Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dirty Thirty: Accept no ones definition of your life, define yourself.

With each birthday, I always take time to reflect. In fact, you can usually find me  tirelessly comparing my current life, to my predicted life according to the MASH games that I played in my younger years. If you have never played the game of MASH, I implore you to use this amazing oracle to predict your future. Of course, I should warn you that the game isn't entirely accurate. I am sad to report that as of today, I am in no way happily married to a doctor, living in a shack, with 6 kids and a pet monkey. So please, use the game with caution, or you may end up being disappointed. 

I like to think that at some point, everyone examines how far they've come by reminiscing.  Memories seem to weave together and like looking through an old photo album, you are taken right back to different times and places in your past. Most times, I am greeted in my past with smiles of good memories. 

Other times, I may find myself just short of blowing rainbows out my ass . We've all been there,one minute you are looking through old pictures, the next you are crying relentlessly over lost loves, and opportunities. Before you know it, you're three quarters deep into a gallon of ice cream, watching The Notebook and crying to anyone who will listen. Your mantra: I am going to die alone with 900 cats. WHY ME? 

* In 2007 I may have watched the notebook and  done some eating that I am not proud of. In fact, I cried uncontrollably to my mother for hours thinking my life was over. I have since enacted a strict no Notebook watching while miserable rule to protect myself from  screaming out " Why wont someone build me a God Damn house like that?  "Nobody will ever build me a house, or love me like that!" 
* cry cry cry * blow nose * cry * cry to kathy, cry * 

I now prefer the likes of Leonardo Di Caprio in Titanic when I am feeling down. You can find me in my finest sweat pants whimpering," I will NEVER let go Jack!" which is almost always immediately followed up by a teary, yet inspiring musical rendering of My Heart Will Go On. As I finished typing this, I realize how lame this may be, but it soothes my soul, so judge not. 
( you know you want to push play. Do it. I'll wait ) 

Part of growing up is reflection and sometimes, as hard as it may be to admit, we sometimes find ourselves comparing ourselves to others. I know I am guilty of the comparison game. I would like to think that I am not alone here, but hell I may very well be, a jealous, miserable bitch. 

From a young age, you tell yourself what you want from life, and you dream of where you will be by a certain point in your life. I don't know about you, but I was either on sedatives in elementary school or I was really blowing rainbows out of my ass. (Mom can you confirm either of these?)  I swore to myself that at 30 I would be married to Lance Bass from N Sync with 3 kids, living in LA and drinking margaritas in my in ground pool while someone else took care of my kids. 


Here I sit 29 and unmarried. My true love, Lance Bass has since come out of the closet, and we never got to have those kids. In fact, the closest thing to that has happened in regards to my diluted life prediction, has come in the form of getting lit off of  1/2 price Corona's while sitting in a baby pool in my mothers back yard. 

As it turns out, things don't always go according to plan. But that's OK, I just keep telling myself that while aapproaching 30,  its normal to panic. Now let me share, my inner most thoughts with a little version of what happens in my mind each day.

     Here's a role play break down. 

Society: You are on the wrong side of 25, have yet to marry, and push out a baby, you are as a good as a leper.

Real life in Jackie's brain: I am 29 and 3/4. A room full of 13 year olds with attest that I don't look a day over 24. I don't want to be married yet, and I am not ready for a baby. I am poor!

Society: All your friends have babies, when will you have one? If you wait until after 30 your baby will have 3 heads and a tail. YOU WILL BE TOO OLD. You don't want a baby with a tail do you? DO YOU ?!?!?

Real life Jackie's brain: What the hell. Too old? I am turning 30! I don't feel old, don't people live past 100 now? In 2013 your telling me I cant have a baby over 30? Cant I freeze my eggs next to some ice cream in my freezer? Not to mention, there is always adoption, assholes. 

Society: Oh you poor thing. You aren't married and you don't have a beach house and 2 cars. Whats there to live for?  or There must be something wrong with her... ( whispers and head nods)

Real life Jackie's brain: Does this make me a worthless contribution to society? What the hell is wrong with you!? I am 29. Shouldn't we worry when I am 39 and living the life of a hermit?

When everything around me feels like its too much pressure, I remember the wise words of my father. " Screw them, do what you want" ( please note this works to use in pretty much any situation) and I proudly assert myself again as a woman who works on her own timeline. Not what I "should" be doing. Recently, my own mom, who has never been one for pressure, asked me if she would ever be a grandmother. I was caught off guard, especially when I realized she was serious. I didn't tell her at the time, but i am sure she saw it when I turned up my nose and glared at her, she really pissed me off.
 ( still love you mom) My initial thought was, not you too. Its not Kath's fault,or any ones really. I know my mom wasn't trying to be offensive. But sometimes, you just give in to the idea that you may very well have something wrong with you, since you are in fact, NOT where you thought you would be at a certain age. 

I have learned, that you cant compare yourself to others. Its hard, really hard. But you have no idea what their life path is about. In my experience comparison, leads to envy, jealousy, and gets you literally nowhere. Well that's a lie, it does help you gain about 10 pounds and gives you a one way ticket to miserable. The reality of it all, is who gives a crap what anyone thinks about your life, you are living for you, or at least you should be. Marrying Lance Bass and living in LA is not for everyone. Either is marriage, babies, or a conventional job. So be it. The lesson is this.

live. You want a baby, go make one. You want a marriage, you ring those wedding bells girl. You want to pack your shit and move across the country, break out the packing tape. DO YOU. The time is right when its time. Slow down and live. Screw the idea of your MASH future, and your perfect idea of what and where you need to be at 30. If you get nothing more from my ramblings, please take this, next time you feel old or sub par, please repeat. Its 30. Not, death.  

Now, I leave you with a quote that I refer to often. -This one applies to everyone, and somehow calms me down when everything else gets too big. 

 Carolyn Hax, said this to a 30 year old woman depressed over her single/childless status: 
"Single? Irrelevant. Staying happily married is a feat, I suppose, but getting married in itself is no accomplishment. Making good decisions, dealing with bad ones, resisting outside pressure, moving at your own speed, overcoming fear, growing up, facing your faults -- these are accomplishments. If they find you married, so be it. If they find you single, so be it. Just as age is no mark of worth, birthdays are no measure of beginnings...Your beginning will be the day you take on your malaise. "Now" has a ring to it, no?"

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