Many days this adventure of middle age feels more like I’m following something down a rabbit hole. Some days I feel like Alice in Wonderland floating and falling with no real direction- granted a much older and more wrinkled Alice, but a lost Alice just the same.
There are a few differences in my story- Instead of drinking something that makes you larger or smaller it now relates to wrinkle creams and vitamins. Instead of a Cheshire Cat talking to you it’s now your joints which talk to you like the rice crispy boys. Snap crackle and pop is the middle age equivalent of sit your ass down old lady. I also am no longer invited to a tea party by a mad hatter – instead I’m invited over for wine by the crazy friend, who in much the same manner as Alice, the madness keeps me sane.
I had always wondered why everyone was so upset by this journey down the rabbit hole of middle age. I knew the bones creaking was obviously loud and the running to the bathroom was beyond annoying. Yes- we should leave battling the Queen of Hearts to the young folk- now I would have to have a mid fight potty break. Excuse me evil queen- I know you’re trying to cut my head off and all, but I’m almost 50 with three kids and if I don’t run to the potty now I can’t promise it won’t be pretty and even you would be embarrassed. Who knew my frequent potty breaks might save my head one day???
I am starting to understand that middle age is actually not so upsetting as much as disconcerting.
Yes- disconcerting is the perfect word to explain middle age! It means to disturb the composure or confuse. I spend about 1/2 of every day now confused. Where are my car keys? Why did I come into this room? Where did I lose the kids? The questions go on and on, but the most “disconcerting” of all is…. When did everyone in responsible positions become MY age and younger.
I was always taught to be respectful to my elders, but I’m not so sure I was ever taught how to “BE” the elder. Being the elder seems petrifying!!! It makes my poor little brain do somersaults. ME being the elder means I’m the adult.
Yes I am aware that I am what the world calls”responsible” I am raising three parasites (children for those nicer than me) I own a home, I pay my taxes, hold a full time job, and most of the time do what is expecting of me to be a productive citizen. The scary part is “I DON’T LIKE ANY OF IT” I do it every day and I can’t help it, but my brain still wants to be the irresponsible 15 year old and just play.
I look around now and all the people in very important positions seem to be my age or younger. I take the parasites to the doctor and she seems no older than 18. I meet their teachers and I’m confused as to who is the student and who is the teacher. Hell- I flew on a plane recently where I could swear the pilot was no older than 16 years old.
I don’t know about you, but I still feel the need for people who are responsible for my life to at least look the part. The confusing part is NONE of them do- they all look 18. Yes – my brain logically knows they can’t be 18 and must be older to be qualified to hold our lives in their hand, but my brain still see’s them as such.
In my little twisted brain I look at all the people I went to school with and to me they haven’t changed a bit. My brain can still convince myself they look like babies. We can’t be the adults- surely there are older people for that job. This would mean I’m the elder and that just can’t be!!
The really disconcerting part is, regardless of my brain and it’s defense mechanisms, they are now preachers, doctors, lawyers, sheriff’s, congressmen, pilots and all sorts of important positions that in my brain should be held by people who should be A LOT older than me. The confusing part is nope- here we are all being the elders. It really must be our turn.
I often wonder if it’s just me or are they as scared as I am about this thing called “adulthood” Am I the only one that looks around and wonders if people see through the veil I carry as responsibility and know I’m just posing? Am I the only one who is playing the role of adult with NO IDEA of what I’m doing? Surely someone will realize I am just making this up as I go along and the elder police are coming any minute to take my drivers license and house because I’m not old or responsible enough yet?
Maybe this whole adulthood thing, like Alice in Wonderland, is just one really messed up long dream. Like Alice, maybe we are supposed to put on the armor and hold the shield and fight the evil queen, between potty breaks, regardless of the self doubts. Maybe the self doubts are just part of the journey through the looking glass of life. Like Alice, maybe any day now the cards will start flying and I’ll wake up sitting in the sun with no responsibility and feel the grass between my toes.
Oh wait – maybe that’s retirement……………. 🙂