NEWSFLASH: I will turn 49 this year.
How did this happen? WHEN did it happen????
I asked these questions this morning when I realized that I’ll be reaching one year away from the half century mark this April (and that’s April 22nd by the way….mark your calenders. I want good stuff this year!!) It will happen as all my birthdays happen—without my consent.
I will grow one year older, but on that day, will I have grown one year wiser?
We are just over four months away from that auspicious date. Let’s debate my wisdom, shall we?
Everything I’ve learned is helping me now, because as I type this, I stand on the precipice of many things. My life has far more focus than ever before. I’ve more personal and professional potential than I’ve ever had and I’m more than grateful for any and all possibilities.
To whom much is given, much is expected. And I am ready, willing and able to rise to every expectation.
I’m a different person than I was five years ago. This is a very good thing. For the first time ever, I’ve been instrumental in changing the fabric; the very texture of my life. No one else had a hand in the transformation. So, if I stand on a precipice at all, it’s because I brought myself to this point. I wasn’t lead by anyone; I wasn’t forced here at emotional gunpoint. If I jump, I jump because I want to and this time, I land where I want. I do so on my own terms. I am, for the first time in my life, well prepared. I packed my own parachute. I trust me now.
In the simplest terms, I am here, in my life by choice because I want to be. I’m no longer willing to go…do… or become something just because some siren’s song or muse is egging me on.
I want to enter 2008 being content with being content. No drama, no toxic upheavals. I just want the simple joy one would find in a great job, a new partner, a house that I..we..make into a home. For the first time in my life, I see the advantages of partnering; of completely living in concert with someone. It now makes perfect sense. And it no longer scares me.
I can finally say without reservation, that I want to make plans to spend my life with someone, even if that means our life together won’t turn out exactly as I had planned.
That statement is courtesy of age and maturity, two things helping me exorcise the demon that is my fear of change. It’s helping me come to terms with aging, which I’ve always known is an inevitability, but personal growth is not. The two are mutually exclusive. What I know now that I didn’t know before is that growth is a conscious choice.
And I’m making the conscious choice to grow this year. Professionally and of course, personally.
OK—let’s talk about relationships:
Things are their worse when change gets in the way of fantasy. How dare it do that? Our vision and version of love–the romantic kind that gives relationships it’s pretty faux covering, always changes because the relationship always changes over time. The death nail is hammered in place when we refuse to allow ourselves to ride the tide of change.
If we enter into a new love with unrealistic expectations–and we all do– disappointment will end up being the only net result. I’ve learned that I’ve got to go into these things knowing that change is inevitable. But instead of lamenting what was, I have to work to create what will be. And that will work for the time being because invariably, in five years, when the passing of time brings with it other changes, I’ll do what I need to do.
I’ll have to, because life and love are fleeting; both are mercurial and never static. We have to be willing to change. Rigidity always fails us.
But I don’t want to wake up 15 years from now and have a lifeless marriage. That said, I don’t want to get bogged down using those useless emotions and tactics that we “think” will stall the inevitable. I’ve tried them all—-manufactured jealousy, clinginess, neediness, being aloof, creating some ridiculous “distance” that an article in Cosmo insisted should be employed…none of these ploys work.
I hear the words “authentic self” a lot lately…namely coming frown my own lips. After all these years of playing the role of Laurie Kendrick, do I even know what that is?
Sometimes, it’s in letting go that actually allows us to embrace. That includes my doubts about my own identity. But it’s the initial release that’s so frightening, isn’t it? And why hold on to that which doesn’t work? Is it just because it’s familiar? We get used to the pain and chaos and we keep it around, no matter how much it hurts?????
Sadly, we do.
I once dated a guy with whom I briefly entertained the notion of “forever”. He and I had grandiose plans for our life together. We were going to take countless trips; we were going to buy property in the Texas Hill Country on which we’d build our dream home. We were going to remodel the kitchen; make it bigger because we had this romantic notion that we wanted to dance as we prepared dinner together. We were going to get an over-sized hammock and put it in the backyard and make love outside, under the stars every night.
The relationship ended, but not before we went to Vegas together once….just once.
We only looked up Texas Hill Country property on the Internet.
The cramped kitchen stayed cramped and we actually bought a hammock for the backyard, but it was never used and the elements rotted the jute in a matter of weeks.
In fact, because of the light from the city, you couldn’t even the stars from our house at night.
The reality of all that didn’t happen had eclipsed the fantasy and the relationship was doomed, long before the hammock was purchased. By that time, the damage was irreparable and I walked away, fractured and forever changed.
And that makes this relationship one that’s best viewed through hindsight.
Much has changed since then. This is a different time and place. I’m certainly a different woman.
I sit here today, confessing that I don’t have all the answers, but at this stage of my life, I also have fewer questions. I’m no longer threatened by change because I view it differently. Change isn’t always portentous of endings; rarely the menacing juggernaut we fear it is. It can also represent new beginnings. I now recognize that particular kind of change when it’s in front of me.
I am seeing evidence of my authentic self starting to emerge.
These remedial precepts I now employ are rather new for me, but I like how they make me feel these days. More importantly, I like how they make me think. Things are OK right now. I mean really OK. There’s a burgeoning cohesiveness that’s beginning to feel so damn right. The possibilities, I think, could soon be vast and far reaching. My life is centering and the process is remarkably effortless.
I’ve rarely ever been able to say any of those things, much less actually apply them to my life. Everything is becoming so clear. My wisdom is becoming 20/20.
The future is now and it’s about being here; in the present.
It’s confidence; it’s anticipation. It is hope.
I look in the mirror and and an almost 49 year old woman smiles back at me. And she looks damn real.
Oh so, THIS is what hope looks like???
Well, then thank God, this is how it feels.