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A Woman On The Verge

thoughts and musings of my mind

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growing up

Who’s getting old?

Missed CallThis morning I woke up and checked my blackberry well to see what time it was really, although checking messages is always important too, one must keep up with what is going on in the world you know. I saw I had two missed calls and a voice-mail, I started freaking out a bit because I was worried that I had missed a call from my parents.  I scrolled through to see that the area code wasn’t from my parents and I didn’t recognize the number so I just put the phone down and went back to sleep, you all do not want to think about what time I wake up on weekend mornings with out an alarm clock.

When I got up an hour later I checked my voice-mail just to get it cleared out and someone had drunk dialed me.  My first thought was, why don’t I ever get drunk dialed by people I know, this thought lasted about ten seconds because I realized all my friends are beyond the age and behavior of drunk dialing. We are all growing up and getting mature. Which is kind of sad because I miss those carefree days, but I also know it is part of the changing cycle of life.

I have thought about this some, since next summer is my 30th high school reunion.  I still have trouble realizing I graduated in the mid 80’s with all the big hair, Members Only Jackets, Parachute pants and John Hughes movies. Most of my classmates are married and busy sending their first born children off to university. My oldest niece had her first child, making me a great aunt, making my dad a great grandpa. There are days when I just want to throw caution to the wind and do something spontaneous, which is why I know I am not stuffy.

I mean do you ever get the urge to ride the cart through the parking lot after you have shopped?  I do, sometimes, and really the only thing that keeps me from doing, aside from my arthritic knees, is that it might not seem right as adult. I am glad my younger days were before the advent of social media. Only the universe knows what us Gen-Xers would have got up to if the incentive to have our pictures plastered all over the internet for free had existed back then.

I also don’t feel old, I just ignore the fact that I wear bifocals and my joints creak every time I work in the yard. I do know it is a state of mind. This is the entire reason I started writing this blog in the first place.  To talk about the events in the life of a woman striding towards her 50’s.  Yep you saw that and I will always admit to my age, no one believes me anyway.

So here’s to all the kids in us who want to ride the shopping carts through the grocery store parking lot, and wish we still had friends who drunk dialed us (okay maybe that is going a bit far) may the child in all of us always stay strong and be there to help keep us young!

The past me versus the present me

There is a lot to say here and this blog is a bit divergent in thoughts but I needed to get it down……

When I was in school – high school mostly, I was painfully shy.  I wasn’t a popular kid, but see I was kind of okay with that. I know some of my classmates would disagree with me about being shy because I was, well I am, a talker.  But, it could take me a long time to get to talking.  Things like giving speeches in front of the class terrified me. I really thought my dislike of giving speeches was writing up the outline, but my tenth grade English teacher may have figured out that it was more than that because he told me to audition for the school play.  I stumbled along through high school with my small group of friends, but even with that group I was on the fringe, in part because I didn’t grow up with these folks, I came into the community in the 8th grade.  As I got older I began exploring why I am the way I am. I know now it is because I get very socially anxious.  I have made inroads at putting myself out there to be less anxious and I am getting better at what I call my socialization experiments.

I know now I was like this through grade school, high school, college and through the present.  Sometimes making connections for me just seems to take so much work, I have friends who are naturals at it.  One of my good friends seems to know everyone in town, granted this is Charlotte NC and it is a small town, but it is fun to watch him network and I wish I was more like him.  I have always kind of been on the fringe of a group often included in things, but never feeling like I was truly part of the group.  I feel it most when I try to initiate some sort of gathering, because you see I LOVE to entertain, I can throw an amazing dinner party.

Oddly enough online I do not really have any of these issues; I truly feel I can be myself on the social networking venue.  I know it is partly because there are few distractions in my little office.

My mother encouraged this introverted type behavior.  She did not like us looking for friends outside of her self defined group of proper people, which generally meant kids from church and our very small family circle.  People from school were bad because they were according to my mother “out to get me and they weren’t with God” Again I was okay pretty okay with that, it wasn’t like I knew any different really, but it did color my attitude towards the people I went to school with, I never bothered to get to know anyone very well. I had a small group of friends at school but only one was allowed to visit my house.  I remember when my closest friend in high school invited me to go shopping at the mall and we would get there by riding the bus, or it may have just been that she got to go shopping at the mall and I wanted to go with her I forget which.  My mom actually accused her of being a bad influence on me; I was 15 or 16 I had never been to the mall with out my mom or grandmother.  Anyway back to my friend and the argument with mom.  Mom actually tried to tell me that my friend would lead me astray and we would get attacked by some rapist or something.  This argument had been a theme with my mom for ages something was always unsafe especially if she wasn’t there to control it.  I had to remind my mother that my friend also went to church and we were both fairly smart girls and I had ridden the bus to her workplace in downtown Seattle, I didn’t see how that was any different from riding the bus 10 miles to the mall in Federal Way was any different.  I did get to go to the mall, but I think my friend’s mom dropped us off and picked us up this was the compromise so that I could go shopping on my own with my friend.

We went through another bought of turmoil when I left to go to Western.  The Friday before I was to leave my mother decided to have a temper tantrum and threatened to not help move me up to Bellingham, she was off on a her theme that college was unsafe and that the people up there would corrupt me and take me away from God.  I had to reassure her that I already had the church picked out that I would attend, that our pastor had called the pastor of that church and talked to him and had assured HER that the church was a good one.  I spent two days trying to figure out how I would get my stuff to school with out her.  On Sunday, move in day, she relented and helped move me up.

I have to say at Western was kind of where I discovered that all was not normal in our little house, it took about a year to realize this.  That the control my mother, and eventually my younger brother wanted to exert over me was not just bordering on abusive, but it was abusive.  I spent the next ten years pulling myself out of the environment I grew up in and tried to create a safe non threatening environment for myself with friends and the rest of my family.  It honestly took me moving 3,000 miles away to get out of the circle of influence that those two people in my family had over me.  I know the change in me could not have happened any sooner, although I wish I could go back sometimes and try to create friendships with some of the people from High School that isn’t tainted by my attitude. I kind of regret that now I live 3,000 miles away from all these people who I have discovered aren’t so bad after all.

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