an icon of my youth died today. and this passing has brought up some painful truths. truths i had buried so deep, i wasn't even aware of their impact on my life. on how these hidden truths had influenced every decision i have made.
i guess we all grow up believing in the fairy tales we're read to by our parents. maybe we all think the white hats will prevail, the maiden will find her prince and the wicked queens will be banished or destroyed. but the cold hard truth of the matter is that's not what always happens. and for those of us who have chosen, either passively or actively, to allow ourselves to see our worlds through those rose tinted glasses, its a harsh wake up call.
now, for my truth. the alarm went off too late on that wake up call. it's too late to change the things that need to be changed. too late to go back and undo the actions and decisions that led to this epiphany. so let's just stare this beast down and see if it'll back away.
looking back, i know now that i made excuses to everyone, least of all to myself, about not having children. i said i wasn't the motherly type. i said i didn't need kids to make my life fullfilling. that i was too set in my "me-centered universe" to allow room for someone that small and helpless. that my dogs and my cats were my children. that it was unconscionable to bring another life into this messed up space we inhabit.
all lies. the sad part is that, at the time, i wasn't even aware they were all lies. i had made myself believe being childless was my choice. looking back, i have to laugh at that delusion. the truth: i allowed someone else to shape the way i felt about kids. i allowed someone else to stand in the way of knowing what it felt like to be called "mommy."
but i can't blame that "someone else." i gave him that power. i allowed it. i was passive, submissive. and i thought that "someone else" would be in my life till the day i died. yeah, that's the second delusion we'll talk about.
my universe centered around "someone else." all my thoughts, my actions, my decisions were tempered by this "someone else." friends? who has time for that? my "someone else" takes up all the hours in my day. family? well, that "someone else" was all the family i needed, right? the sun and the moon shone only for him. the stars were jealous of his brilliance. everyone else paled by comparison. and he loved me!
lies. all lies. i know now that friends and family are one of the most important aspects of a well-rounded life. people who are important to you never take up time you don't have. you make time. and when that "someone else" decided one day that he no longer wanted to be the center of my universe, who could i call? who could i talk to? who's shoulder would i cry on? exactly. like Gilbert O'Sullivan so eloquently sang....."alone again, naturally."
so what's a girl to do? why, get another delusion going, that's what! find someone younger than that "someone else." find someone who makes you feel young again. someone who will keep you from thinking about all those years you "wasted" with that "someone else."
and there's another mistake. see? they don't stop when you mature. when you grow older. hell, they probably become more unrealistic.
the bare truth: you can't get back anything. you can't take back anything. you can't change anything. the past is gone. there's no such thing as "knowing then what i know now." you didn't. you couldn't. and even if you did, chances are, you'd have made the same bad choices in life.
so, now, i'm with that someone younger. and it only makes me feel older. that's a sad truth. he doesn't even know who this "icon of my youth" was. we don't share the same taste in music, politics, food, drink, ad nauseum. he doesn't remember when John Lennon was killed. how could he? he wasn't even born. he doesn't remember the Challenger disaster. he was only 5 years old. he's from a generation that had a game console from the time they could hold a controller in their hands. i'm from the generation who saw the first color television. he's from a generation that can't conceive of not having internet. i'm from the generation that looked up things in an encyclopedia. we're miles and years apart.
but what's a girl to do? what i'm good at. keep on deluding myself. it's easier than facing another truth.