Living With Myself

Linda age about 5So much is new with me now that I almost don’t know myself, but certainly I am in love with the stranger I seem to be. In the process of getting to know her, I am rediscovering old parts of myself.

People can’t help noticing my happiness. Friends say I seem stronger, more sure of myself, and also more calm, alive, funny. I’ve been on an invisible heroic journey over the past four years, with human storms, floods, and famines, and now I am safe, home. Stories to be told, in good time. In our culture, we tend to think that the youth are the ones who have adventures, those years crammed with change and growth. Working with elders, I’ve seen otherwise, and given the past two years of my life, I again deny that ageist myth.

So, my mother lives in town, very happy at her Assisted Living place. I have a repeating conversation with acquaintances, and am trying to learn my socially sanctioned lines. They approve of my new happiness. Then, they ask about my mother. When I say she is also happy, they are thrilled, assuming this increases my joy. But, here’s the thing: if she’s not happy, that’s her problem. I don’t care. This is the truth I try to bite back. This is what my mother has been saying to me, about my happiness, as long as I can remember.

ATR hair and puppyThe other thing my friends seem to need to talk about lately is my hair. They’ve known me for fifteen years of puff and curls, short thick layers. What have I done to it? For once, nothing.

I’ve been digging through old photos.  I am posting two of them in this blog. My natural hair, forty years ago, and now. And the girl child, laughing, surely at my funny father. She is rare in my captured childhood images, but she’s alive now, loose in my soul, ready to take on the next thirty years.



Living With Myself — 3 Comments

  1. Well written post. Good for you for being in charge of your life. I agree that it is interesting what friends comment, especially if they don’t like a change.

  2. I’m so happy for you, and happy for me that I get to be your friend. It’s amazing and lovely to discover that as we get older, and keep shedding our used skins, our lives unfold in such unpredictable ways. It’s rather miraculous, actually, how everything can change overnight.
    Blessings abound.

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