What Happened to Me?

When did I become so “old”, so boring?

Not too long ago, a Facebook post went around soliciting friends to “leave one memory you have about me”.  Of course, I couldn’t resist and I participated and posted this in my status.  One of my high school friends commented that she remembered how I would light up a room when I walked in.  In another post regarding my children’s accomplishments, a comment was made about my children being as smart and talented as their mother.   Wow.  That feels so long ago; another place; another life.

There was a time when I was involved in everything.  I was the president of many clubs.  I participated in competitions and won.  I could sing.  I could draw.  I could dance (I was a ballerina for many years).  I could speak in public without being nervous.  I was a straight A student – in high school and college.  I loved to let my hair down and party.  I attended numerous concerts.  I was involved in everything.  I didn’t care what anyone thought of me, but it must have been good, because I had lots of friends.  I was smart.  I was a lot of fun.  I was active and stayed busy, busy, busy.  I was a leader.

What happened to all of that?  As I matured (a fancy word for aged), little pieces of ‘me’ started to slip away.  As Bob Seger said, “So you’re a little bit older and a lot less bolder than you used to be.  You used to shake ‘em down, but now you stop to think about your dignity.”  I am not sure when my concern for dignity stepped into the picture.

Possibility #1:  I became a mom.  Add a full-time job outside of the home to the energy drain that comes with being a mom .

Possibility #2:  Several moves have changed my circle of friends.  Newer friends do not know the person I used to be.  Perhaps that is part of the reason I have lost part of who I am.  As I have gotten older, close friendships have been harder to develop.  I have found that I have become more reserved.  I suppose this is to keep from chasing away prospective friends.  Perhaps it’s also part of myself preservation — If you don’t’ completely know me, you cannot hurt me.  Yes even at such a “mature” age, I can easily be hurt if I let you get to close to my heart.  It has happened recently, so I know it’s still there.  I am sure this is true for anyone.  Now as I observe those around me, it seems my more reserved manner may have actually backfired and may be keeping others from seeking a closer bond with me.  When I search for an alternate word for reserved, snobbish comes up.  Is that what people perceive in me?

I have a few friends now that are similar in some aspects to the person that I used to be.  Maybe this is what drew me to them or vice versa; even if they cannot see the full me.  Of course, they are the top guests on party invitations, while I sit at home like the girl that doesn’t have a date to the prom.  The outgoing me has become the geek me:  glued to the computer, playing online games with people that I don’t see face to face, knitting, making jewelry, reading — all solitary activities in some form.  It has aged me, mentally and physically.

So now I am working on restoring my youth and vitality.  I can keep my solitary activities when I need to be present as a parent.  I have learned to juggle them quite well.  But now I am also going to seek out more adventurous opportunities.  I will not turn away an invitation (if I can prevent it—but remember I do have children).  I will attend concerts that make me feel young again (as my finances allow it).  I will take every opportunity to get out and experience the world — again as my finances allow.  Once it is financially feasible, I think I will get a passport.  Hmmm…being broke really sucks.

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