Monday, April 13, 2015
(Not So) Little Old Lady
So I'm thirty three now. Thirty three years old. I've been married for thirteen years. I've been a mother for almost ten. I've been out of my daddy's house for fifteen years. I've been in charge of my own homes (not including college apartments) for eleven years. I've been making my own decisions, doing basically whatever I want, for SO LONG.
It's mostly awesome. I love being a grownup and I would literally NEVER go back to being sixteen, literally. I can't come up with a sum of money that's enough to send me back there. My high school experience certainly wasn't horrifying, I had Angela and my parents weren't monsters...but still. The very thought of it makes me shudder.
I've ALWAYS wanted to be older. "In my thirties" always seemed like the perfect goal (um, you can't really have 'being in your thirties' as a goal Zandee...) and now that I'm here, it's mostly rad. Of course, I wish I was thinner (but not enough to stop eating the Easter chocolate and exercise) and of course I wish I had a little more money (but not enough to stop shopping for things I don't want OR need) but other than those two things... I'm content.
I have wrinkles and acne, but not enough of either to make me want to put a paper bag over my head before I leave the house. I have anxiety and depression that are both sort of a drag, but I'm managing them both well enough that I can leave the house, and I don't spend (too many) hours crying into my pillow, unable to get out of the bed. My body does what I tell it to (for the most part) and I'm reminded every single (loud obnoxious) day that it created four healthy babies and carried them until they could survive outside on their own (loud and obnoxious though they be out here).
These things are nothing to turn my nose up at.
Of course, I'm scared of dying and getting older just brings me closer to that inevitablity, but I know I'm saved by Christ's blood, so even that isn't REALLY scary, because I'll be you dollars to donuts it's not so loud in heaven. I'm more scared of losing Nick or one of my babies, but that's a severe trigger for me, so let's not dive into that rabbit hole, kay?
So for me, at least, getting older is pretty cool. I love the freedom. Sixteen year old Jenn wouldn't dare go to the movies by herself, now, I do it on the regular. I still hate to eat by myself, but that won't be a problem till next year when Junebug is in school during lunch and I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
The best part is the KNOWLEDGE. Now, I know that having my heart ripped to shreds at the end of my freshman year is not, in fact, going to KILL ME DEAD. I know that less than eighteen months later, I will be married to the father of my four (loud and obnoxious) children, the man who will quite literally sweep me off my feet and cart me all around England and Europe and various tropical island, all with the four (loud and obnoxious) children in tow. Get off the floor Zandee, this heartbreak is NOTHING!!!
Now, I know that leaving Angela after graduation isn't the end of the world, and that even though we're going to have a few years of bumpiness, we're still going to be just as much a part of each other's souls as we were for those five years between eighth grade and senior year. I know that even though it's hard and doesn't actually get any easier to leave the friends the Navy drops into my lap, there's new friends out there, even for hermit Jenn. My heart aches for Melissa and Yvonne and Libby and Laura, but in London I found Samantha and Megan, and c'mon, those two aren't chump change. And I know that times are different, and leaving isn't forever. There's texting and facebook and even meeting your non lesbian soul mates via blogs, of all things. Hey Holly!! I'm talking about you!! And I miss your texts!! And your tiny circle face in those texts, from that pic of you and your sisters when you're about ten ;)
I know that leaving my beloved Virginia house isn't the end of the world (Man, Past Jenn sure was dramatic. Who knew? Why did she think that everything was 'the end of the world'? Oh wait.... she still hasn't quite outgrown that one... oops) because even though we haven't owned a house or done any bloodsweatandtears renovations since then, I've managed to pound out a home in each of our successive houses, and it all worked out. I know that the series finale of Lost isn't the end of good television (yes, this is actually something I worried about that fateful May) and that even though the end of Harry Potter did sort of mark the end of an era, I know now that there are still good books to be found. Although nothing that good. Yet.
I know now that I can, in fact, love a male child. If I could tell Past Jenn just ONE of these revelations, it would be that one. I'd lean over that ultra sound table where she lays sobbing and whisper it's weird, and you'll never believe me, but having a baby with a penis isn't the end of the world. He's AMAZING and you love him JUST as much as you love Ava, it's just different. And soon you'll have another girl at last, and guess what, she's different than Ava too!! DIFFERENT ZANDEE!!! People are different. And penis or no, you'll love him to bits. And his brother. Yes, there's another penis coming. Ugh. But have faith skinny crying Past Jenn!! You'll be fat, but you'll love your babies and all will be well.
Man, Past Jenn is sort of a drag. Seriously, having a boy is the END OF THE WORLD?!?! Get over yourself!!!
But that's the thing about getting older. Hindsight being twenty twenty and all that bullshit. That boy who ripped my hearts to shreds freshman year taught me many lessons, and one of them boiled down to: you should never say that such and such were the best years of your life. You should ALWAYS be looking forward. And while my thirties are the best years I've had SO FAR, I know it's only going to get better, because history. And you can't argue with the facts: my teenage years, hard as they were, were certainly better than being young and not allowed to do anything or spend every Friday night at Angela's house on Violet Street, basically competley unsupervised but still making the right choices. Man, we were so responsible and we didn't even know it!! And my twenties were VASTLY better than those awkward and confused teenage years, I don't think I need to give any examples lol. And my thirties so far have been INFINITELY better than my stressful and rushed twenties, not the least of which because NO PREGNANCIES AND NO BABIES!!! So the facts remain: it just gets better. And I can't wait.
Let's do this, thirty three. Because I cannot WAIT for thirty four.