Thursday, October 01, 2009

How did I get here?

There used to be this little magnet or card going around with a picture of a woman in a style from the 1950's, and she's putting her hand to her forehead...with a dialog box (wait, what are those things called..?) saying "Oops, I forgot to have children!". Something like this.

I'm turning 50 tomorrow. I have a lot of sucking, swirling, eddies of emotion about that. And one of them is a twist on that cartoon.

The cartoon, I think, is making the point that she "had a life", and all of a sudden realized she hadn't done what she was "supposed" to do.

My twist is more of the "oh my god, I'm 50 already. But I never....." Those are the things that are haunting me. The things I thought I wanted to do, or be, but could never do.

Oh my god, I have turned 50, but I never....

....moved to California to live in the sunshine (my senior HS yearbook quote).
But I did find sunshine in Colorado when I moved here 19 years ago.

....finished my PhD and used it for doing something good in the world.
It was unrealistic to think that I was going to finish a PhD, I think. I saw where it was going and I didn't like it. But I had a good vision of running a place where people who needed help could come and stay for a while.

....became a singer, with a voice people wanted to hear.
My dream at age 7 was to grow up and sing on the Tonight Show. I prayed for it every single night. I did sing to both of my kids at night when they were very, very small.

....conquered the piano
I am a very good 'average keyboard player'. Good enough for a lot of things. I don't 'know the piano' the way a true pianist does. But I still love to play.

....found my 'calling'
I always wanted to know what it was I was here for. My 'special purpose', as Navin Johnson once said. I make my peace with it off and on. I'm just off right now. I envy people who have that feeling of a singular purpose in life.

....could consistently exercise regularly for longer than a few months at a time
I do it for a while. Then I reach a point where I just lose interest and don't want to anymore.

to be continued.


Jay Livingston said...

It's called a "thought bubble," and the Tonight Show is still on the air. Hang in there. Happy Birthday.

Linda said...

I am so far behind, just read your blog. Maybe your 50s will be different than you fear. My fearpoint is 60 - sounds so old, but at 51, I don't feel old -- yet. Things are way better now than in my 30s and 40s. Yes, finding a purpose is an ideal, but maybe that's the easy road and not everybody is meant to take the easy road. There's no going back, only forward - make the best of it and appreciate what you have. Hang in there. U2 in Las Vegas - WOW! Wish I could be there.

trrish said...


Someone I know said to me "40 is the old age of youth, and 50 is the youth of old age." It made me understand why I have been viewing 50 as such a gateway.

I like what you said.

I think it is so much 'in the head' and I will continue to try and straighten that out.

trrish said...

Jay - also, maybe I haven't grown up yet :-)