of a now late afternoon

Recently, there was a little Facebook meme going around wherein people wrote about themselves in the past and then now.  If someone liked the status, they’d get an age and would do their own.

I’ll admit I’m a sucker for these sorts of things.  What can I say? I like questions and self-examination.  So, of course, I bit.  It felt like the old days on MySpazz–for just a minute.

While it was fun to look back on me at 22, it was also a little eye-opening.  (I know, I know–only *I* could really have a life revelation from a Facebook meme–but I did, so there).

It made me super-reflective, mostly because 22 was the year before I had my little awakening.  It was a painful year where I felt aimless and stupid.  It was a year of digging myself out of some emotional black hole I threw myself in.  And it was still during a time of relative innocence for me.  I still had a mother.  I still had a static place that I called home.  But there were riptides forming, and things were about to fall apart only for me to pull them back together again.  And after that, for a short time, I was the happiest I’d ever been in my life (which is so small compared to now).  And that time was the happiest my mother ever saw me.  And then it all fell apart again–only, this time, in a way that would change me forever.

I am grateful for all of it, but it makes me think about how miserable I made myself back then.  How much I actively chose to stay stuck and how much I suffered for no damn good reason.  Of course, I had to go through that to hit bottom and to choose something else, but it really pisses me off that I was so immature and stupid.

But then, that’s hindsight for ya.

_____________________________

Tomorrow marks my return to reality.  Well, sorta.  Baby steps and all that.  I’m not prepared.  I didn’t sleep enough this weekend.  I still have GREs to register for and app essays to write that I can’t seem to write right now.  But I need to.  Of course, I have some time due to the blizzard.  I will get it done, but leave it to me to choose the hardest route and procrastinate till the last minute.

I feel like such a kid, sometimes, and these past few weeks have only reinforced that.  I’ve been bored out of my mind, and as much as I am able to entertain myself, turns out I like having a drill sergeant breathing down my neck.  I’ve spent too much time watching movies and reading books.  I haven’t spent enough time being responsible.  But I don’t really regret that either. I needed that. Desperately.  And I keep reminding myself that was the whole point.

I kinda don’t wanna let it go.  But it needs to, so it’s gone.

I feel like, as I age, I get younger.  I feel more and more “me”–at home in my own skin.  Fearless and foolish.  While I might be afraid, it’s never that paralysis I used to feel–and I’m keenly aware that it’s a lie.  It’s pretty easy to keep going.  I take ridiculous risks now because I know the stuff in my head will always trump reality.  I’ve come to trust that I’ll be okay, and most days, that feels miraculous.

Because I was never the kid who thought she was invincible.  I was the kid waiting to fall apart and trying her damnedest to make you think she was strong–mostly because she didn’t believe it.  And most days, the strong act was meant to convince me.  Luckily, most days, I won that battle.  I still do that sometimes, but I guess it’s actually true this time.

I was always in such a hurry to grow up–to move forward–to be somewhere…someone…else.  I still am, to some degree, I suppose.  At least when it comes to moving forward.  I’m okay with the me I am, but that doesn’t mean I want to stand still.  I think, back then, growing up meant I would somehow have some control over something.  Grown-ups had control, right?  Which–what the heck crack was I smokin’?  I mean, my parents were prime examples of no control whatsoever.  But, then, as world-weary as I was, I was a little sheltered and naive.  And I idolized my parents.  I was well-aware that they needed help and were fragile. But I was convinced they knew things I just couldn’t.  And truth is–they did–though I knew a lot too.

But the control thing?  I’ve never been more out of control in my life.  Right now, I depend on the Universe to play nice.  All I can do is put good energy out and work hard–hope for the best, have faith, and roll with the punches.

The difference now is that I do have faith.  Maybe not the faith everyone else has or the type I’m supposed to have.  But I have things to hold on to.  I have a certain amount of courage that allows me to have that faith.  And I’ve hung my shingle on hope–which has landed some labels on my forehead.  And yet, it doesn’t bother me.

I wouldn’t ever say life is perfect, but–for the most part–I am peaceful.  I am ever-evolving in that peace, but I’m not tortured by anything in my life anymore.  I get frustrated.  I have challenges and bad days.  But, most days, I want to be here. Most days, I’m grateful for every piece of my life–even as it drives me crazy.

I guess that’s what being a grown-up is FOR ME.  Now, at least.

I’m so glad I’m old and young all at once.

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