Sunday, November 08, 2009


The thing about being sick for eleven days straight is that it forces me to stop trying to move at the speed of light.

And frankly, I don't like having to slow down, because when I slow down, I have time to think.

And when I start to think, I start to get depressed.

Huh. Wow. Those first three sentences may be the most honest thing I have written here in years. Just like that, I think I've had a break through.

It is true, that I don't like to be left alone to my thoughts. Mostly because my thoughts can carry me to some deep, dark, scary places. Places that I wish to God didn't exist in my brain, but there they are, always in the shadows, always waiting for my conscious self to pop in. During the past week and a half, while I have been extremely under-the-weather, I've been popping in on those dark corners of my brain semi-frequently. Down time, for me, unfortunately turns into "down time," or depression.

There are a few things going on that have made me start to reflect on my life. I've got my twenty year high school reunion coming up, which is enough to make anyone stop dead in their tracks and say "Holy shit!"

Also, my husband just turned forty. What this means to me is, I am next. (Leave it to me to make my husband's fortieth birthday all about me). And while this upcoming birthday for me is NOT the big 4-0, I am freaking out nonetheless. Turning twenty-nine hit me a million times harder than turning thirty did, perhaps because it emphasized the finality of my twenties. Turning twenty-nine was HARD. Turning thirty-nine next month will not be pretty, and that is a guarantee. There is absolutely nothing good about thirty-nine, at all. Thirty-nine is the exclamation point, the big "fuck-you" that culminates my thirties, and while I am being brutally honest here, I will admit that my thirties sucked.

My thirties should have been wonderful, based on some key events. I got married three months before I turned thirty one. We built our beautiful home when I was thirty three. And eleven days before I turned thirty five, I became a mom to the most wonderful child ever.

But something else happened to me in my thirties, and it is hard to explain. I can't put my finger on when it happened, or how it happened, but throughout the course of the past ten years I got old.

Old might not even be the right word for it.

I've become....crotchety. Yup. Crotchety it is.

(I am sure that my husband at this point would come up with a different "c" word to describe me, and to be honest I wouldn't even disagree with him).

When you think of the word crotchety it conjures up certain images that probably do not resemble me (i.e. Ebenezer Scrooge), but it really is the term that best applies here. I used to be fun, I used to enjoy a good laugh, a good prank, a good time, etc. But...I don't know...I look back on the past decade and when I see myself, I see a bitter, angry person. I see a person who was once vivacious and full of joy, and that person now seems to have had almost every ounce of life sucked from her.

Remember the movie "The Wizard of Oz," when, after the tornado, the house finally lands in Oz and the front door opens and the world has gone from drab black and white to vivid color? I feel like I have been living the reverse of that; my life was once rich and full and vibrant, and in an instant turned to a dull grayscale. I have had a handful of rich moments in the past ten years, but that is all they have been: fleeting moments, few and far between.

The joie de vivre that used to consume me has been missing for a long, long time. And I would give almost anything to get it back.

I could delve a bit deeper here to search for the root cause of what has been bothering me, but honestly, what would be the point? I could blame all sorts of things for causing my ten-year funk, and there are undoubtedly a number of specific things I could point the finger at, but what would be accomplished?

The bottom line is this: sometimes, you just have to get back to basics.

I am probably not making a lot of sense right now, I am not often very eloquent. But it makes sense to me, getting back to basics. It makes perfect sense. And it only took thirty-eight years and eleven months for me to figure it out.

Here is the truth: we know what makes us happy. We already know it. For most of us, we discovered it long, long ago.

And then we grow up. We forget. We start wanting other things. We think we need these things to make us happy. We think that if we don't have these things, we will not be happy. We listen to the outside world, and believe the things that it tells us will make us happy. And slowly, piece by piece, we change. We alter our true selves. We adapt. We lie.

And we become crotchety.

But that doesn't have to be the end of the story. Hopefully at some point we catch a glimpse, we remember, we realize. We recall what makes us happy. And we know to stop searching for what doesn't.

I guess, in a very long winded way, I am admitting that I am seizing this upcoming year for what it is - an opportunity. An opportunity to end my thirties on a high note. An opportunity to begin the next decade of my life better. An opportunity to be true to myself, and to live my life happier. To live my life doing things that I am well aware make me happy, rather than to be constantly searching for things that I can only speculate will. Better to go with the known quantity, I'm learning. Again, it only took thirty-eight years.

To that end, I have an appointment this coming Thursday. I am meeting with someone who at one time in my life was extremely important to me. And I am picking something up from this person, something that is going to help me tremendously. Something that is making my heart skip a beat, just thinking about it.

Be true to thyself.

It has been a long, long time since I have been. I took a detour a while back. But I am heading the right way again.

I'm headed home. And it is going to be an interesting trip getting there.

'Til Thursday...