Thursday, July 15, 2010
Living and Loving my Adulthood
Specifically, it was the twenty-something CJ I held on to. I didn't intentionally try to keep her around, but she was there, in my mental grip. CJ reminded me of what my life was supposed to look like. Who I was supposed to be as an artist, a writer, and a woman who always danced to the beat of a different drummer (as my mom used to say). She was who I saw myself as, and I held her tighter and tighter as I moved further and further away from her. However, in the illusion I had created, she and I were still the same. As a result, I never felt like an adult, even though I existed and navigated a very adult world.
I gradually started to notice I talked about what I used to do. I talked about the fabulous experiences of my past. I had great stories and they were always in context with the topic of the discussion, but they always featured twenty-something CJ. Yes, I've been to Paris. I had my own radio show in college. I sang at the famous Blue Note Jazz Club the night Ray Charles was there. Blah, blah, blah, blah blah. I never re-counted my exploits as faded memories because they were still vibrant and vivid in my mind. It always seemed like...just yesterday. Well, until I started counting back the years. The brutal truth was that my greatest adventures were 20 years behind me.
I finally got it through my head that I was not that twenty-something CJ. I was a chronically bored grown-up with a husband and three kids and had to take responsibility for my current boring, restrained 41 year old life. I know, I know! Things happens in life, and it doesn't always turn out the way we expect. So we change and adapt. I totally understand - but dang! I could be doing SOMETHING that felt like me. Growing up and maturing was one thing - living in a hectic, fast paced, boring rut was another. So I took responsibility.
I don't want anyone getting the wrong idea about my entering grown-upville. Taking responsibility for my life didn't result in me coming to my senses, digging my heels in and getting down to grown-folks business. I didn't miraculously start fulfilling the duties of a middle-aged, newly minted SAHM mom with acumen and zest. I am no cookie baking PTA president/den-mother/mini-van driving soccer mom. I took responsibility of the fact that I had let my life slip into something I didn't want. For me, true adulthood began when I decided to live out of who I was instead of living up to who I was supposed to be.
My young-ness is in full force, but it took becoming a grown-up to recover it.