Friday, November 21, 2003

Friday Five

Nanette's Topic: "I work in the music business. Glamorous as this may sound, we are actually just two women in a home office in South Austin. Hipness, youth and cool factor are a common topic of conversation between me and my boss, i'm 35 and she's 39. We often remenisce about our cool groovy old days when we actually went out to see the kind of bands we work with and go to the clubs we talk to everyday and it dawns on us that we are sooo way out of the cool scenes we envision ourselves part of still.
soooo, the topic is - what 5 ages would you like to be and why., either to re-live or that you imgine would be ideal in the future. Hey, if you are so inclined and have a moment to spare, what about throwing in 5 ages you would NEVER want to be again, and why"

1. 33. Yeah, life is crazy right now, but in general I have time to spend with family and friends. I have the family I've always wanted, a great group of friends, and enough money to do (most) of the things I want to do. I feel like my identity - my tastes, my preferences, my priorities - has solidified and I finally feel like a grown-up. And instead of talking about how I'd like to be a writer, I'm actually writing.

2. 22. Adam and I were newlyweds, living in Birmingham in a tightly knit community of friends. We had almost no money, but we also had very few expenses. We lived in a funky apartment in the Bohemian part of town, walking distance from our favorite bookstore, our favorite bar, our favorite restaurants, and most of our friends (Gina lived in the building next door). We threw crazy parties, met our friends once a week for supper club and had lots of free time for reading and hanging out. The lack of money was a serious bummer, but it's funny how often I dream about this period of my life.

3. 18 -19. I attended a small liberal arts school, where I got to explore all my intellectual interests, and do lots of theatre. I fell in with a wonderful group of friends very quickly. I met Adam on the first day of classes and we started dating almost immediately. I was on a scholarship, so I didn't have to work - I spent all my time reading, studying, doing theatre and hanging out with my friends.

4. 26 - I had survived graduate school and so had our marriage. I found a decent paying job, not in my field, but doing interesting work with good people. Adam was also making decent money. I was pregnant with Drew and we were excited about the prospect of a new baby.

5. 40 - I guess I'm an optimist, but I just have this feeling that things will continue to get better. When I'm 40, the kids will be 13, 10, and 7. They'll all be in school, and old enough to do really fun stuff with. If things go as planned, I should be well on my way to re-establishing my career, and we should have significantly more disposable income.

5 ages I never want to be again:

1. 9 - We moved back to the states from Canada and it was a very hard transition for me. The kids at my new school were much more sophisticated and socially advanced than the ones I knew in Edmonton - the girls were already boy crazy and wanting to wear makeup, while I was still playing let's pretend and pretty much ignoring the boys. Physically though, I was ahead of the curve, and so my body was starting to mature - I was awkward and uncomfortable and had a very hard time making friends. Because they didn't have my school records, they initially tracked me with the "slow" kids, so I was bored stiff in school. It was bad, *really* bad.

2. 13 - Same sort of thing, only it was Junior High, which only compounded the problems. We moved to Birmingham, leaving Little Rock, where I had finally made some friends, and I had to start all over again. Most of the kids at my school came from well-to-do families, and I felt like a complete misfit. Again, because of school records, I wasn't tracked in the gifted classes I'd been taking at my old school, so I had no way to connect with the other freaks and geeks.

3. 24 - I was in graduate school, in a department where I got little respect or assistance, Adam was miserably depressed, our marriage was shaky, and we had no money. I had an unplanned pregnancy, which we were actually very excited about, which ended in a late miscarriage. I spiralled into a serious depression, which was complicated by the death of a close friend in a car accident. My addictive tendency and the horror of my life brought me the closest I ever want to be to alcoholism.

4. 29 - This was another transition year. I had a difficult pregnancy with lots of health problems. Adam and I were working different shifts and never saw each other. We had serious child care issues and had to change our child care situation several times. I had a hard recovery after my delivery, recurring mastitis, and undiagnosed, but in retrospect, quite bad, postpartum depression. I quit my job after Franny was born to stay home with the kids. Adam was working a difficult schedule, neither of us were getting any sleep, and our income had been more than halved. I still don't know how I survived.

5. 17 - My circumstances weren't so dire, but I was a teenager with all the hormonal craziness and angst that implies. I didn't like myself or the way I looked, and I let my low self-esteem and my raging hormones direct some misguided choices. I wish I could tell my younger self not to get so serious with one guy, to date around, and not to feel like a boyfriend, any boyfriend was better than being alone. I wish I could tell her to spend more time with her girlfriends and less mooning over / fighting with her boyfriend. I wish I could tell her to expand her horizons and not let a stupid high school relationship limit her choices. (But of course, then you get into paradox land, because I wouldn't want to give up the life I have now, which is a direct result of some of the choices I made when I was 17.)


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