Wednesday, October 7, 2009

i may look like a kid...

...but I'm definitely not. The other day, at Costco, I got carded. Cardo was buying some riesling, his new favorite wine, but because I had used my Costco card at checkout, the cashier asked for my ID. As usual -- yes, this is a somewhat frequent occurence, although it's becoming less so -- Cardo joked with the cashier about how young I look and how people must think he's a dirty old man (his phrase). The cashier said I looked twenty and Cardo and I both immediately noted how at least I was looking in my twenties now. Then, the cashier admitted that she thought I was younger than that, but assured me that when I'm in my forties, I'll be loving this. I don't mind it now. If I stop to think about it, I find it amusing. I've found there's not much I can do about others' perceptions. Even when I trade my glasses for my contacts (which isn't that often anymore) and even when I dress up and wear makeup, people still think I'm much younger than I am. I don't see it. When I look in the mirror, I see how tired I look. How I look so much older than I did in my senior class high school picture (okay, so I was seventeen and looked about twelve). But, I'm so bad at guessing people's ages that I've just given up.

Yesterday, I was talking to my older sister and she said something about Rebecca Romijn, referring to her as a young woman (I had asked her if the stars of a new show were teenagers, and she told me they were young women). I told my sister I thought Romijn was in her forties (because I'm apparently clueless). Let me just pause a moment and say that I, by no means, think of forties as old. I would just describe a forty-year-old woman as 'a woman' and not 'a young woman.' Okay, then. Anyhow, my sister said Romijn was in her thirties, somewhere between my age and my sister's age.

And, wow, I thought, 'How close I am to being in my thirties.' I have this thought a lot. I'm not sure what to do with it. It's not like it really means anything significant, right? It just means my age will start with the number three instead of the number two. However, I do feel like it should mean something. Something like, I'll be a grown-up and I should have things in order, I should have things figured out. Perhaps I should. Perhaps I will. Perhaps that whole 'having things figured out' deal kind of scares me because it feels like settling or tying myself down or something. Finally, perhaps I should realize that I do have things figured out. I know where I am right now. I know where I want to be in a year and then five years after that and even five years after that.

Perhaps I'll focus both on that and on where I am right now: this place where I get to wake up every morning to Pic's demands that I get up let her watch a little tv because her room is clean; this place where Pic and I take long walks to the post office, the coffeehouse, the library, the park; this place where I get to spend this one last year with her before she's caught up in the whirlwind of school that, for some, lasts for decades once it's begun.

I've probably said this here before, but I'll say it again. Both in my life and here in the pond (ha!), I am trying to focus more on what's good, more on what I have right now. I often use this space to purge all the ugly going on in my head, but then it's out there infecting everyone else. I apologize for that. I'm not promising that I'll stop doing that, but I'll make a concerted effort to not do it so much. I'll also be making an effort to not mentally compare myself with everyone else and to not wallow in the results (because I can often only see the great parts of others' lives). And, if I stop putting so much energy into all that ugly, perhaps I'll be able to funnel that energy into reaching my goals. Duh, I know, but sometimes I need to write it out for myself to be able to really see it.


Coach J said...

Yep, 30 is just around the corner! It is a bit scary, as I don't consider myself a "grown-up" yet (when does that happen?). As far as figuring stuff out goes, I think it's a kind of get-it-as-it-happens type of deal; you'll know when you get there.

Oh, and one of my students thinks I'm 22. Awesome! At least I can drink!