the wonderful things that I wanted to do and sometimes take them for granted– Boo. I fell in love with the most amazing man at age 22, found a safe and sensible career path, had a beautiful wedding, bought a great little starter home and had a perfect baby. As I type this I think I know what is going on inside my head…I had a baby.
Wait, let me explain this more.
We struggled to conceive. I have had issues most of my life with my menstrual cycle and it became more and more bizarre and illusive over the years–those children baring years. When we finally decided we were ready for the next step–we were disappointed it wasn’t happening. We went through all of the fertility issues and drama that you read about and it was extremely intense, dramatic, emotional,draining and scary. But it sure did keep me on my toes emotionally speaking. It felt like a movie sometimes with how our conversations would go and how things would play out. It almost felt unreal. Like it was scripted. I still felt like I was 13 watching this play out on the big screen.
After several disappointing tests and no’s from the Dr, we decided it was best to take a break. Our path was now not on getting pregnant, but living the best life we could. Which was exciting. We were trucking along when suddenly I got pregnant. I was shocked, confused, excited and then there it came…angry.
I know I don’t tell a lot of people this. I don’t want to be judged. But here it is, honesty. So judge away judgey heads.
I was finally doing some new things and felt like for once I was living my life outside the box. I wasn’t doing anything dramatic yet–but moving towards it. I was ready to go skydiving, travel to Europe and buy that convertible that I always wanted. I was ready to move down a path that I suppose I knew all along I really wanted, but was afraid to go down alone.
So now, I am pregnant and I for sure can’t be selfish and do whatever I want. No way. I have to be a mom and protect him and make sure everything is amazing for him. Not for myself.
This is where the “I miss being 13” comes in.
I miss being young. But at the same time, I wouldn’t trade any second of my life that I have lived to get me to this exact spot–sitting here typing this to the world to read. I have learned quite a bit about myself and realized I am so much more amazing and beautiful then I could have ever imagined at age 13. I don’t necessarily mean physically…no. I just mean that why in the world does it take 25 years to finally like yourself? Perhaps that is why I long to go back and be 13 again.To do things differently for myself. Spend less time worrying about the way my hair looked, spend less time obsessed with the reflection in the mirror and all the flaws that I imagined. I wish I could go back and hug that girl. Tell her how much I love her and how smart and funny she is. How growing up doesn’t mean being boring or losing yourself. Growing up doesn’t mean instantly making a ton of money. Growing up doesn’t mean “finally I am beautiful”…you were all along. I wish I could tell her to stop wasting time wondering if she is in fact pretty. I wish I could go back and tell her to stop being afraid of everything. To stop being scared that people would judge her and wouldn’t like her anymore. To stop focusing on the negative, to stop living life with blinders on. To realize that life is not like the movies–that the actors themselves feel the same way she does-confused and scared. That photoshop is running rampant in every magazine she reads. That the pain will go away. That the hatred she feels for herself isn’t real. It’s her fear talking. To tell her that it’s ok if she doesn’t know the answer in class, it’s ok if she makes a fool out of herself, it’s ok if she falls in love with people who turn out NOT to be the one she spends the rest of her life with. That she is going to be disappointed by more than one friend. It’s all ok. She will become a much stronger and honest person for it. She will surprise herself by how intelligent she really is. By how intuitive she is to other peoples pain and how she can empathize easily with others. She will learn that being an amazing person isn’t looking runway ready–it’s helping someone who is ready to throw in the towel. It is knowing that another lovely soul is hurting and she can listen. It is knowing deep inside she made another person finally see the shiny, bright sunshine within. She will learn that laughter is one of her true passions and there will be some awesome people to share that with her. She will understand just what it means when someone else falls in love with her. She will know they are being true. She will love all the imperfections in her life. The messy house (created by a small little blonde beauty and a really tall handsome man), the larger sized pants (they house a still beautiful woman who has always been able to turn a mans head–even at a size 14 and higher), the decent paycheck that doesn’t seem decent enough (which is way more than she could ever imagine making at age 13, 20 or 35), the dirty older car (that is paid off and considered a luxury car, thousands of people would love to have her car), the lack of a college degree (she can take a class tomorrow and graduate on the Dean’s list in no time, guaranteed), not enough excitement (create it my dear, thus the reason for my 40 before 40 list–you are in charge of all of the excitement in your life, don’t pretend you have no control over this!), family isn’t around (they are—sister in law–10 minutes away, one of the funniest and caring people you have ever met in your life, so thankful to God she is here for you, Brother–umm, hello, 40 minute drive–just go make the time to be with him, sister in law–same, lovely, beautiful, sensitive and so, so special to me, little muffin niece Lucy—hello? Cuteness personified, your father/mother in law–amazing. Couldn’t have asked for better people to be in your life. They cheer you on when you aren’t even looking. They speak about things when they need to speak about them and pretend things are peachy keen when you need them to pretend. So wonderful. Cousins??!! Betsy/Dana and your Aunt Pat now. A little piece of Iowa here in the PacNW for you. A great reminder of all that you have in your life, hilarious and exciting people to spend time with. Go getters—life makers–fearlessness and pride. So yes–your parents are miles away and you wish the perfect dream of living in the same town with your parents was alive and well, but guess what? They are happy and that is what matters. You have been allowed to grow up without them standing over your shoulder. They are a phone call away and a very short plane ride. They will always think of you as their baby, they will always be there at the drop of hat. They are living life right along side you.You just don’t see it.
The bottom line. You aren’t 13 anymore, so let go of her.
She is the same person that you are today. You can talk to the same person and she will feel the same things. You can tell her how much you love her and are so proud of where she has landed. On her feet and full of life.
She is pretty gosh darn awesome. And even when you watch Miley Cyrus videos and wish you were 15 again so you could live like a free teen again, remember…you are a free adult and you make all the calls. You can still dress up in heels, too much makeup and go out with the girls. You can still daydream about the business you want to own. You can still have crushes on your dreamy husband and you can still watch stupid movies and laugh all night long with him. You can get the most amazing hugs and kisses from the greatest thing you have produced. In his eyes, you are the love of his life.
So learn to look through his eyes. Feel proud of who you have become. Be glad that you can still write the ending to your own novel. Be excited that you can make any move at any time. You can do absolutely anything and you will continue to meet lovely people who will see the bright, sunshiny person that you have become.
Free writing at it’s best people. To remind myself that I am pretty gosh darn awesome.