Saturday, August 05, 2006

Feeling my age. (Frown.)

By golly, I'm 36 years old. In the past week I had a startling, frightening realization - I am a grown-up. I am not a girl, or a young adult. I am a grown woman. I really don't know how I feel about this. Right now I feel, well, old.

OK, I know that 36 is not old at all. At ALL. But can I go around feeling 25 all the time? I know some of my friends are thinking that it would be bad if I started walking around acting all mature and stuff, and I don't see that happening, but I am an adult. I do not like it, Sam, I am.

But I really do! I don't want to be 25 again, or 18, or 30 for that matter. Oh, I don't know.

Here is what happened. I went to get fingerprinted for my teacher certification, and they had to take a picture for the FBI or something. (OK, it was for the state of Texas, but again, FBI sounds so much more dramatic!) I looked at the picture, a nice smile, a good hair day, and wrinkles. They were very, very distinct in the picture, around my eyes. For the first time in my entire life, I saw myself looking 36 years old.

People say to me, "You don't look 36!" (Or act it, for that matter). I have become very prideful about this. If I don't look 36, then I'm not. I'm young, and people see me and think, "There's a nice young woman." But this picture shows me at 36-years-old. It really threw me for a loop.

The next day, after noticing how grey my hair is looking these days, I went to buy some liquid hand soap at Bath and Body Works. The cheerful salesgirl met me at the door and in the way that only employees of B&BW do, said, "How are you? We are having a special today - 5 soaps for $15! The American Girl soaps are included if you have a pre-teen girl at home." A WHAT at home? I look like a woman who has a pre-teen at home? Who, me?

I am also a professional. This means that I shouldn't walk around in a ponytail with shorts and flip flops on. I should wear skirts, nice shoes, and wear make-up. I should wear suits, maybe, every day, with my hair in a low chignon. It would help if I knew what a low chignon was, but doesn't it sound professional? I should carry a briefcase everywhere I go, wear an earpiece for a cell phone and say, repeatedly, "Have those papers in my office first thing tomorrow morning," and, "I think we can make this work. Let's have a conference call this afternoon."

I am having fun with this now, but the fact remains. I am having an identity crisis, and I think it is adoption/parenting related. Many people my age have pre-teens and school-aged children in their home. We have neither. Soon, we will be parents. Parents need to be civilized, grown-up, responsible, and mature. Can I be those things and still be me? I can be 36, look 36, and be cool, right?

I have no snappy wrap-up to this uncharacteristic rant. So, bye. (I know, SO mature...)


Christine said...

I was ready to walk out the door last night and finally get the little sparkly nose stud piercing that I'm dying to get. Then my husband informed me that we might be visiting with a pastoral search committee Monday night.

ugh. I'm gonna' wait. Can I be a 34-year-old mother of three AND a pastor's wife ... and have a nose stud?

I know it's not some sort of midlife crisis, because I've always been the one wearing something different from the norm, I've always been cooky and I've always NOT been normal. For some reason, the older we get, the more we're expected to "grow out of that" and be more like everyone else.

I just still want to be Me. Me changes as I age, but my Me is not like anyone else's Me.

Oh, FYI, my Me wears flip flops even in the winter....

Jennifer said...

I distinctly remember swimming in my parents' pool with my high school friend talking about how we'd NEVER be thirty. In about 2.5 months I'll be 35. I'm giving it a lot of thought for someone who would like to think that she doesn't care. Once you hit that number, the big 4-0 isn't far behind. I'm doing a really good job of making you feel better, right?

If it helps at all, I have two small children and am still noticing the same things changes, wearing the same types of clothes that I did in my late twenties and am just as unsettled about it as you are. Figuring out how old I will be when my girls graduate from HS...

My mother has never been one to give a fig about her age. Her philosophy is that you could die at any moment. It's a privilege just to find yourself at [enter age here]. I wish that I could be more like her.

Teri said...

I'll be 30 in January and I know that if we are still waiting for our baby, it may not be a good day! Or maybe I'll feel like "this will be my last bday w/o kids"! Who knows!!! My good friend is 31 today and has 4 girls ranging from 3-10 years old. I feel like the 3 year old is going to be old enough to babysit by the time we adopt. :) I know I'm kind of depressing today...SORRY!!!!

I have so much gray hair, it's crazy. My mom and sister grayed kind of early so I guess it is to be expected. I get it colored ever 7-8 weeks. I catch myself being incredibly gentle when applying make up or washing around the eye area - don't want to get those stinkin' wrinkles! :) EEEEKKKK!!

Hope you are having a good day today!


paj said...

I was starting to feel pretty bad because I thought I was the only one around who was feeling this mixed bag of emotions about aging. Maybe there are more of us...we should start a group with t-shirts "over 35 and loving it." oops, I meant to say "over 35 and dealing with it" ha ha
If it helps you at all, I wear flipflops,giant earrings and my comfy sweats most of the time at work. Oh, but I forgot to mention that I homeschool, so I can do those kinds of things and still demand respect. tee hee hee