Aside from the realization my child—the little precocious girl who always marched to her own drum—is a bona fide adult, it became clear to me that she already is so much better at ‘adulting’ than I ever was.
At thirty, with two young children, I had been mostly flying by the seat of my pants. Finding foothold in a new-to-us country, and frankly flapping my wings in an uncontrolled effort to find my niche. No real purpose, and honestly no real drive.
But then here is my daughter, who even as a young child had very clear ideas about what she wanted and how to go about getting it. With focus, with determination and with confidence. All traits, I was sure until recently, escaped me.
I did raise fantastic kids, and that is something I was obviously good at, but as for having real goals (other than winning it big in the lottery) I simply had none.
Everyone knows that all it takes is breathing, to experience hardship and struggles in a lifetime. I had my share. The losses of marriage, security and health have left their marks, but at the end of every hit I managed to get back on my feet. No choice, really, none of us do. And if I didn’t have it in me to hack it by myself, I was fortunate enough too have people around me ready give me a swift kick in the ass to get me moving.
And I got moving.
I moved from job to job, doing whatever it took to stay standing. I really loved some of them too. But each time I seemed to settle in, something, some event or circumstance would cause me to have to switch tacks again.
When finally my health got the better of me, limiting my mobility and hampering my cognitive functioning, I became useless.
No longer able to react with flexibility and resilience, I sank deep.
Even my life-long love of reading was gone. I couldn’t read (insert horrified gasp). For two years I was unable to focus my mind on even a single sentence. Wasn’t able to lose myself in the alternate worlds that had sustained me for so long.
I couldn’t find an outlet for my inherent creativity, something that had taken many shapes and forms over the years.
Almost fifty (at that time) and other than my amazingly awesome kids, I had nothing to show for it. Nothing to contribute anymore. And pain was what ruled my days.
But with their support, the endless patience of family and friends (I am tremendously blessed) and some much needed treatment, I surfaced. Slowly but surely.
And then I picked up a book. And read. And another, and another… soon I was reading like a fiend. Three books a day on average and I had something to say about all of them. So I wrote it down in a review. It was cathartic and I had a real knack for it.
A blogger was born and slowly my empty, endless days started filling with usefulness.—purpose. But I didn’t stop there. Although writing had never been the creative outlet of choice for me other than a brief dream in my younger years, I suddenly found myself with stories to tell.
My entire life to that point I had existed reacting to life—now I was ready to start living it. Grabbing hold of that wheel and driving it.
Two years later and I am realizing dreams I didn’t realize I had, and certainly didn’t think I would ever reach.
So when we were celebrating my daughter’s thirtieth birthday with our large broken, reassembled, blended, but more importantly, loving family last night, it hit me that at fifty-three, I’m finally growing up to be like my daughter.
Focused, determined and with confidence.