Being an adult is proving to be quite challenging for me. I was single for a loooooong time. I didn't get married until I was 40 and before that I had never even lived with a "partner" (I had plenty of roommates in my time, however).
Now I'm 41 and married with three step kids and we have a mortgage and, like, STUFF. I'm certain people would covet the stuff we have but at times--like today--it is feeling like too much. Can't I just take off and travel the world, vagabond style? No, I cannot. Well...I can. But that would mean abandoning a whole bunch of people that rely on my and that doesn't really feel like a choice I would like to make. My work relies on me. But mostly my family relies on me to be here. My youngest step daughter, M, often says to me, "You're not leaving, are you? You're happy here, aren't you?" Heart-breaking. She was deeply affected by her parents' divorce. I can't say she was more affected than the older kids (maybe she was but I don't know for sure) but she definitely displays her concerns much more than the older two. She's an awesome kid but is also really intense and emotional at times and I worry about her. I worry about her in a normal, healthy way not in a way that is smothering or really believes that something tragic is about to happen...but she is sensitive and I take that into consideration as her step mom.
So the thing is, I have all the responsibility now--and a lot of it is GREAT. I love my husband more than I thought possible and all indications are that he feels the same way. I love my step kids over the moon and back and am blown away by the joy they bring to my life. But wait a second--didn't I used to by YOUNG and CAREFREE? Yes, yes I did. And I at least want my youth back. Wait--41 isn't old you may say (and if you don't say that then kindly keep your thoughts to yourself). I know, 41 is young still, isn't it?!! ISN'T IT?????!!!! Well, not according to my twelve year old. Of course, in her eyes, I'm old. I'm occasionally embarrassing and I'm most definitely not hip or cool. I'm Step Mom. I like being a step mom but I don't like the being old part.
Also, I seem to have aged in the past couple years. This is to be expected I guess, but I truly wasn't prepared for it. I have always been one of those people that looked 7 - 10 years younger than I was. Yeah, you know the types. Aren't they annoying? People would do the big jaw drop when they heard my age. I was used to that. I liked it. It was part of my identity to "look young"...but now, all of a sudden, my body has betrayed me and I sort of look my age and it is MAJORLY DEPRESSING. Yes, I'm a vain diva, it is true. VAIN. But if all of a sudden you go from fabulously single to married with step kids AND obtain some sagging skin along the way as well as what is threatening to be a killer pair of jowls you'd be depressed too. No, seriously YOU'D BE DEPRESSED.
This blog post has no through line but I'm going to keep writing anyway. Forgive me and if you're still hanging in there then BRAVO! You totally get double bonus points.
So here's the thing...all these thoughts of aging and responsibility are bringing me down and on top of that, I'm having a crisis about work--namely, I don't want to do it anymore. I have to travel all the time for work and it SUCKS ASS. I just don't want to me away from my family. I don't want to get on a plane and fuck up the environment. I think the flying is aging me, too, by the way. I just don't want to go. I work in the wine industry which everyone thinks is romantic an glorious...and honestly, it is a pretty great industry to work in. But the thing is, I JUST DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT IT. That's not a good attitude at all, I fully realize, and that is why I should get out. Right? Right. We are in agreement. But here's where the crisis sets in. We need the money. If I quit today we'd be in big ass trouble. You all know what I'm talking about because probably you're in the same boat. We simply need the money to pay our bills. I'm not talking about we need the money so that we can put money away for retirement because we're not even able to do that. We need the money to get through the month. DOESN'T THAT FUCKING SUCK?????
Yes, that does suck. And I'm not alone, I know I'm not. But I've always had the firm belief that we only live once and we should not sacrifice our life for money. But that is kind of what I feel like I'm doing right now. I'm not happy and yet I continue to waste my precious days doing something I don't love and feel like it is sucking the life out of me. I know, I'm being a big baby. But am I? I mean what are we here for? Drudgery? I think not.
So now I'm old, overweight, and miserable. Except for my marriage which makes me infinitely happy. But what am I supposed to do at the age of 41 with a degree in International Relations and a minor in Philosophy? Not a hell of a lot. I would love to go back to school but--you guessed it--we can't afford it.
Okay, I've rambled on enough. The reason I titled this post "Mad Panic. Temporary Crisis." is because I am determined not to live in a state of panic and crisis. I'm going to take a deep breath and go have the best day possible. I've allowed myself some whining but now I shall move on with my day in a positive way. Blah blah blah.