Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Life's Greatest Teacher

Maybe this is better

Maybe, it is better to be older.

Like, maybe this total chaos is still better than being a single 21 year old, schlepping about through life trying to find love.

Because, what 21 year old knows who she is?  She doesn’t. No well grounded 21 year old can know herself as well as a slightly confused newly single 36 year old mom.  Ok, there are probably exceptions to every rule, but for the most part, I think that 15 years of life experience trumps almost anything a 21 year old can argue.

Because what is life’s greatest teacher?

Find me a 21 year old who has truly good friends to support her? Good friends who are unselfish. Friends will critique her horrific awesome text poetry in the middle of the night. Friends who will actually stay by her, and do what they say they'll do. The really best kind of good friends will cheerfully push a girl’s buttons with a low chuckle until she’s good and cross, and then make her laugh so hard in the next sentence she can’t remember exactly why there had ever been crossness at all.

The best part of all this is that I didn’t know...

I have it really good.

I really do. Even with the stress of school. Even leading a dual life of “motherhood by some days” and “singlehood by others” with no freaking CLUE how that duality could ever be merged.
Of course, that’s just how I know I’m not ready to merge the two. And I guess that’s okay, because there’s a lot more out there to worry about... so, why worry about any of it now?

No real answers come to a person at 11:37 on a Tuesday night.

I sat down with someone the other day who asked me if I was depressed.
Flat. Out. Asked.

Wow. K... Blunt much?

And since I didn’t even see it coming, I answered, “Yes, sometimes. Sometimes it’s hard to get moving when I get stuck.”

“Ok. I wondered.” And then a minute later, “but are you able to have fun when you go out with your friends?”

“Yes.” I answered firmly. And then a slow smile crept across my face as I thought about last weekend. And, I started to giggle as the thought took hold.

That’s nothing, you should see me after beer.

I have seen you after beer.

No, I mean you should see me.. oh yeah.

And as the weeks of nursing school go by, my stress level gets tested daily. I keep raising the bar on the breaking point, because, I really don’t have time to break right now. There are days when I wonder IF I’m going to make it in one piece. Because hell yeah, I’m going to make it. I just wonder what condition I’ll be in when I get to the other side. Life experience has taught me that I will get through this. 

That’s not being optimistic, that’s just a fact.

On those days, when my hands are shaking but my 34th cup of coffee has failed to warm me, if I’m lucky, my brutal schedule will allow me to spend time with some of my favorite people. So, I’ll lace on my shoes, strap on my Garmin, and hop in my sucktastic beige minivan, all kinds of ready to drive somewhere ridiculous to run while dodging cars or seeking hills.

And without fail, as I buckle myself in, I can’t suppress the giggle that bubbles out when I glance in the rearview mirror to see a dialysis filter on my back seat.

~savor the run~


bobbi said...

Yesterday on the run my friend and I were talking about another friend who is going through some *stuff* and becoming more self-aware. And I made the observation, "she's young. she'll learn." And my running friend (who is even younger, but pretty mature for her years) said, "she's in her 30s!" and I laughed. I think I was almost 40 before I figured myself out, really.

You are doing this, no doubt. And doing it well. And you WILL succeed, at all of it. Fact.

Unknown said...

I am about as aStepford as one can be, but in my 35 years, I've realized that there are things that are important to me - looking like I care about myself, having a tidy home, eating well, being healthy, keeping mentally active, and giving my free time away. Someone scornfully called me Supermom the other day, and the great thing is that it only made me pause for a second. I sort of felt like re-enacting that scene in The Crow where Brandon Lee says, "Mr.'re not paying attention." I Do pay attention....and life is its own greatest teacher. Put those two things together, and you end up pretty satisfied with how you handle the challenges the day brings.

Pam said...

I'm almost 33 and am JUST NOW maybe starting to touch just a tiny bit of the tip of the ice burg of figuring myself out.

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

I think everyone who is divorced, that "shares" their kids/parenting time, struggles with some sort of duality. Having my own here, I'm realizing how accurate that term is. Thanks for coming up with it and big (air) hugs as you figure it all out.
A friend of mine said it would be 5 years after the divorce when things would finally return to normal. Sadly, I have to agree with her. Luckily, you have running to help you through your 5 years.

Rene' said...

When I was 21 I worked at my Aunt's nursing home and I was lucky enough to take care of this wonderful lady (she was in her 90's). When I would come home from college I would tell her all of my exploits and of course about the love of my life. (I was going to spend the rest of my life with him;) She looked me right in the eye, smiled and said, "Oh dearie, what you want at 21 is certainly not what you will want at 30." She was so right, but honestly what I wanted at 30 is not where I am at now that I am 40....GULP! So my good and favorite pen pal you will so find your way and when you get there it will be so worth it. xoxoxoxoxo!

gba_gf @ Neurosis of the Stay at Home Marathoner said...

hahaha! "Mr Gideon...", I think perhaps Stepford would have definitely gone to the next level. in all seriousness though, there is nothing wrong with knowingly being a good wife and mother.. ie, SuperMom.

why are women so quick to judge/compare?

because they are not paying attention, and they do not know themselves... perhaps.

gba_gf @ Neurosis of the Stay at Home Marathoner said...

That Duality comes to me weekly.. and while I like myself as both women, I do wonder how the stories will eventually merge.

fyi... I give real hugs to transcontinental blonds. #just sayin.

gba_gf @ Neurosis of the Stay at Home Marathoner said...

XOXO back at you friend!