That Don’t Impress Me Much

“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” ― Leo Tolstoy, The Kreutzer Sonata

I have never felt beautiful.

Even as a little girl, I remember standing in front of a mirror, in a bathing suit (I might have been 6 or 7), I thought I was fat and ugly. Yes, that young. Guess what? I wasn’t. I was told as an adult that I was a beautiful little girl. I never felt it.

As a teen, I would wear clothes that were too big. I was 5’1″ and all of 105 – 110 lbs. I was not a big teen. I thought I looked massive. I wasn’t impressive. I’d spent most of my young life being bullied, maybe that was part of it. Teen life involved me drinking, smoking, and finding a group of friends who loved me (and still do!!!). But I was shy, and overwhelmed in groups. My marks were average, I was always told I could do better.

Enter adulthood, I worked jobs I loved. I worked at a small country store with a lunch counter, I worked at a club (bar). I went to university. I adulted, as they say now. But I was also drunk – a lot (never at work or school). I’m pretty sure I was what is termed a functional alcoholic. When I drank, I drank hard. I can no longer drink more than one or two drinks as I get panic attacks.

Everything in that time would impress me. Cars, guys, smart people, everything. I even finished my degree, then got a second one! Then I got married.

I won’t go into my first marriage. A year after we split, I developed MS that was believed to be stress induced (he was not a good person).

I was on my own with two young kids for a while, then I met my current husband. What impressed me about him? He became my friend first. His family all loved him genuinely. He loved (loves) my kids.

I’m so much older now. My second husband and I had a child together, bringing our family fully together. I should be completely happy.

Depression, anxiety, my weight, and so much more has made me numb. I’m having a hard time keeping contact with friends. I’m a hermit. Covid didn’t help, I’m more reclusive than ever. Nothing really impresses me anymore. I put on a smile and act impressed, but everything is just meh.

My joy is in my garden. Snuggling my kids. Spending time with my husband. being close to my pets.

What does impress me? When I see people who genuinely want to help others with no strings. Rescuers who do it over and over again, in spite of the hurt and pain it can bring because the joy is so worth it. Those who put others first because they love how it feels, not what it can bring them. I could go on.

I’m tired. I’m sure this is coming through. I’m drained mentally and physically. I want to be impressed. I want life back.

Shania Twain – That Don’t Impress Me Much

I’m an Adult Now

“Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.” ― Dr. Seuss

I always thought being an adult would be so much easier than it is. I think everyone does.

I remember reaching my 20s and thinking that I was so mature, yet knowing I was not ready for the world.

By the time I hit my 30s, I had two young children and was in a desperately unhappy marriage. My children where my focus and I thought I had it all under control.

By the time I hit my 40s, I’d been through a horrible divorce, chronic illness, new love, growing children, a new child at 40, mortgage payments, bills, bills bills…

I’m only 45 now. I’m still young. What have I learned about being and adult in this time? It’s hard as fuck. It can be rewarding as hell. It’s usually a rollercoaster of ups and downs, life and death, bliss and deep depression.

I’m an adult now. I think.

The Pursuit of Happiness – I’m an Adult Now

Gold Old Days

“I am hopelessly in love with a memory. An echo from another time, another place.”  ― Michel Foucault

“…you are battered and bruised in the collisions between reminiscence and reality.” 
― David EaglemanSum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

I’ve caught myself reminiscing frequently of late. I have such strong emotions attached to a time when a you me seemed so carefree. I wasn’t, but many thought I was and I never removed that mask for them.

This thing called adulthood…I don’t know.

On my morning drives to work, I am often struck by how formulaic we are, drones dropping the kids off at daycare or school, drones driving to work, parking, working.

I often catch myself yearning for the days when I had the energy and stamina to do everything I needed to and wanted to. I remember bonfires on the beach, friends laughing as we mentally toasted us all with another drink.

I remember car rides full of laughter, camp outs in the rain, hugs from anyone remotely considered friend.

I remember nights of excess with friends to hold my hair back. Nights of dancing until past last call.

I remember sleep overs full of music and talking.

I remember the wind in the windows of my old Pontiac Acadian – no AC back then. It was a 5 speed, 4 door hatchback. I loved that car. It was red. I would drive that thing everywhere – quite literally. Down back roads meant for ATVs, to the beach for an all-night camp out. hundreds of miles but on the engine that constantly rattled enough to pop off it’s oil cap. So many times I had to replace that cap – “Gwen, the oil light is on.” “It’s ok, I just need another cap.”

There were no cell phones. No computers, nothing fancier than an Atari that often got left behind, covered in dust. I can feel the sun on my face even now. The smell of Spring and Summer when we would just be.

I wish somebody would have told just how awesome those days actually were going to be…but I know I wouldn’t have listened.

Mackelmore feat. Kesha – Good Old Days

Magic

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Roald Dahl

Sometimes (read: often) I wish I could recapture the imagination and innocence of my youth. I believed. I believed in everything.

I remember writing a little book with my mother. I did the drawings and she wrote it out for me as I dictated it to her. I was too little to write yet, I can’t imagine how old I was; 4 maybe 5? It was about a dragon. I remember the picture of the dragon that I drew. I’m sure she must still have it at her house (my mother likes to hold on to things). I’ll have to see if I can find it.

Unicorns, dragons, faeries, pixies, good witches and wizards – they filled my youth with magic and wonder. Then I became a teenager and such things were no longer cool. I still read fairy tales and fantasy novels, but the magic was tarnishing. Painful memories over took my imagination and innocence.

For many of us, becoming an adult is akin to having a piece of you ripped out. So many times I’ve tried to recapture that feeling, those emotions. I was so happy. Even with the challenges I faced (bullied, low self-esteem, painfully introverted), I was cheerful, and watching something like The Last Unicorn would fill me with wonder and cause my imagination to run wild with dreams of seeing such fantastic things for real!

Now I feel more like Molly Grue (following quote is from The Last Unicorn movie as seen on IMDB):

Molly: No, it can’t be. Can it be? Where have you been? Where have you been? Damn you! Where have you been?
Schmendrick: Don’t you talk to her that way!
Unicorn: I’m here now.
Molly: And where were you twenty years ago? Ten years ago? Where were you when I was new? When I was one of those innocent young maidens you always come to? How dare you! How dare you come to me now, when I am this!
[Weeps]
Schmendrick: Can you really see her? Do you know what she is?
Molly: If you had been waiting to see a unicorn, as long as I have…
Schmendrick: She’s the last unicorn in the world.
Molly: It would be the last unicorn that came to Molly Grue. It’s all right, I forgive you.

Where have all the unicorns gone? Where is the magic?

America – The Last Unicorn