“When did you start drinking coffee?”
There’s nothing like family to make you feel really old and young at the same time.
Now that I’m in my 30’s, I’ve developed into what I like to think of as my third stage in life. These stages aren’t so much determined by years, but by likes and dislikes. I had my first stage filled with horrible cowgirl clothing, beef jerky snacks after school and long, long hair. My second stage saw me trying to be a bookbum hipster with still long hair, but paired with leather sandals and bead bracelets. I ditched the country music and embraced 90s Alternative. I moved from beef jerky to veggie burgers in one fell swoop – a move that left the family rocking more than anything else I could have done even years after my initial decision.
And now I’m in my 3rd stage – the coffee drinking, skirt wearing, exercising junkie. I ditched my teaching job, chopped off my hair, and I’m buying local, grass-fed milk. I’m still moving – I can tell this isn’t my final stage – but it’s feeling more comfortable. I feel more like me than someone else and like most, I’m far more comfortable being me now than me back in my teens.
But, boy, is it hard to be ME when family roll in.
Suddenly I’m all confused. Am I that girl that defiantly hated nuts and scorned skirts of any sort? Or am I the girl I was right before I left for Grad school and moved out of the house? In my family’s mind, I think I’m still what they remember when we saw each other every day. Some of that me feels comfortable, too, like the sarcastic, joking girl that can dish out barbs, but feel safe in the knowledge that the family won’t take them seriously. I love being able to just say what’s on my mind and do what I want, but there’s still a part of me that has moved on. Grown up, I guess you could say. Become more considerate, more mellow, less purposefully contrary.
And it’s only when confronted with the photosnap memory of me in my family’s mind do I suddenly feel both old and young at the same time. I revert to old behaviors while trying to establish new ones and it can feel like constantly being stretched between all of my selves throughout the years. I want to be ME as I am NOW, but it’s so difficult sometimes when the person you were is what everyone expects you to be.
It also doesn’t help when you’re a 30 year old wimp. 😉
When did I start drinking coffee? Hmm. . .about a year ago or so when I discovered that hot chocolate tasted that much better with a spike of coffee.
When did I start changing? Since the beginning.
(Have I revealed my love and collection of swirly skirts? No way. I might be more “grown up” but I’m not stupid. 😛 )