Finding my voice again…it’s coming to me in spurts, sometimes waves, and I have to surf them when I get them. My voice has been inside, tormented for some years now. I think that actually may be a factor of my generation, and even further, of my gender and generation – female, mid-thirties. Is this a type – yes, I believe it is.
I know and have met countless women of my generation, those who graduated high school in the mid-1990s (my year was 1996) who are restarting their lives; transitioning out of that period after college when we thought we had it all figured out and hitched up with a guy and a decade later we come to realize things were just all wrong. (Pardon me, stream rant.) According to all the articles and Wikipedia, I am a GenXer – right at the end of it. We are certainly independent types and we grew up learning the value of hard work. College was a MUST to ensure a chance at a much better life OUTSIDE of our hometown. But love was also important, not so much to get married right away, but having a boyfriend was almost a goal if you didn’t have one. To preface just a bit, I grew up in the South and marriage and having children is valued and instilled in you from birth. Southern women are definitely very strong and savvy (and extremely hospitable) but one main difference from other women regionally is the focus on family unity – keeping them close and growing it bigger. Apparently that “get married” value can go deeper than one realizes as many of us, myself included, were married by the time we were 25. Out of college, I was ready to have a career and be a wife, and at some point a mother. Or so I thought. It was supposed to go just like that, right? Of course, that’s what everyone is expecting once you are a married person, that it’s time to be a parent – well I’m not that either…yet. At 36 I can say I earned a degree, have been published in magazines numerous times, had a semi-successful freelance writing career for about seven years, have written a book and a working on at least two others (biggest dream!)…and long ago I was married and on a plan and path that I thought I wanted and actually laid out in my early twenties – but it was the WRONG one for me. Then I divorced and got almost immediately sucked back into a job and life that I never wanted but needed stabilization at the time (divorce, panic, much less income, promise of greater income & future – therefore an ability to pay off debt and then leave and go back to writing) but it did anything but. (The happy thing in the middle of all that is falling in love again, but this time it really was different – BAM different – and we are still together and building a new life. Not married…yet…a little while longer.) And after all the emotional and psychological struggling…now I’m back to being the real me and it feels so damn good. The biggest weight was lifted when I chose to come back to me. Ahhhh! A much bigger learning experience came out of the struggles from severing one path to take another – the one my heart yearned for – and the subsequent aftershock, debris and dust from that emotional bomb lingered for many years. I’ve most certainly “grown as a person,” no really, I truly have experienced such magnificent growth, but it’s been a difficult journey (as are all journeys worth doing – no pain, no gain) and it is just now showing the fruit of its rewards. That’s just how it works and I truly believe I’ll look back on this time (after the crazy stressiness [making it a word]of my early 30s), my mid-30s, and the reclamation of my true self and life as the absolute best time of my life!
But on to my point I made earlier…I am a type. A mid-thirties divorced person with no children and a career that has kind of sputtered along having no true BIG success yet with the revenue to back it up, as it were. And I really have to remedy that. So I’m not doing it by feeling sorry for myself and getting fatter. I already did that three and half years ago when I started stress eating and gaining weight. I’m on the other side of that now and getting my body back, which means the career is next!
P.S. If ever anything is not grammatically or stylistically perfect, know that the editor in me at some point will catch it and fix it. I just get going and speeding through my thoughts. Must capture them, lest they evaporate!