Strange Days

Maybe it’s the cold. Maybe it’s the economy. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems to be something in the air….

I’m really shocked by things lately. Not any one thing in particular, just everything. I’m a much different person than I was not long ago, than I ever imagined being. I can’t point to any one thing. I’m not alone, either.  I see change in my colleagues, in my family, in my husband. I can’t say whether it’s good or bad. It just is. What it is, though, is not like anything I imagined or envisioned.

This is probably frustratingly cryptic, and that isn’t my intention. Let me back up a little and see if I can clarify.

WH and I are going out to the bar Friday night. WH has not been the biggest fan of my second adolescence- my recently developed penchant for drinking, dancing and general mayhem, but now he wants a taste. I’m thrilled. Overjoyed. I’m glad to share this part of me with him, and I think he’ll be happy to discover that beyond the mild hangover, it’s a great way to blow off some steam and take a break from the stark reality that life has become over the past year or so.

One of my mentors and treasured friends seeks advice from me about the very same things he used to have to counsel me on continually. Our relationship, which until a short time ago was fairly one sided, has evolved into a true collaboration, a real give and take. I bring something to the table now. I’m not just that girl that drags him out onto the loading dock to bitch, whine and cry all over his steady shoulders.

The office Popsicle, the male version of an ice princess, is maintaining a constant warmth and affection with me. He engages in the pigtail pulling like no one’s business now, and where I once held my tongue and filtered my words and in general tried to manage his perception of me, I now speak freely and don’t hide (most) of my true personality.

A friend, perhaps the one with the secret that inspired my Puzzle Pieces post, is letting me down. Which is so unlike him. Or I thought it was. Maybe I’m only now seeing what was there all along?

The impending departure of a fixture of a person in my life- the former owner of our company- and the subsequent trip down memory lane reveals in stark relief the difference between Then and Now. Which is how I come to say that these are strange days, because really, the past year seems like some kind of feverish dream, or an acid trip. What a strange journey it’s been, getting from Then to Now.

A year ago, I was scared to death. Scared of the new company, scared of my financial situation. Scared for WH and I, and the possibility that we might not be “we” someday. Scared about a future that on every single level seemed so uncertain.

Two years ago, I was happy as a clam. Sure, there were issues and problems, but nothing big. Nothing life changing. Nothing so powerful and racked with risk and uncertainty as the past year has held. I had no idea what the road ahead of me looked like. I thought I knew, but I was really, really wrong.

Today. Today I feel much more secure in my place in this world. I take great comfort in the knowledge that WH and I have what it takes to survive all of this, if we’re both willing to do the work, to reach out instead of drawing in, to take the time to see the situation through another’s eyes. I don’t know what the future holds for us, but I am certain that we will always be “we”. Who “we” are, though, is not who we were, or who I thought we would be. He’s different. I’m different. We are different. Everyone is different.

Maybe the summary of my rambling is this- I feel like the Velveeteen Rabbit. I feel like I am finally real. And so is everyone else. We’re not who we thought we would be, we aren’t what we seemed to be a year or so ago, but what we are is real, and that is more beautiful and comforting and wonderful than any of my visions of what this time in my life would look like.

I’m not officially thirty until November, but I think this is what growing up feels like.

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11 Responses

  1. Well that’s good that you’re feeling more secure. It’s really amazing how these changes can happen, literally, out of nowhere. And that these changes are making you feel “real” is even better.

  2. do we have the same brain?

    yesterday i wrote a song, and it’s called “real.” you’ll have to hear it sometime.

  3. I hear you on that with getting older and becoming more comfortable in your own skin. Even when I don’t know what lies ahead, it’s easier to trust my gut and try not to have expectations.

    • Thanks for reading me! 🙂 And yes, uncertainty has never been one of my strengths, but that’s changing, thankfully.

  4. sometimes letting lose is what you need. do whatever you need to do to be happy!

  5. “Today I feel much more secure in my place in this world. I take great comfort in the knowledge that WH and I have what it takes to survive all of this, if we’re both willing to do the work, to reach out instead of drawing in, to take the time to see the situation through another’s eyes”

    I love this, and I am so glad that you feel more secure. And, that right there, is the recipe for a great marriage. Fabulously written!

  6. Congratulations on becoming real. As the Skin Horse says, sometimes it hurts a little, but there’s no feeling in the world quite like it.

  7. Yep, that’s what it feels like. And the road once you enter your 30s, from my experience, isn’t any less dotted with hairpin turns, surprising obstacles, and illuminating views. Gotta love life.

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