There was this girl that played sports and weighed 30-40 lbs. less than she does now, but she thought she was fat. She wasn’t wise, but did she ever think she was. She had hair that was free of grays, hair that was occasionally tinted fun colors like blonde, burgundy, blue, and Lord, help her parents - green. She had multiple piercings that have since sealed most of themselves up and over the years her opinions have decided to do much of the same. She’s learned to refrain from certain hot topics (especially politics) in an effort to be more of a peace keeper and less of a pot stirrer. She hasn’t grown an inch in height (just in width). and she knows that her time to start shrinking is literally coming. This is a time that once felt so far away. It’s here.
It’s hitting her every day as she looks at her life (and in the mirror) and asks if this is what she thought it would be back then - when she was a straight A student, she wore the holiest jeans she could find, when she didn’t go anywhere without the clunkiest shoes she could find or her “beanie” hat, when she adored her collection of mix tapes, when her parents made her move with them as a Junior and leave the social circles she’d known for years, when she rebelled, when she snuck cigarettes, when she had detention for getting caught with them, when she went to the mall on her sixteenth birthday to be hired for the first job she could find only to tell her parents after the fact, when she cut school on her eighteenth birthday to cross state lines and legally get some ink on her shoulder, and when she had friends that she just knew she would live in harmony with forever, friends that are just a memory today. They’re not a part of this life, the one she is now living, and that is fine by her. That is one of the few things she has come to accept about this - this quick, life altering process called aging.
She’s accepted it. She’s aging. All she needs to do is look back at pictures of her children to see that. They’re growing. She can’t stop them; she claims all the time that she wishes she could freeze time and always hear their sweet giggles, answer their multiple questions about life, and protect them from all of the responsibilities they’ll someday have, all of the ugly ways of this world, the peer pressure, the bullying, and the bull. She can’t, and she has learned that just as her parents did she must let go and let them live. That’s the only way they’ll learn.
This girl turned lady, this rebel teen turned college grad, this working gal turned mom, this homemaker turned into a working mom - this woman has responsibilities that are hard to juggle. She is here, she is trying to prioritize, she regularly admits defeat, and she is so thankful for all that has been and hopeful for what will be. Interestingly enough there’s been one constant, her husband. He was her high school sweetheart. Together they’re a rare, dying breed that seemingly hear a record scratch when they tell others how they met. Their relationship is eighteen; it’s officially an adult. It has also changed more than any words could explain. She doesn’t know how he’s put up with her and vice versa, but she also can’t imagine things without him. They’ve become grown ups together.
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She now has friends who feel this way about their new lives, too, friends who laugh about who they’ve become versus what they once were. Friends who converse about this often - what their glory days entailed, the good and the bad choices they made, the roads they’ve taken to get to where they are now, and the changes that their spouses have also endured. These women share pictures of what they once looked like, and they sigh, but honestly they’re more beautiful on both the outside and the inside for all that they’ve learned, the ways that they’ve grown, and what they have contributed to this world. This woman considers crow’s feet to be well earned with oodles of wisdom hidden in each crease.
While we women have all grown and changed in so many ways, we are truly still ourselves and should not let anyone or anything change that. Hold tight to who you are, mamas, and take the time to feed what makes you who you are every chance you can! You’re still there. You’ve still got it. Don’t covet the clothes you once fit into either...it’s a waste of time, and we have no choice but to be all about time management.