Toddlers

So the Twenties are the Toddlers of Adulthood, no? So excited that I decided to chronicle my way through it on the internet.

And I’m not done. I’ve been thinking about age lately – Aaron’s on his way to 30 (next week!) and as we pair down our life and really getter-done on our goals and finances age has been on my mind more and more.

I think 25 was the age I was trying to be since I was 13. Couldn’t wait for that magical number! Twenty Five!! (Oprah yelling, there) In my head twenty-five meant a family, probably two kids, a house, a garden. My “arrival” into the life I had dreamt of as a little girl.

And I did it. I finally had it. I was here.

JUMP!

I even started a tradition of jumping in a lake, fully clothed, on my birthday to symbolize all kinds of rebirth for myself. A new year, a fresh start. Wiping my slate clean, forgiving my calendar and lists and expectations of all the things I just didn’t get to the previous year. I get to start all over. I baptize myself into a new year with a cleansing, self imposed, discovery-dip.

Problem is that once I arrived at this Huge Deal In Waiting I had no idea what else to do. So I’m here, what now? It was anticlimactic – I was disappointed with myself for having this huge – Just Wait! – mentality that once I got here and my life just kind of went on as usual I was surprised at how bored I was with this dream world of mine.

Not that it was (or is) boring at any given moment. Nope. Not true. But I found myself wondering if this is really what I wanted in life or what I had foreshadowed onto myself because I always wanted what seemed to make my mom happy. I am a miniature version of this woman.

My mom and I

My mom and I

And it’s been cold and unforgiving to live in her shadow, not because she’s made it that way, but I have. I have expecations and I’m basing so much of what I do now on ideas, not facts. On feelings, not wisdom.

I also think that as I get older and gain some kind of wisdom in my own life I’m realizing that all the things I had assumed to be true really are just a different version of the same story. Truth is hard to come by when you’re guiding it with ideas and emotions. So I was devastated to learn that my mom was actually human. That she cried on bad days or went bonkers with boredom at times. That staying home to mother and keep house with 4 kids was a bit of a death to the woman in it’s own right … and no one gave her permission to explore that, reveal it or believe in the situation, as it was.

Death has been a thread in my family for as long as I can remember. Death of a family as an institution, death of parents, death of dreams, death of ideas and versions of ourselves … and instead of dealing with the grief or processing these emotions on a situation-by-situation basis, individually, I would stuff all that disappointment and desire away for when I was older. When I could figure it out. When it was time. But I would busy myself with expectations of what it would feel like when that time finally came. When I would arrive at “adulthood” and finally be able to make sense of this mess. Of this cistern of grief I carry around with me, hidden, deep inside of every part of who I am.

And here I am. Now. Waiting for this magical grieving process to start, be over and be painless. On a deadline, thankyouverymuch.

Which is why I am constantly befuddled that my dreams are actually happening. Which is why I’m convinced it’s time to dream bigger.

Because I am here. I have arrived at my own life, I was never gone, I was just looking for someone to say “Go”.

It’s the simplest of permissions and yet the very “Yes” I find myself never saying … to me.

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