Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I miss being young. There I said it. I know that isn't very PC of me. I know that embracing every age is the zen thing to do. Recognizing that the experience I have as an almost 40 year old is something I wish my 25 year old self had is the right thing to say. Except that I don't buy all of that. I got married very young. 22 years old seems like a lifetime ago, and a combination of luck and perseverance have led me to enjoy a gat marriage to a great guy. It's hard to believe that a person that young would be fortunate enough to have found and chosen the right person to spend tis or her life with, but I was that fortunate. Luckily, since we were so young we waited to have kids, and so although I have always wanted kids, I was able to experience my 20s without the responsibility of them. The freedom was something I totally took for granted. I am on vacation in Las Vegas right now, and as I sit here people watching I see 25 year olds everywhere. Some are here to party, and their carefree attitude is fun to watch, but the ones I am secretly jealous of are the ones here for some type of conference. I see them walking around with diligence and purpose. I am reminded of a conference I attended in my mid 20s. I was so eager and willing to accept the expertise of the speakers. Being on my own was new and exciting and a bit scary. I felt important and grown up. I remember enjoying the idea of actually being a grown up as opposed to feeling burdened by it. I miss that feeling... And so this vacation (an early 40th birthday present from my wonderful husband) has been spent trying to reconnect with that 25 year old in me. The one who is independent and adventurous. The one who doesn't spend at least an hour of every day with her calendar and schedule. The person who doesn't expect herself to already have all the answers. Have I found her? Well, yes for the time being she is with me, but the true test is if I can keep that spirit alive when I get back home. Back to the world where I don't feel like I am pretending to be grownup because there is no doubt that I am. Back to life where I feel the need to take care of not only my kids, but my parents and even some of my friends because that is the role I have chosen for myself. And that is the real point isn't it. My 25 year old self led me to choose that role. The girl who was so enthusiastic about being a grown up needs to remember that her responsibilities represent choices she has made and continues to make. That realization might just give her the feeling of freedom she has been missing.

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