Oh society, I have lived my life feeling that there is a right and a wrong way to do things. If one is a good girl, does things as prescribed should be done, one will be rewarded in the end. Age has made me wizen up. What I thought was a reward, I see now is a lesson. We are given lessons in life. We can grow from these lessons.
I am at a point now where I know my time on this wonderful planet has a definite limit. I do not know my expiration date, but I have witnessed other people's physical body decline, and know there is an end. It's time to be true to me now.
I have spent my first 50 years trying very hard to always be a good girl.
Growing up I was a good student. Almost straight A's.... I'll never claim I was perfect.
I was home in the evenings when my parents told me to be home.
I listened to what they said.
I went to church.
I didn't do drugs.
I didn't drink in high school...except for one time when I had my first bottle of wine. Today, I cannot look at Boone's Farm Strawberry Wine, assuming it still even exists. Just the thought makes my stomach feel queasy. I must admit, I did lie to my mom about why I was on the floor the next morning. She found me laying next to my water bed. I told her it was that time of the month, and that I had bad cramps. If she were alive today, I'd tell her I was sorry. I suspect she knew the truth. She loved the boy I was dating at that time. She trusted me in his company...alcohol or no alcohol. She knew we were being stupid. I'm sure she'd tell everyone I deserved to come home that night and lay on a full motion water bed. I did. Lesson learned.
I went off to college. The first in my family. I tried to follow my parents dreams for me. I was good with numbers...I tried accounting. Epic fail. First time away from home, no rules, no one to answer to...I had a blast in college. I found out I was not meant to be an accountant. I was good at science too, so I thought I'd major in Biology or Chemistry. Holy Crumbs! After the entry level classes, I couldn't hang on. To be fair, my dad did die when I was between my sophomore and junior year. I didn't think I'd go back to college, but I did. I finished my undergrad degree majoring in Education and Science and minoring in Math. I received my MRS. along the way. See, Society, I was listening to you. As a good girl...I found a husband. I worked until I had children and then I stayed at home, just as my husband and I wanted. I raised our children. I helped propel my husband in his career. I kept the perfect house. I cooked the perfect meals. I hosted the perfect birthday parties for my children. I celebrated holidays the perfect way. I coordinated everything for our vacations, so they were perfect too. I did all that was asked of me...until I was told I wasn't perfect.
Living for others.
I believed an outside voice that whispered in my ear.
I didn't trust myself.
When the day came that I started to understand just how perfect I really was, I started to see that others around me were not needed to help me continue to grow and be my true self. I am not being facetious. I do believe that I am an amazing person. Shouldn't we all feel that way on our insides about ourselves? I am learning to live in the moment. I had been surviving. Surviving was not, is not enough for me. My time is limited, as is all our time. I had felt that society dictated that I be married forever, and although I do believe in marriage as a life time commitment, I do not believe we are meant to hurt others in the process. That means I am allowing myself to forgive me: to know I did the best I could at at the time. The choices I made were the right ones at the time I made them.
I will continue to be a good girl, but I will live on my terms.
Society, the standards you set in the past have changed. You forgot to give me that memo. On second thought, maybe you gave me that memo and I forgot to read it. It's hard to be a single girl, who is over 50, living in these times. Trying to date is different, and more difficult, now than it was 30 years ago. I find myself falling back into a familiar pattern of holding myself back when I meet a guy. I'm pretty sure they can't handle a confident girl...although admittedly, I don't really feel confident enough in their presence. Men and women are expected to act a certain way when they meet. When I was a teen, I had a poster on my wall, it said " You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince." These days I wish I could find my soul mate by snapping my fingers. Vocally I tell myself, and all who will listen, that I do not need anyone. I think if I say it enough I will believe it. I know I am scared to expose myself and be hurt. Life experiences can hurt. But we also learn from what we experience and we grow. Living in the moment means I need to trust myself. I need to have faith. I know that I am smart, and therefore make good choices. Evaluating my past, I made good choices, right choices, for me. Life is not meant to be stagnant.
Last week I intended to write about Harry and Sally. Can they really meet and just be friends??? Instead of blogging I watched the movie with a friend. We shared many conversations around the topics the movie touches upon. In the end, I decided that Harry and Sally can meet and just be friends, but I'm glad they were more.
My real question lies in what defines intimacy?
Sex alone does not define intimacy. I find intimacy in sharing thoughts, desires, secrets, dreams, stories, adventures, goals, successes, etc.... my list is far from complete.
Certainly it is physically intimate to share ones body, but deeper intimacy is gained when we connect in other ways too. I miss intimacy in my life...but through self discovery I see that what I had defined in my brain as intimacy was in fact a very limited definition of what my heart believes it to be. Shame on me for forgetting that two people can and should be intimate both physically AND emotionally.
Valentine's Day is a hard holiday to live with when one is trying to live in the moment and find herself. Um, Society...get a clue...stop commercializing everything!!! At a minimum, stop commercializing everything to only be one way. In school, I teach my students that we are to care for everyone, every single day...not just on February 14th. Valentine's Day needs to celebrate Caring.
Maybe I've been trying to define what love really means to me. Clearly I need to think about this some more....physical plus emotional intimacy = love??? I'll ponder those thoughts over this next week or two.
best quote from my music tonight...."I want to live and not just survive!" ~Adele, from Love in the Dark on her album 25
blogging music: Adele, 25
Phoenix, their Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix album via Spotify. Special thanks to my son for sharing his music at home. As always, I am looking for new music to inspire me.
Additional thanks to those who listen to and chat with me as I ponder the questions I have in this life, especially about relationships. :)
~Lisa Kroll, still eating, praying and loving