Many of my clothes are tight...okay, some don't fit at all, including a pair of jeans I previously loved that won't even think of going over my hips. I know, I know...I needed to gain a little weight and to anyone else it's only a few pounds, but once your (my) clothes don't fit right (ahem, feel tight), the insecurity creeps in and all you (I) can focus on is whether or not I look fat or if my pants are too tight.
Which leads to truth number two...
As I get older, I realize I am vain...something I'm not the least bit proud of, but as I find my body changing, my vanity is becoming much more prevalent. Example...I have always loved my neck, it's perhaps the only long thing on my body, and recently I find myself examining it carefully, looking for signs that it's starting to sag (yes...yes, it is). If you catch me touching my neck, maybe even wincing as I do...please judge me gently. I am simply trying to hold onto a fragment of my fleeting youth combined with the urge to fight my increasing self-consciousness and ever-looming fear that as I start "looking" closer to my real age my chances of becoming an old spinster go up exponentially.
I finally made up my mind to buy a house. What's the truth in that, you ask? For me, it's admitting that in making this decision, I have many fears. Doing this alone, while many do it all the time, is scary. And...it's just not something I ever thought I would be doing alone. But, I've been single a long time and that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon so it's time to make a change for myself. I am constantly playing the ping-pong game inside my head; tossing questions, fears, what if's and the like back and forth with no end in sight to the uncertainties and ultimate desire to see some neon light that will help me know for sure I'm making the right decision.
With a pre-teen comes the constant reminder that I know nothing. While I can SAY I know it's not personal, what I FEEL is much different. In a matter of what feels like minutes, I have gone from the person she thought knew everything...the one with all the answers, her go-to expert on everything...to someone who must be a complete idiot because with every eye roll, every "nevermind, Mom", every "I'll just ask my friend" I feel a little piece of my intelligence die right alongside my self-esteem. Sigh. Yes, I know this is normal. Yes, I know I'm not really stupid. Yes, I know she doesn't mean to hurt my feelings. Yes, I know I'm still the same person I was before she decided to grow up. Yes, I know this is all part of life. But...but, that doesn't mean I like it or that I'm okay with it or that it doesn't hurt or make me question whether or not I maybe don't know anything anymore. Parents who have survived raising pre-teens/teens...I have no doubt you understand exactly what I'm talking about. Parents of children who are still young and who still think you can do no wrong...cherish it. Enjoy every single exhausting moment.
And, lastly, something that has been swirling around and around in my head for days... Are any of us truly where we thought we would be at this point in our life? As I've started the house hunt, I am forced to admit that based on my budget, I am back to looking at what for most people is a starter home but what will, for me, be a long-term home. I'm forced to make many concessions - not that I have super high standards or that I need that much, but as I looked at my first few homes I couldn't help but be hit with this reality. No, I'm not looking for any consolation. It's fine, really it is. I have no doubt we will find the perfect little home for M and I. It's just that I am now thinking all of that through...is this really where I thought my life would be at 37 almost 38? And, if not, what on earth would I have different? I have a job I love, great friends, a healthy, thriving child...I have so much to be thankful for - and I am, please don't get me wrong about that - I just think a lot and making this big decision is forcing me to do even more of that. So, I guess the question isn't "am I where I thought I'd be?", but rather "what do I want my life to look like from this point on?" That seems more manageable and realistic.
I am not brave. I live a small life. My constant goal is to be brave and to always be kind. I love to be the cheerleader for those I love, but as I find myself struggling with some of these things, I find myself needing some of that myself. It's the little things in life...small surprises, thoughtful reminders that we matter, words of encouragement when we need them, finding joy in the otherwise simple things... I'm trying to be more mindful of all of that, to DO more of that...to live a life of intention rather than of happenstance. Maybe THAT is where I should focus my truth....