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Posts tagged ‘Aging’

New Beginnings

My life has been change after change after change; some chosen, some I fell into, others forced onto me. The upcoming changes in my life are a combination of all 3. I’ve been waiting to see where my partner was going to take her next steps and holding off making any choices until then. Unfortunately, as 50 creeps up on me, I’m feeling the pressure to find my next step faster than she is making decisions.

After seeing my daughter marry a man she loves and seeing so many of my friends finding the person they want to grow old with I knew it was time for me to decide for myself what comes next. The most important thing to me was to end my self-imposed isolation. Step one: find someone to share a home with; friend or lover didn’t matter, but I’ve fortunately found a friend of 3 decades to share a home with while I sort out the remainder.

I’m okay being single, more okay than I thought I’d be. I have visions of walking with my chihuahua strapped to my chest (Don’t judge. She’s old.) and my friend’s dog on a leash and exploring the back roads in Oklahoma. I’ll be a short drive from my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’ll be not far from my little girl until she decides where she would like to settle for good. I’ll be near my best friend. I’ll have my own space and no one imposing on me what they think I should be doing with my life. For the first time in over 20 years I’ll be free to be me without anyone I have to try to keep happy, no one I have to give up part of me to please.

That sounds crazy for someone my age, but honestly my “when I grow up” dream was always to be a wife and mother. My goal now is to figure out how to combine that dream with being my authentic self. After so long my “authentic self” is somewhat of a mystery. There are clues, bits and pieces that feel real. I get to spend the next little while sorting through what is me, what is the me I became to please others; to keep them happy, what parts fit the 50 year old me that is ready to settle into what I hope will be my happily ever after.

Also I have 30 years of dating under my belt that will have hopefully taught me something about choosing better, demanding better for myself, not settling for living half a life. I want that for myself and for my partner. I want to live a life, single or not, that is full of passion, learning, experiences, art, and comfort. I want to learn new things and try new things. I’d like a partner that wants the same. I want to dance and sing (badly unfortunately) and learn to be playful and relaxed. I want to love someone who comes home happy to see me and truly shares themselves with me. I want someone who doesn’t make me feel I can’t share everything with them. I want realness and openness and honesty, with myself first and then, hopefully, with the partner I’ll share my life with.

Where I end up in life doesn’t really matter to me as much as who I end up being. I want to be a light in the life of those who love me. I want to be authentic in everything I do and support others in doing the same. There’s a lot of work ahead to get to where I want to end up, but I have some amazing people in my life that support and love me through change after change. I see the kind of person I want to be and the kind of person I want to share my life with in these amazing women I know and love. To know they exist makes the unknown journey ahead of me less frightening.

Stay tuned to see what I discover in the months and years ahead. Hopefully that will include some great writing as well.

In Love and Light and Laughter,

Monique P

Midlife Crisis?

As a person who has battled depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember; sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between depressive episodes and other negative mood traits. Bad just feels bad. Sometimes, however, feeling bad feels like a weight on your chest. You can pretend it’s not there; hide it from those around you, but all you can think about is finding a way to rid yourself of its suffocating effects.

I thought I was just being perimenopausal. I’m that age. Mood swings, hot flashes, yadda yadda yadda. I felt worn out and blamed that on my inability to sleep when my body can’t seem to decide if it’s hot or cold, or most often on fire followed by freezing. My daughter has moved out of the house. My dearest pets are showing their age. All reasons that can explain away my lack of enthusiasm for getting out of bed each day.

Some days I get a spark of “I can take on the world,” usually followed by posts and blogs about the power of positivity and making big changes and being true to myself. (See previous posts.)

In the last few months I’ve discovered I’m more often finding reasons to not participate in the world outside my door. I’m looking at the future with resignation that my best years are behind me. I think of my age and believe I’ve passed the point where I should have my shit together and even attempting to get there now would be a waste of time. I feel the aches and pains of a 47 year old body and it reminds me that it only gets worse from here.

I’ve been considering making efforts to change my occupation, but then I convince myself no one wants a middle aged woman who is trying to start from the bottom.

I list all the “shoulds”:

I SHOULD own a home.

I SHOULD be married.

I SHOULD have a career I enjoy.

I SHOULD be driving a newer car.

I SHOULD have gotten healthier before it was too late.

I SHOULD have traveled more.

I SHOULD feel settled into my life.

I SHOULD be better at being an adult.

I can go nearly a week without leaving my house, without bathing, without changing clothes, without having a single vegetable, without brushing my hair or my teeth, without cleaning a single dish, without spending more than the time it takes to nuke a frozen burrito out of my bed, or without sleeping or staying awake more than a few hours at a time. I can do all this and KNOW I need to do something different, but lack the ability to walk past my bedroom without crawling right back under the blankets.

I lie to people about things I’m accomplishing or things I’ve been doing in all my spare time. I lie to myself and say, “Tomorrow I’ll start [fill in the blank].” I might even believe it when I think it. My gung-ho attitude lasts until my next nap which isn’t far off.

I keep thinking certainly I won’t go another 30 or more years and it not get better than this, then immediately think the best has already came and gone and I wasted it on stupid youthful pursuits and bad decisions.

One moment I think I should just cut ties with my partner, who will leave eventually anyway, and move on to whatever comes next. The next moment I think I’ve dedicated a decade of my life to this person and why would I invest 10 years in someone I love only to wash my hands of her.

There are moments I believe she knows me better than anyone shortly followed by moments where I truly believe she doesn’t even see me.

There are moments of gratitude for the genuine friends I have made in my life and many more moments where I feel completely alone.

There seems to be a change on the horizon, but will it pass by during one of the five naps I take in a day?

Will this pass or am I as stuck as I feel? Is this normal? Is normal actually a thing?

My track record of poor choices isn’t exactly inspirational when it comes to convincing myself to pull myself up by the bootstraps and make things happen. So, for now, I’m going to stay under the blankets with my books and my furbabies and hope this is a phase and, like the cold weather outside, will pass without my intervention.

I just don’t have it in me to do more than survive it right now. I’m choosing to believe surviving it is enough for today.

 

 

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