Wednesday, April 6, 2016
It's fun to write a blog when you know that nobody will be reading. That's because I haven't written anything in over four years. Why is that, you ask? Well, because my life unraveled four years ago, and I am still putting together the pieces.
First of all, my kid had a crisis . . . a really, big, bad, scary crisis. As all you moms know, if you're kid has a problem, YOU have a problem. I can't go into details, because I respect her privacy. More importantly, she's pretty happy right now, and so I don't need to dredge up what happened four years ago. So I won't. Suffice to say, the kid recovered much faster than her parents. Her parents are still hurting.
Then, of course, 2012 was the year that I realized we were going to lose our house. In 2013, we did. We escaped to Camarillo. Then, after I discovered how miserable I was there and how haunted that house was, we came back. For the last two years, we've been perched up on a hill overlooking the entire San Fernando Valley, which is awesome except for the noise and light pollution. I am not in nature, as it turns out, only NEAR nature. That has been the cause of more upset than one can imagine. You see, I am a Highly Sensitive Person who is drained and freaked out and stressed by noise. So I can't handle the roar of traffic, no matter how desirable the area or how perfect the view.
I turned 50 last May and I'm about to turn 51. It sucks and I hate it. I have to be honest here; if you want to read what I SHOULD feel or remind me how grateful I should be for all that I have (I know; I do know how lucky I am, believe me), please don't read any further.
I hate my age for many reasons. First of all, I am too young to accept the weight of the number. More than anything, it's the culture that hurts me. I am bombarded with messages from multiple sources about what my age "means." I am lumped in with people over 70, as if I had anything in common with the Boomers. I am constantly reminded that I am not hot, not anybody's idea of attractive, and should not grow my hair long or wear a bikini (gross, a 51 year old in a bikini, please cover up). There are social and cultural rules that didn't apply to me a year ago, but now do--simply due to a number that is so arbitrary and bizarre that I can't wrap my head around it.
I'm not denying that things change. I went through menopause this last year--actually my last period was June, 2014, on the first day of summer school. Since then, my poor body tries to have a period but just can't manage it. For those of you upset or disgusted that I would talk about periods and menopause, get the hell over it. Because I am going to write about all of those things that I'm not "supposed" to, and I'm giving myself the gift of not caring what the critics think. OK, so back to hormones. Hormones rule pretty much everything, as I've discovered. The hot flashes come and go, but hey, I got my first hot flash almost ten years ago, so that's nothing new. What IS new is what happens to your skin. That firm, dewy, plump skin that we can hang onto until we turn 46 (the year you age quickly, especially if your kid has a crisis) disappears, leaving you with hollowed out eye sockets, no cheeks, loose skin under your neck, super dry skin everywhere and the general sense that you need to start shedding some serious dough to see who, among all those plastic surgeons in the valley, might return to you what you have lost. Here is a photo where you can see what I'm talking about:
Finally, what happens, is that you just burn yourself out on these thoughts. There is a decent chance that I'm only halfway to my death. I probably have well over 40 years left. That's a long time to spend unhappy about anything. The real problem I have is not wanting to grow up or make the transition into the second half of my life. I've always been young, and now I'm being dragged kicking and screaming into new territory, where I don't know the rules and I don't understand what comes next. I did everything I was supposed to do--I got my degrees, my houses, my awesome job, and now I just hit "REPEAT" every day, because I don't know what else I am supposed to do!!!!!
I experimented with the entertainment industry (NO THANK YOU), I burned myself out on the paranormal and the constant study of life after death; realizing that I was spending all of this time on the survival of consciousness and yet had no clue how to actually live the life I am currently in. So the 'paranormal' and all the silliness around it has left me totally uninterested in continuing to record random snippets of disembodied voices, because after all, HOW MANY TIMES can you send out audio files of weird sounds that nobody is going to listen to anyway? My friendships all dissolved as well, for many, many reasons, but probably because they were based on fantasies of becoming a little rich and a little famous via our teams of intrepid explorers of dark rooms.
No interest has come along to replace those things I did for myself and myself alone. I am pretty lost, truth be told. That is why it bothers me to be almost 51: I have nothing to show but an older face and body for the passage of time. I am renting a house when I always owned one before; I have zero prospects for finding satisfaction or interest in the 'paranormal' again; my friendships have dwindled and disappeared; my kid is raised, so I don't even have to do that anymore; and I just don't feel excited about anything.
And I love ALL my students, even the ones hard to love, even the ones who don't want my love, and I love my pastor who works so hard with a very difficult group of people.
So I keep loving and hope that all the rest will fall into place on its own. It usually does.