content disclaimer: these 99%s are wholely and completely unrelated to the more famous 99%s recently occupying streets and headlines
i’m having this strangely nervous, giddy weekend. there are a number of i’ve-never-done-this-before elements at play, one characteristic of which is to warp my internal age meter, distorting and disrupting the natural order of aged things.
that food is fresh. the baby is young. that is a kitten. i’m a grown woman.
the natural, obvious order of aged things.
inside this scrambled up noodle, and connected to this dramatically sentimental heart, is my inner thirteen year-old. this weekend, the inner thirteen year-old is meeting the outwardly mature and composed 20-something daughter of the man this 39-year old dates. that man is also of an obscure age, so our peter pan and action figure selves live in an ageless physics all their own, disturbed now by weird things like his kid being old enough to have my kid.
in the natural world, my 39 year-old self feels young and looks young (thanks to mom, dad, DNA and the tigger spring shoved up my attitude), while the person looking out of my eye sockets feels a variety of ages, situation dependent. feeling old is uncommon and typically brief…like that moment every few years when you bother to read the counter sign that announces “You must have been born on or before a date in the model year of my car to buy cigarettes or alcohol.” or when you jump in a pickup game of anything and realize in eleven seconds just how far you and your body have drifted apart.
feeling young in good and uncomfortable ways is more common for me. the “good” part of feeling young is a consistent theme in my posts. so let’s talk about uncomfortable. do you find that certain people and situations can reduce you to a range where “-pubescent” with some prefix can still apply? that characteristic has followed me from puberty through quite an independent, responsibility-filled life, but it does feel like it’s changing the closer i get to 40. i wonder if sometime soon i will feel like a real grown up…not “my age” exactly…but if a point will come at which the maturity lag will still place my most snickery self within the adult age range.
that’s not this weekend though. i remind myself that the 20-something i’m talking about sees the world through her own eye sockets and i try to revisit mine at that age for some perspective. but she seems so mature. that’s not how it’s supposed to work. “kids” today are supposed to mature later and still be ridiculous, use the word “like” too much (at least more than i do), and look 16 forever. maybe it’s because she’s taller than me? hardly any girls are. perhaps it’s a physiological observation affecting my psycho-social reaction. (see all the grown up words i know?). maybe it’s because she’s kinda quiet. maybe i just shouldn’t expect to know what to expect.
you might call all of this confusion immaturity and insecurity. i call it a life of youth and whimsy. what’s amazed me this weekend is that part of life still feels like the lunch room in junior high. maybe that’s a good memory for some…for others it makes Paradise Lost read like a travel magazine. but those lunch tables left over in my mind are vestiges of the character building that formed my compassion and empathy…both for myself and others. looking back i think i was kind of cool kid to kids even less cool than me…but that didn’t leave much feelin’ cool to split between us all. i didn’t like how some of my peers thought of me then…or didn’t think of me…so i had to find my outrageous self another way.
perhaps writing about it here will help me merge my “selves” into a life of youth and whimsy, maturity and security, with lots more i’ve-never-done-this-before elements to process. or maybe i’ll always factor in the view from the lunch room…maybe that legacy of adolescence never truly fades to 100% funny. it’s ok, i am and always have been part of the 99%. and i like it. there is a lot of room for weird in here.