Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I Find Myself Still Here

We grow older.
We change.
Life changes around us.
People around us change.

We grow older.
We change.
But, somehow,
we also stay the same.


One of my favorite writers, Madeleine L'engle, said:


"The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.”

She's right.

At 31, homeschooling mother of two, I am still the toddler who twirled baton and basked in applause, holding my crowned head high. I am still the nine-year-old designing dresses on notebook paper, enthralled by my Trapper Keeper. I am awkward and thirteen, afraid to admit to liking someone lest my adoration become their humiliation. I am sixteen, fully aware of the sexuality inside my limbs, aching for attention. I am eighteen and covered in glitter, pressed close to a boy who sings my name. I am twenty, a new mom, crying, desperate for sleep that never ends. I am twenty-five and lonely, meeting my best friend for the first time, worried she won't like me, that I am too needy.

I am so many people.
And all of them
are me.

In other ways, I am entirely different. That beauty queen me would not recognize this girl who notices her socks don't match and then doesn't care.

Make-up?
Why bother?

Dress designing me would gape
as I pull on jeans again,
because I don't want
to shave today.

I am still enthralled
by office supplies.

I tell people how I feel now.
Sometimes, people don't like me back.
It still hurts.
I get back up.
At least now I know it isn't
because I have no breasts and
greasy hair.
They are not ashamed of my cheap shoes, only
my ideas and values
when mine will never match
their own.

I don't need every man in the room
to want me anymore.
It's a nice change,
a relief.
I've kissed no one but my husband
for twelve years,
and I couldn't be happier.
Amen.

I don't do glitter but I still like to shine.

Life is some days so hard I want to stay in bed, but I don't do that any longer. I get up. I take my meds. I read my Bible, say a prayer, make homeschool lists.

I face the day.

Thank God for Leila and the other friends He sent to me.
Thank God daily.

I do.

I still worry I am too needy.
I still wonder
if they really like me.
I doubt that will ever change.
It is ingrained.

I am no longer the teen who can talk on the phone for hours and shop for days, trying on clothes perkily and admiring my rear in full length mirrors. Now shopping makes me sad and lethargic.

Telephones make me quake.
I don't really know why.

31 years flew past.
32 in January.

One thing never changes.

Wherever I go,
wherever I land,
I find myself
still here.

1 comment:

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