And That’s How It Is

I’ve been so stuck in the past – as though it’s vital I get back there, as though that’s the only part of my life that mattered, as though now is a wasteland unworthy of notice when it is actually rich, and actually all there is. The past is gone – just like Steven Tyler sang in Dream On

all those years ago when, ironically, he was just becoming an adult.

I think the pain makes me feel alive, the longing gives me a sense of purpose, like: ‘Don’t forget how things were!’ – but it’s a lot of revisionist history because so much of my early life sucked-ass.

I was battling panic disorder, undiagnosed major depression, and PTSD – before PTSD was a word, and then only by soldiers who had witnessed untold horrors qualified.

Well, sorry, but trauma is trauma & fucks you up for life. Trauma literally changes your brain. My brain is different from non-traumatized brains, so stop telling me to have a better attitude! It doesn’t work like that! (“That’s not how this works! That’s not how any of this works!“)

It’s also accepting, or trying to accept, that my beautiful boy, the light of my life, has grown up and not only doesn’t need or want my counsel, or my – anything – but he’s a man, and wants to be seen as he sees himself. I cannot divorce my connection to him as my boy, so therein lies the rub. So, that’s present pain.

I’m older. That’s present pain. There’s nothing I can do about it. That’s present pain. I’m lonely for connection more than just my significant other. That’s present pain. I can’t seem to hold a job. That’s present pain. My family is dying off. That’s past and present pain. I miss old connections. That’s past and present pain.

We’re living in bizarro world with dangerous politics and a megalomaniac president. That’s present pain, panic, anxiety, and PTSD!

Those are my fears writ large. The President is basically Michael Rapunzel, the head of the commune/cult, and the President’s sycophants, like Rapunzel’s, can’t see his horror, or they revel in their chance at power and gain riding on his coat tails.

I’ve been down this road and now I’m living through it again. It’s harder because I know the outcome. It’s all about oppression and control, not co-operation or decentralization of power. The President, like Rapunzel, is mentally ill, and no one is stopping him.

I can look at the present pain in my life and do what I can to minimize it. I know it’s also a flux issue. My feelings, needs, and desires change – sometimes on a daily basis  – but there are times I’m truly joyful instead of longing for it.

There are days I’m connected to life and loneliness vanishes.

There are times my son calls or texts and I feel better for our connection rather than inadequate or stupid.

I’ve even been kind and accepting of my aging at times instead of railing against it – but anything I’ve ever let go of has claw-marks all over it.

And string hanging off those claws.

And glue holding the string on.

And then duct tape when the glue starts to peel…

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

 

Younger-er

There’s a new series on TV called, Younger, starring Sutton Foster, that is so fun.  The concept is of a newly divorced mother trying to re-enter the work force at 40, and being turned down due to her age by interviewers in their 20’s.  While ridiculous on its face, there are truths, or at least issues, I can relate to.

http://www.tvland.com/shows/younger
http://www.tvland.com/shows/younger

Not a fan of aging, or of people complaining about being old, or how old they are, and blah, blah, blah, I so relate to this character.

The ideas of youthful freedom are as tantamount as the inexperience and relative irresponsibility of being young.  So while I complain about those who complain about being old, I see the bounty of perspective.  I see how each and every day led to me to where I am, and I wouldn’t care to repeat much of that time.

I learned about betrayal, heartache, false friends, misguided trust, and self-reliance.  Being my own best friend was hard-gained, and learning that being alone was alright took several years.

It was miserable when I saw younger people see me as older.  It was truly fucking awful, but what could I do?  I couldn’t afford surgery to try to stay perpetually 20, and even if I could, why would I want to?  I was there!  So, my twenties sucked – a lot of it.  I also had a lot of fun.  My thirties came quicker than I expected, but there ya go – it happened, and so did my forties…

Acceptance is a bitch sometimes.  If I could disguise myself and be seen as young, and get a do-over, what a different time it would be.  It’s universal: the desire to be young and yet have a wise perspective.  Twenty-somethings might never feel that way, but wait until they hit forty.  The difference is like looking out, or down, from a high cliff rather than ground level.  Whether you know what to do with that vantage point is dependent on many factors, but the lucky few who understand their worth and their abilities get to make a pretty good life for themselves and their loved ones.

It’s not a magic formula, I know.  There are those who are confident and capable and life is a douche-bag to them anyway, but usually, perseverance can lead them through the rough patches.

And there will be rough patches.  I don’t care how gilded a life is, it isn’t exempt from some form of hell.  Perhaps I’d gladly exchange my hell for theirs, but hell it is.

So, unless I can radically change my life, it would be wiser for me to accept where I am.

I guess I can accept it, but I don’t approve of it.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

One For The Ages

Did our ancestors age in the same way we did, or would they have if life expectancy weren’t half of what it is today?

They ate much better than we do – when food was plentiful.  They had all the super anti-oxidant berries, fruits, many grains, nuts, seeds, and non-pesticide or other chemical laden, non-gmo meats and vegetables.  They breathed cleaner air, drank purer water, even though air and water may have been polluted by methane, or volcanic ash, or animal and human waste, it was still better than our toxic world, and their immune systems had to have been fairly robust to advance our species to today.

So many new supplements, creams, and ‘super foods’, crowd store shelves in our collective quest to stay young, and energetic – full of piss and vinegar – maybe literally as Fire Cider asserts better health and its implication of longevity, or at least more energy.

I want what they’re selling.  Youth in a bottle piques my interest every time, and I spend too much time searching for the truth behind the façade, feeling more uncertain of those products’ plausibility.  And whether or not those foods and substances hold real promise, I can’t afford them anyway.

Staying young will be for the ultra-rich.

We’ve all seen examples of those chasing permanent youthfulness, with hundreds of horrifying plastic surgery examples making those people nearly unrecognizable, and certainly not better looking.  Even successful surgeries don’t always increase happiness, some creating greater insecurity as the chase for the next enhancement is on.

Self-acceptance, wherever we are in life, is our best ally, but that doesn’t mean it’s easily achieved, and it’s advertisers’ goal to make us life-long consumers of their products, and they are very good at their job.

It seems like younger generations are getting more savvy, however, and that’s good to see, but they haven’t reached middle age and beyond yet, and whether I’m still here or not, I hope they’ll remain skeptical of promised life-enhancing elixirs.

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current

 

 

Age Is As Age Does

http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-83045p1.html Oguz Aral, illustrator
http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-83045p1.html
Oguz Aral, illustrator

I’m in the thick of aging on the decline side, and part of me is all: ‘oh, you just have to accept it’, and ‘this is where we’re all headed’, and ‘this is the way it’s supposed to be’, to ‘Screw you life! This is not going to happen to me!’  I think people before me just lacked the knowledge to keep themselves from aging, but we know more now, and aging is an alleged choice, not a definitive.

But, reality intervenes, as it so often rudely does, and reminds me that I am not in control of anything except dying, and I’m not really in control of that.

I think I want to age gracefully, but I’m also aggressively against that.  Anyone seeking to tell me how I should act, and what I should or should not do, is acting from their insecurities, or issues, and has nothing to do with me.

If I get facial hair maybe I’ll dye my chin hairs purple.  Maybe I’ll have a shaved, tattooed head – I don’t know.  I am not cool with life’s progressive decline, and as I look around me, precious few are.  I see celebrities and non-celebrities doing whatever they can to make themselves appear younger.

A healthy diet, with some supplements as needed, lots of water, and exercise, are the biggest age-slowing activities, along with joyful living.  But, fight it or not, I am aging.

Behind my worry about age is fear.  Fear of never accomplishing anything I wanted to; fear of losing relevance or status, and fear of becoming decrepit and thereby dependent on others for complete care.

The upside of aging is perspective, more compassion for elders, and seeing them not as old people, but as lived people – people with stories to tell, and hopefully, wisdom to share.  Plus, I’ll eventually get senior discounts, so I suppose I have that to look forward to…

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© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh) and Abstractly Distracted’s Blog, 2010 – current