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on growing old(er)…

June 8, 2012

a few days ago i had another birthday.  this year i turned 32 years old.  it feels old.  it isn’t that old, really, but it feels old.  well, older, anyway.  i don’t know what age i feel like i am, but i don’t know that i feel 32 really, either.  i guess that means that i graduated from college 10 years ago.  and high school graduation was 14 years ago.  it doesn’t seem like that much time has passed.  most days i feel the same as i always did.  most days i recognize that i still have the same strengths and weaknesses as i always have; i feel the same in my insecurities and in my joys as i ever have before.  i don’t really feel that different at 32, but i know i am… somehow.  i feel like i have to be, right?

i think back to those days in college when i would go to work in the evenings, come home and do homework, head over to my friend mike’s house and stay up drinking until the wee hours of the morning.  somehow each morning after all that, i would drag my ass out of bed and go to my 8:00 a.m. class and find time to socialize with other friends before going back to work in the evening (and then starting the cycle all over again).  i know my life is different than that now.  i am usually in bed by 11:00p.m. unless there is some sort of special occasion.  just thinking about running on the little sleep i used to get each night exhausts me now.  i know that the day following an evening of consuming alcohol  i need an extra few hours of sleep and my recovery time is nowhere near what it once was– thinking about going back out, or socializing, or making it to a class (if i had one) are not options i entertain.  so, i know that physically i am slowing down.  my body takes longer to recover from stresses than it used to.  i am growing older in this way.

i don’t really know that i am any wiser.  i am still a child when it really comes down to my emotions.  i still spend most of my days wondering if my friends like me as much as i like them.  i think about if i have said the right things or done the right things in situations that seem to haunt me.  much as when i was younger, i am plagued with worry that i am insignificant to the people that matter most to me.  i lay in bed at night and wonder if they hear me; if they see me; if they really are interested in my being a part of their lives.  i am as uneasy as i ever was.  i never know when to make my feelings known and when to hold back.  i spend far too many moments wondering who is talking about me and judging my decisions behind my back.  if i am so much older, i cannot begin to fathom why i ache to be accepted in the same way i have since i was in grade school.  growing older clearly hasn’t meant for me that i have grown surer of myself and my decisions.  like previously stated, i can’t imagine that the years that have passed have made me any wiser.  i think that must be something people just say– for me, it’s a trick.

the only real thing that has changed about my life since i was younger is that i have my own family now.  and really all of that has just happened in the past two years.  it feels surreal to me to say, “my husband,” or “my daughter,” almost every time i say those phrases.  i always imagined what it would be like to have a family of my own when i was a child.  as i grew older, into college and beyond, i really could never see myself having children.  my deep-seeded fears and doubts about my abilities to be a (decent) mother always outweighed my thoughts about having children.  i could imagine myself being married, sure, but never with kids.  and i still struggle with that even though i am now a mother.  i worry (some days more than others) that i am not as good at mothering as i would like to be.  i worry that my every action and decision is placing an irreversible stamp onto my daughter’s life and she will never be able to return to the perfect state she was when she came into this world.  i worry that i am just screwing it all up…

…i sincerely hope that is not the case.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jason permalink
    June 8, 2012 3:51 pm

    It isn’t the case. Not at all. We couldn’t be anymore grateful to know and love you.

  2. evie permalink
    June 8, 2012 10:04 pm

    Oh Lydia, another wonderful essay…I have no doubt that you are a wonderful mother and little Harper is so lucky to have you. As for friendship, you are an absolutely wonderful friend and I am proud to say I know you and am your friend.
    But face it… “You ARE getting OLD!” ;-p But I will always be older.
    Loves to you and your sweet family! xoxo

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