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.