19 March, 2010
I *might* be getting a little existential in my old age.
I'm a big fan of crystallizing moments. Those times when the world freezes just long enough to fully absorb exactly where my life is at that precise moment in time. Usually they're few and far between, but lately I've had them more and more frequently as I settle into where I intend to go with my personal development.
I've been noticing the differences between the "me" I am now with the one from ten or fifteen years ago. There are the obvious physical changes; I don't get carded anymore, I am incapable of sleeping past eight in the morning and get sleepy around ten, and can no longer claim that my body has never let me down. There is the lack of patience with anyone under the age of 25, with the noise they create in public and the lack of respect for the poor sods trying to get to/from work with a minimum of fuss or hearing loss from unintelligible music played tinnily through mobile phones. There is the fact that I've chosen to go into a line of work that never previously would have interested me even in passing, and am completely sure of my choice in a way I was never capable of in my mercurial youth. Those changes are expected, and in a weird way, welcomed.
The ones that I'm still on the fence about are the internal changes. The old me was, for lack of a less tree-hugging term, a free spirit. I was happy enough to tick along with a boyfriend as long as things were pleasant, but the minute things went south or demanded more than I was willing to give, I was out of there. I never dressed for anyone but myself, I had my hair how (and what colour) I liked, I didn't consult anyone before getting a tattoo or redecorating my domicile. I ate when and what I liked, had constant canine companionship, and had as much or as little alone time as I fancied at any given time.
I realise that part of the changes were necessary for my emotional state of mind. I led a very selfish existence and was shamelessly unfazed by the thought of inconveniencing those around me with my behaviour. I needed to learn that I wasn't the centre of the universe, and I like to think I have. I can also acknowledge that some of those behaviours had to change to accommodate a permanent partner in life, i.e. Himself. Obviously, undertaking such a serious commitment to him and our relationship forces me to take his opinions and feelings under advisement before making decisions that affect us both.
I won't lie and say I don't resent some of the more extreme curbings of self. It's hard for me to go from such a freewheeling existence to being a "mature" married lady; most prominently I have to consider how Himself feels about the fact that my best friend in the world is male and make sure that he doesn't feel weird about any of our outings. Some of the changes I've made in how I make decisions for myself were self-induced. He's never forced his opinions on me as far as my clothes or hairstyle go, but I've accommodated his tastes to a certain extent out of a desire to please.
The main outcome of all these freeze frame views of my life is that I desperately want to be me again, if a slightly more grown up version. Not to radically and immediately change my life, but to make a gentle slide back into that fun, quirky person I used to be. I want to let go of the petty jealousies and stupid frustrations and enjoy life. I hope Himself likes the new and improved version of the old me. I know I will.