Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Am I The Same?

Little Cuter wonders how I've changed since my adolescence.  Totally and Not At All is the most honest answer.

I'm still among the shortest people in the room.  My long, dark hair is now short and mostly grey.  Others see me as fit and trim today; I used to be just skinny. 

I was the fastest girl in my grade school classes; now I gimp along, struggling to keep up with the adults, giving up on catching FlapJilly.  That's the change that I notice the most.  Nannie used to laugh as she heard my footsteps; "Doesn't that girl ever do anything but scurry?"  Those days of quick movements were perforated, but the impetus behind them remains.  I'm moving fast in my soul, even if my body is lagging behind.

I was a voracious reader then, and I am one today.  Picking up a novel after the end of classes Freshman year remains one of the most satisfying events of my Summer of 1970.  I had time to read for pleasure.  Life was good.  Today, as The Burrow has reported often enough, spending all day with a topped off ice tea and a one-day-read is as near to heaven as I can get.

Then and now, I'd rather be outdoors than watching tv.  I would rather write you a letter than call you on the phone.  I need a solid breakfast and a decent snack in the late afternoon to maintain my sanity - both G'ma and the Cuters will attest to that.  "Mom, do you want to eat something????!!!!???" was their gentle reproach when hunger got the better of my after-school greeting.

I'm more comfortable with myself now than I was at 16.  I thought I was pretty special, then, and I wondered why no one else noticed that fact.  Could I be wrong?  Now I don't worry so much about whether others notice my wonderfulness.  As long as I make myself happy, I'm fine.  In Psych 101 terms, I have more of an internal locus of control as I age.

And that is funny, because the sources of my discomfort are, for the most part, external these days.  Trump.  2008.  Climate Change.  Our current president was merely a tabloid joke in my teens.  The financial markets were humming.  We were concerned about regulating smog, not boiling the entire planet.  As a teen, I felt much more in control of the outside world; student protests stopped a war and convinced a sitting president not to run for reelection. 

As an adult, I have a more realistic appraisal of my ability to secure lasting change.  I am still protesting a war and its consequences.  Access to birth control and abortion services are once more under attack.  With the other grey haired women similarly situated, I cannot believe we are still fighting these fights. 

I wish I had had Ruth Bader Ginsburg to look up to when I was a teen.  I wish Sally Ride and Serena Williams and Martha Pollack had been there to show me the way.  I was willing but didn't think I was able.  I didn't think it was possible.  After all, Della Street was an able assistant to Perry Mason, but she didn't get to search for clues very often.  Beaver Cleaver's mother wore pearls and did hand sewing.  The adventurous women on tv were single girls looking for a man to marry. 

I'm less certain about some things and more convinced than ever about others.  My politics are still progressive.  I'm marginally less judgmental.  I still leave piles of unfinished projects everywhere I go and cannot remember where I've left my keys and my wallet.  I have the best handwriting in my family.  I have more money now, less strife, a home with a better view. 

Inside, though, I'm still the girl who wonders if anyone would like me if they really knew who I am.


  1. Everybody needs a friend or two who know our darkest side. It's a risk though as not all can be trusted with that side. For some of us, our dark side is more a pale gray lol but we all have one.

    1. The friends I cherish the most are those who tell me to sit down, shut up, and get out of my own way.

  2. Not only you, Most of the people wonder that someone like them only for the real reasons.
    Chandigarh Bytes


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