The realities of age....

I have never much been one to worry about the trivial things in life. And for me, age is a pretty trivial thing. When I was in the 6th grade, I had a friend named Cindy. She had an older sister who was in *gasp* high school! She was the COOLEST. I had many a day dream about what my life would be when I finally reached the glamorous age of high school. :sigh:

I remember my first day of high school like it was yesterday. I was fascinated by the idea of meeting people who drove and had their own cars. And dating boys who shaved. As the weeks and months and years of high school went by, I had my share of wonderful and horrifying experiences. But I never did feel on the inside the way I always imagined Cindy's older sister felt. When would I feel like a grown-up?

After high school came marriage and the birth of my son. I would look into his little face with the big eyes and I would think. "Wow, I am a mom." And yet still, on the inside, I felt pretty much the same. When my son was young, I imagined my mom and how she seemed to me when I was little. She had a job and was married and was a mother. And I wondered, "when will I feel like a grown-up?"

Years went by. I went to college, graduated, went to work in politics. Flying around the country, working for and with important people. I was now a mom, a wife, a college graduate, and a career woman. And yet, I still wondered, "when will I feel like a grown-up?"

Now, at 35 I am still waiting. I don't know anymore what I am waiting for. I know I am not the same person I was at 15. Or 25. Damn, every time I think I have life figured out, ten years go by and a I look back and think. I didn't know a thing about anything. Yesterday, I looked at my 15 year old son and had the same thought I always have. Holy shit, I am a mom and THAT is my child. When the hell did that happen?

Getting older has never bothered me. Turning 30, 35, just didn't phase me. Each year that goes by, my life has just been better and better, so why would I mind getting older?

Yesterday after sitting down to do some knitting I came to the realization that I have the symptoms of arthritis in my left hand. This is not really so surprising. My grandmother had pretty bad arthritis in her hands. But now I am thinking a lot about aging and the unpleasantness that comes with the reality that we just aren't the same as we used to be. Things that never ached before now ache. Things that used to be up are down. There are few more grey hairs and some crows feet around the eyes. I accept these things. They really don't bother me that much in the scheme of things. But I still have just one question: When will I feel like a grown-up?


essjay said...

I wish I had the answer - I'm only 30 and still don't feel it. I do feel like a different person than I was in high school - I did a lot of maturing and changing in a good way but sometimes I still look at my life and think "wow I'm good at faking that I'm an adult!".

Lia said...

I don't know when feeling like an adult happens either, at least not feeling it internally. Physically, yes. The eyesight's getting worse, my knees are getting arthritic, I'm getting wrinkly...but I'm like SJ, I feel like I'm faking the whole "adult" thing. I suspect not giving in to the feeling of "adult," or worse, "old," is positive. I know people who think and act like "adults" and are the most miserably boring people to be around. I want goofy, I want cereal for dinner, I want to keep the sense of wonder that embracing adulthood steals. So, I take care of my adult responsibilities, then I go get my crayons and do some coloring. Life is good :)