Monday, April 2, 2012

When I Have Fears

It's been an interesting winter, I suppose, but finally, finally, it's turning into spring.  I love this time of year.  I survived the cold dark of fall and winter and now I'm to be rewarded with warm days that last and last.  I can always tel, because the wild mustard is already blooming on the hillsides, and even a few brave poppies have poked up their golden heads before the final frost.

Unfortunately, it also brings my birthday.  I know, it's a silly thing, and I should be excited or something, but the one thing no one realizes is that in truth, I'm terrified.  I know I say that and people laugh but. . . The reason I went so all-out for my birthday last year was because I rather planned on it being my last.

Don't freak out, I don't have any plans. I just - and I realize how ridiculous this is - don't want to get old.  It's a completely irrational fear, I know, but like all my other irrational fears, it comes with a great deal of anxiety.  It's hard to explain where this came from, only I know I've felt like this since I was 14.

I've always been afraid of aging.  I'm not so concerned for vanity's sake - neither my mother nor grandmother look even a decade near their true age - I'm concerned for other reasons.  For years I've felt like 21 was it.  And I royally blew it.  What did I do this year?  I spend a wonderful summer in Salem, OR, I went back to school and dropped out again; I reconnected with R--- and K---, I'm working a dead-end job for my father and have little more than a high school education.  Not much to show for 21 years on this earth.

And that's what I'm afraid of.  When we're young, we're starry-eyed dreamers, but we're gradually robbed of that as we get older until we're nothing but shells of who we once were.  I don't want to wake up one day and realize that I'm 40 with a husband and 3 kids and haven't lived my life.

I mean, how many 40 or 50 year olds do you know who are genuinely happy with how their life turned out?  Who rejoice in their aging? I've been told time and time again by people I love not to get old.  I know they mean it jokingly but. . . I genuinely don't want to.

Maybe it's just the Big D talking but . . .  I've been worrying about this for a while.  It's more than just worrying about not living fully or "making my dreams come true" (whatever that means...), but I can't quite articulate it.

I mean, I feel like this is it.  My friends and I are growing up, we're running out of things to connect us.  I know that's a normal part of growing up, but I want a do-over.  I didn't do high school right, I royally fucked up my college "experience" and all I can think is that I'm running out of time to do all the living I have to do before I'm conned into giving myself up and forced to grow up.  The unfairness of it is so bitter and vile.

I look at Kenzie and how wondrous the world still is to her and feel sick when I think that in 15 short years, she'll probably be as disillusioned as me, if not more so.  And in 15 years, I'll be 37.

Am I a horrible person for feeling so trapped? I've heard all the "it's never too late to do what you've dreamed of" that I can handle.  I just want to know what my options are.  I'm really worried where I'll be in a few more weeks. . .

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