Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Trying to Reason with the Hurricane Season*

I couldn't sleep this morning, because my brain was buzzing with things to say and urges to express. Yet, when I got up and put myself at the computer, a dam went up in my brain and I began only to check email and read blogs.

I'm avoiding myself again.

I'm in a time of transition. I have been for several years now. Usually, when I think of transition, I think of relatively short bursts of energy, pushing me forward, like a snake shedding its skin. However, this transition has been slower and more laborious. Like pregnancy, it creeps forward, seeming sometimes endless. And like pregnancy, one major transition is then followed by another, for after giving birth, it isn't' like Mom gets to go right back to her childless life... no, now a new phase of change and adaptation begins as she surrenders her life to the whims and needs of her spawn.

By the way, I am (for the record) NOT PREGNANT. I'm just using that as an example.

What I am is... confused. Heading down a path I've not yet labeled or recognized completely. I feel a little lost in this body, in this life. I still don't make money in anything related to animal work. I still don't have an answer on school (well, I sort of do. I'm on the wait/alternate list. I'm number 5 on this list, and that's good... but it's not a definite yes or no yet, and the limbo is making me nutz!)

NO... it is more than just school or work. It is my body. It is aging. Goddess Spirituality talks about the triad of Goddess: Maiden, Mother, Crone. For so long, I was an embodiment of Maiden energy. Sometimes Dark Maiden, with over-indulgences and self-destructive behaviors, but always there was a youthfulness to my step. Although my body was that of a mature woman, my spirit felt young, and beautiful.

Growing up, I was not the standard beauty. It long plagued me that I was awkward and brunette and more curvy than statuesque. So I worked like a bastard to make up for it, with a ton of personality and an overt sensuality/sexuality. As I grew up, and did more inner work, I began to actually look in the mirror and say, "That girl there, she's .... well she's attractive, and that's not bad." I felt that I was beginning to accept myself. More so, I was very nearly able to love myself, how I looked.

But then things began to change. Was it all the emotional butchering of 2005? Was it the physical traumas caused by the IUD in 2006? Was it all the health problems and chronic pain I've had lately? Was it settling into a real long term relationship, sharing my space, my every mood and bodily function with another human being? Dealing with intimacy in a way I'd never known before and finding that I wasn't as good at it as I'd hoped? Or was it the Chinese water torture of year after year of office politics and useless corporate posturing that just sucked the joy out of me? I don't know what the tipping point was, but the last 2 - 3 years have aged me. I look into the mirror and the Maiden is gone. My eyes just don't sparkle. I notice more wrinkles. I can pinch way more than an inch, pretty much everywhere.

Somewhere inside, there is a very startled little girl looking out my eyes and saying to my reflection, "What happened to you? You Got OLD!" And in this town, Old = Unattractive. Old = Invisible. Old = Done. And I don't want to be done... I'm 36 years old. I refuse to be done.

The 1/4 sleeve tattoo on my right arm is a reminder to me that I am not finished with my journey. Clearly, the head shaving is also an attempt to redefine, reconfigure.... reimagine what "grown up" looks like. Like adolescence, I find myself trying to compensate for not being "pretty". Like a youthful rebellion, I am acting out, refusing to conform (because deep down inside, I know that if I tried to conform, I still wouldn't fit. I still wouldn't be "good enough" for the standard.)

To go back to my earlier analogy, I believe that I have completed the birthing portion of this transformation. But I'm still struggling with the surrender concept: the idea that I must willing let go of the rope to which I cling, that previous image of self, and give myself completely to a fresh, reimagined fledgling spawn of the woman I am to become.

Dude... it has to be said. Sometimes this growing-up shit sucks eggs!

* I know this post has nothing to do with hurricanes. The Jimmy Buffett quote is just my way of saying that sometimes we try to make sense of things that are beyond our control. We wish to understand cosmic nature and all her destructive forces, and sometimes, that just doesn't do a damn bit of good. What is, just IS. Grab your beer, hold on to your trailer, and try to enjoy the ride.


the slackmistress said...

Can I tell you that I think about this ALL of the time? Usually in a "what the hell are you doing?" context. I think there's this weird dichotomy of what I thought I'd be doing and what I am doing, and trying to carve out some happiness inbetween.

I think that the generation before us has helped change the idea of what aging and age-appropriate behavior is, but there's no question that there's some unnamed pressure "out there."

I try to remind myself that if I wasn't constantly changing and working, chances are I'm dead.

sabina said...

you and i have been going through a lot of this same inner dialogue for several years now. i liken it to a second adolescence ... and unfortunately, i think there will be a third.

i think we have patterns of many years of struggle to figure out who/where we are (those of us who aren't sheep) and then comes a time of finding the answer and being happy for a while. whether that is in high school, followed by the feelin' good twenties or now, followed by (I hope) the feelin' secure and confident forties.

AACK! FORTIES!! I have three more years to come to terms with that. Not there yet.

Anyway, you will be rewarded for your constant pursuit to improve yourself and you should be proud that you are not one of the followers.

SugaredAmber said...

You write SO beautifully, and believe me I can relate. Incidentally, I picked up a book yesterday called "What Should I Do With My Life?" by Po Bronson. It is not a manual or advice, but rather just the stories of 50+ people who came to realize what it is they truly wanted. It is so inspiring and happy. It's people are their "yummiest"! Check it out.

Just wanted to say "hi", and that I'm so in awe of all the stuff you and Tag are doing!