WHO IS MY TRIBE?
Aren’t we supposed to one day feel like ADULTS? Aren’t we supposed to finally have it figured out? Aren’t careers, relationships, and money all supposed to slide into their adult slots with a satisfying *CLICK*?
I’m beginning to wonder.
At 44 I feel pretty much the same as at 34. However, I would not want to go back. I LIKE the progression. I am calmer, more confident, care less about what other people think than I did a decade ago and even more so than two decades ago.
But, put me in a room with a group of people my age and when I compare myself to them I come out looking like a pig tailed 12 year old who just got her braces on. I wonder at these people who drive the same type of cars as my parents. I wonder at their ability to discuss stock portfolios along with Jr’s success in AYSO. They have mortgages and take vacations every year. They are married or divorced, male and female, but they are ADULTS.
I do not feel I am part of their tribe. And if I’m not, then who (and where!) is my tribe?
The last couple of years have been an adjustment relating to my age. My clothes have had to change. I can longer pull off a wife beater tank top, and hip hugging jeans. It just doesn’t look right. Banana Republic seems to be a good “fit” for this stage in life.
The PHYSICAL adjustment is tough. Where did all this softness ( or f***ing softness, because we’re not talking about “soft” like the Easter Bunny) come from? And why won’t it go away? And WHY in my 40s does my mind/body conspire against me in that it doesn’t want me to work out? Why now when I need it more than ever?
While my body is turning into an adult, my mind is still trying to focus on adulthood. My retirement plan is starting to look like it was a good idea, and not just something for “old” people. As much as I used to LOVE to go out dancing it doesn’t sound so great anymore, at least not with a bunch of drunk 20 year olds in a beer smelly bar. So, I think the inkling of adulthood is there.
And yet I’ll still bust out a swing dance combo with my daughter at a family gathering, and get my groove on in my own living room to bad pop music. On rare occasions I’ll even belt out an Ethel Merman impersonation (which, strangely enough, THIS WOMAN does too. Who knew?). Is this adult-ish behavior?
Anyway, all of this is to ask do we one day wake up and feel like an adult? Do I want to? IS there a tribe out there of people who have NOT the mortgage and family vacations? Who would rather twirl a hula hoop on the lawn while running through the sprinkler than talk about health care reform? And don’t even get me started on the powerful allure of the Slip and Slide. Are there others who feel this way and yet are professionals with ambition and drive?
These are but a few of the questions that pop up in The Middle of Life. The answers yet to come, it would seem.