I make myself sound like such an old fart when I talk about the past, even though I’ve barely cracked middle age. A lot of things in this world have surely changed, and it seems they are changing more and faster every day. I don’t know when the things of this world got as “disposable” as people nowadays seem to believe that they are. Life didn’t seem to be like that in another time that I remember. Maybe that’s just another thing that’s changed.
I can remember being a small kid, and now I look back on everything I always thought I wanted to be, and what seemed to be important then. I don’t ever remember a time when I didn’t want to grow up and be a mom. I used to dream of being a famous singer, or a famous writer. I guess I still do dream of the singer and writer part, but sadly anymore you have a snowballs chance of getting to sing unless you are a size 0, barely outta high school and have the “look” the record execs are looking for.
When did I kinda give up on my dreams? Maybe it was as I got a little older and teachers and other people told me that only the most beautiful and the best deserved to do those things. I don’t know why I let them make me feel so unworthy, but I did, and to this day I still struggle with it. Maybe it was when my mom told me that if I couldn’t make a living at it, it wasn’t worth doing and I would be an idiot for trying. Dreaming was going to get me nowhere in life. That stung, those words still hurt.
Today I only sing with the radio, and as many awards and compliments as I’ve ever gotten for my singing, I’m still so self-conscious that my husband has heard me sing only once in the almost two years we’ve been together. As much as I dream of singing, I know no band out there wants a 40 something slightly overweight soccer mom at the mic. Maybe I have to accept that dream is one who’s time has passed.
Writing is something I still dabble with, but I’ve somewhat almost given up on as well. I’ve written 3 complete novels and several partial ones now, but no one seems to want to read anything I’ve written. My mom still believes it’s a waste of time, and my husband only seems to beat around the bush and come up with reasons not to when I ask him. It almost feels pointless sometimes to write all these things if no one will ever read them. Why do I keep doing it? Maybe because I have to. Maybe getting everything down on “paper” is the only way I know to let out everything I can’t say otherwise.
Maybe what I thought I wanted to be is still who I want to be after all.
I realize this is cliche, but do what makes you happy, regardless of what others think. Write because you love to write, and sing like no one’s listening. Things will fall into place as they should, but try not to forget why you love these things in the first place =)
I remember being a kid, and stories and music being about the only things that really made me happy. I think many people that had really rough childhoods escape into those things, and it’s a blessing that they are there.
Sometimes I think what kids want almost as much as love, is to believe they are valued and GOOD at something. Actually, I don’t think that leaves us when childhood does, I think most people want that no matter how old they become.
I think it takes us a long time to figure out what we want to be when we “grow up” We are too busy being moms, wives, taxi drivers, chefs, nurses, accountants, teachers, and rainbow makers. I say go with your gut and try whatever you think makes you happy today. One little step at a time as you tell yourself, “I am proud that I tried that” You never know what can happen 🙂 By the way, 40 is the new 20! It’s just a number – Don’t let a silly couple of digits stop you!
I can really relate to this, I went straight from high school student to single mom. I’ve dedicated so much of my life to my kids and being “Mom” that I guess I lost exactly who I was along the way. Maybe a lot of other women can relate to that. You get so used to doing the things you have to do, and your wants and your dreams sort of fall along the wayside, or at least take a backseat to helping your children achieve theirs.
I was starting to deal with the partially empty nest and trying to figure all that out again when I got a surprise in the form of an unexpected midlife baby. I am still determined not to get as lost in things this time. One big difference is now I have a lot more help from a husband who is a great dad. Having him around really helps tremendously, as much as our quirks can annoy each other on some days. He really is the supportive type, maybe a lot more than he sounds. If I just knew what I wanted to do, he’d be pushing me out the door and telling me to have at it. The problem is, I just don’t know how to go about finding it anymore.
I think you have taken a great and invaluable first step – writing it down and “VENTING”
For now, baby steps (no pun intended) – when you have a minute, do something for yourself. I know it’s easier said than done. I to am still finding myself in my 40’s. My life revolved around babies, dogs, and PTA.
Maybe we need to start a bucket list. Something simple that can be tackled in the not so distant future.
I’d like to take my nieces to Disney before I use a walker – They are 3 and 5 months old and live in Europe. I told my brother I will take them when they are older. He and my sister-in-law are planning a few days along when I take the girls. Hope they have a chance to get away before that! It’s gonna be a while – not sure I can handle little girls screaming and crying at the sight of Cinderella. The only girls in my house are me and the dog!
We WILL FIGURE IT OUT – it may just take some time and some chocolate! Hang in there 🙂