Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Keep Your Words to Yourself, I've Got Plenty of My Own

It’s interesting that as children we were taught that the world is ours to own; all we needed to do was make a choice to become (or do) whatever we wanted, and it would be ours. If we wanted to be a firefighter, we would be. If we desired to become the President of the United States of America, more power to us! In my case I wanted to be a choreographer. Fat chance. Now I’m almost thirty and get sweaty and winded carrying the stupid laundry basket from the basement up to the second floor. My actual heart and soul plan was to get married, have 8 children, and just be a Mom. My dream job, seriously. Lies. I was fed lies.

I can’t escape the knowledge, however, that if I really set my mind to change my life, I could. I’m not saying for the better, but I could do it. I could up and move in a second. Leave my job. Forget about family and friends. Pack up and move away and start over. Write. Paint. Draw. Find a guy. Get married. Buy a nice little fixer-upper that’s completely telling of the type of people we are, full of odds and ends (useless things) which have been converted, contorted and restored into beautiful masterpieces – or at least eclectic wall hangings.

Crap. No one prepared me for THIS life, the one I ACTUALLY have. In and of itself, I like it. I live it. It’s fine. But whenever that magnifying glass of circumstances highlights the bare bones reality of it for a little too long (or SOMEONE steps in from the periphery and asks what the heck am I doing with my life) …I feel like Tommy Boy and I want to scream: “Forget it, I quit, I can't do this anymore, man. My head's about to explode. My whole life sucks. I don't know what I'm doing, I don't know where I'm going. My dad just died. We just killed Bambi. I'm out here getting my @$$ kicked and every time I drive down the road I wanna jerk the wheel INTO A BRIDGE ABUTMENT.”

Only in my case, my Mom just died.
Oh, and my Uncle.

I’ve also become incredibly irresponsible lately. Or perhaps, lazy, is a better term for it. Lazy as in, I don’t care about certain things, I don’t care about answering you. I don’t particularly care to R.S.V.P. to anything at the moment because odds are that I am not going to write it down anyway, so what’s the point?

I was chatting with the lovely “Literary Lily Cate” in her beautiful cottage in the woods last night, when she brought up a lovely point. We’re old…or….almost. We’ll both turn 30 soon. It doesn’t FEEL old, yet life around us reminds us of the true fact that time continues to move forward. Most people my age are watching their children do the things that it seems like we were doing yesterday… And how is it that we have passed that season of life where everyone is falling in love, getting engaged, getting married and having babies. Somehow we’ve fast-forwarded to the time where the news is very regularly about someone getting hurt, getting sick, and/or dying. Really?

For a moment yesterday I imaged myself living the life that I would have pictured for myself as a child. I saw 3 scenarios:

1.) A choreographer and an actress. Living in Hollywood and running my own studio that was vibrantly coloured and filtered in the warm glow of the setting sun…

2.) An improv actress living in New York City. Of course a regular, perhaps a writer, on Saturday Nite Live…

3.) A Mother. This one overlapped them all. I wasn’t a girl that planned many specifics…but by now I’d have been married and have at least 3 kids, pregnant with number 4.

My life is what it is. I made choices because I felt that they were right. In reality, if I hadn’t have made the decisions that I did, the odds are very highly that any of those 3 options would be my life today. But when faced with turning points and major life decisions, I made them, and here I sit. Not regretfully, mind you. In some cases I actually know the downfall my life would have had, had I have dove in head first, without a thought or concern. I’ve been spared from a lot.

Even so, it’s others my age or younger that make it difficult. A friend of mine ALWAYS hated even the IDEA of children. I cannot say that I ever saw her hold or even talk to a child. She was quite like “The Witches” who could smell a child across the room, and the odor was repugnant. Her focus was corporate life, and that is all she wanted. Even into her first year of marriage she felt the same. That was years ago. Now, with a few kids under her belt, she is an at-home Mother. Her comment to me, in passing; “Isn’t it funny how you’ve loved and wanted children your whole life – and I NEVER did? And now I have kids and am learning to love it? Isn’t God funny?”

Funny? Not the word I’d use in that scenario, Sunshine, but thanks. Also, if you’re walking barefoot, there are some tacks over there that you can go ahead and step on. Thanks.

I’m not complaining. Just being cynical. I’ve always learned to laugh at my life, because if I don’t…well, then I’ll probably lose my mind! You’d find me working at a thrift store, manically sorting all the clothes by color. Or, lining up everything on the shelf JUST right and pacing around, fretting, as germy people stroll in and then begin moving my perfectly place items around, or turning them just slightly enough that I want to rip my hair out, or punt a kitten. DO THEY NOT KNOW THAT THEY ALL HAVE THERE PLACE ON THAT SHELF??

Man, I’d be an awesome case study on OCD if I ever went loony. Not that I’m planning on it. I’ve got better things to do.


Lily Cate said...

Wow, I sound like such a downer.
I think the "you can be whatever you want" crap should have been tempered with, "And when something doesn't work out, you'll be smart and clever enough to find another way".
The most important lesson you can teach a kid is how to recover from failure. Otherwise, you're like me, hitting 30 and going, "But I'm not a success yet!"

Electric Youth said...

Ha, you are definitely not a downer. Maybe our family is - but we're not! Ha!

I know, it's crazy the things that people are taught. Maybe we're lucky to have the family that we have. We're realistic. Sarcastic, yes, but very realistic. No one is perfect. People will let you down. Actually, there is no one immune from letting you down - we're human! Life more than likely will not turn out the way that you intend it to...but it's the process, right? It's all about your attitude and heart reactions within your situation.

So, while others look at my life and judge it with their noses in the air. I'm not depressed. I don't feel sorry for myself. Actually, I'm quite happy with life. Find joy in the little things, cause I can't do much about the bigger things!

Also, I have to go to the bathroom right now.

chen said...

You silly girls.
In about ten years you'll look back at this point in your life and realize that although you THOUGHT you were old . . . you were really just beginning. Life really begins at 30. . .

Allison said...

Yes, life DOES begin at 30! 30 is nothing, and there are so many years to fall in love, have babies, etc.

Electric Youth said...

I know. It's funny how time changes things though. I remember looking at people in their 30s who just started having babies...and I thought, they're old. Whether wrong or right. I kind of just grew to think that if I didn't have kids by thirty...I wouldn't really want to start then. Now, after 30 years of singleness, I've grown to just accept the fact that I'll more than likely be single for the rest of my life. That's not a terrible thing. I'd hate to grow old alone, with no family near by. But if that's what happens, that's what happens, right? My frustration comes more from the outside pressures that are put on you at this age. Others thinking that you're unfulfilled or needing so much more. Is it because they are unsatisfied with their lives, that they then feel the need to "encourage" you that "You're going to get married"..."some man will get a treasure once he finds you".

Sometimes I just want to say - I'm an adult now. I don't need to believe in the fairytale of what life *should* look like. I mean, who set that as the standard anyway?

That's my rant. lol