3.16.2012

I think.

I think there are new wrinkles around my mouth. Actually, I know there are because my profile picture on this blog does not show them.  They are new.  They are wrinkles.  I am not prepared for this.

I got pregnant when I was 22. Twenty-two. Do you know how many times I have been in a bar?  Hmm.  I don't.  I am counting on my fingers... three? Four?  I don't know.  I don't know bars.

I had a lot of dreams when I was smaller.  I wanted to do things in a louder way. I wanted to be on stages and in magazines.  I wanted to make things you would recognize. But my life dramatically changed and then it did that again and again and again. I can count those changes on my fingers too. 

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if my life had stopped making left turns. If instead of going around in left-turn circles, I had carried on in one direction.  Those things I wanted to do are still there. I can still feel them and I am still excited and happy when I dip my toe into them.  But they don't consume me.

I am 28. Twenty-eight. I have wrinkles around my mouth. And my oldest dream, to be a mom, is my whole life.  I am not lamenting this fact.  But it would be hard to look at those wrinkles without soaking in the reality that six years of my youthiest youth are gone. That was the youngest I was ever going to be. I think I thought I had all the time in world.  I think I thought I could have the kids and then they would go to school and I could still try something else too and I don't know, maybe I can try something but I can't try everything.  I traded that for this.  But I've thought about it a lot and you know, if I could go back and do it all again, I still would.

26 comments:

  1. we definitely need to get together. it's been too long.

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  2. I wish I could say I understand. But I don't have any children. So I guess I can say that if I did.. I would expect that I would feel the same way.

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  3. Loveliest,
    I've done the stages and the magazines and the bars, Oh God, the bars - and I am here to tell you that the mom gig is the sweetest. You skipped right to the very best thing.
    Smart girl.
    xo

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  4. I do think you have the prettiest face on the Internet. Lines, no lines, I get it.

    Steph

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  5. Take it from the nearly 42 year old...at 28, you have so much time left. Go for it. All of it. Even if you don't know what it is yet. And those lines are from smiles, I'll bet. Embrace them.

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  6. Bars aren't all they're cracked up to be anyway...

    And you're gorgeous, laugh/smile lines and all.

    That last line of your post is the key to it all.

    xo

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  7. Sweetie. I am almost 37 and I ADMIRE you.
    I LOVE it when you "like" my instagram photos...it make me feel young. :)
    You have learned things at your age that I never would have dreamed of knowing.
    In my book, if I had any age to do over again it would be my late teens/early twenties, and I would have been more responsible.
    Like you.
    You have a lot of life to live.
    Plenty of time to check out bars...with your kids.
    You're doing awesome...believe me, it doesn't get any easier with age and you didn't miss out on a thing!
    xo-
    stephany @ home is...what you make it

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  8. I have to say I love bars. But, I never went to them as a single person so they were always couple-time together. At some point the kids will be older and can stay with babysitters or family. And you two can go on more dates, if you want. Then you can go to bars as an exotic treat.

    Most twenty-something friends I know are wandering in life, dabbling and feel like their lives have made a million left turns. Few have headed in one direction since 22. In some ways your twenties have been steadier than many though to the exclusion of the wandering, which has its own value. But many people regret the wandering, so you never know.

    It's strange to be at the end of the 20s and feel youth settling some. It is still here, but doesn't consume me as it did in the teens and early twenties...there is still time to do many things, but with kids, perhaps not many additional things at once.

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  9. Goshdangit--I looooove your posts. Your flowy words--the realness of them. The dreaminess. All of this stuff that comes out of your dear head--it's good stuff & I really do love peeking in. And I really do admire your honesty.
    P.s. You can get anywhere you really want to be.

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  11. i'm 27 and i have been feeling this exact thing in my core lately. Well said!

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  12. I understand this - the past dreams...how they're still the same...but different.

    Motherhood changes everything, but I would do it all again too. I know that with certainty.

    P.S. I agree w/ Steph. You're a beauty - wrinkles or not.

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  13. I DO understand. I'm 37 and my dreams are just starting to come true, the ones I put aside, and I have our fourth child nursing on me right now. It is over- the youngest part- but it's NOT over- the doing part.

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  14. Gah I love this. I don't have any advice.. Except that I did the bar thing and loved it for the most part but I want nothing more than to be a mom. Love the choice you made bc I and so many others are so inspired by you. You're a great mom. Your posts are awesome. Keep up the good work! :)

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  15. My 33rd birthday is coming up next week. And I still have 5 more years of my husband's military career to get through before I can pursue my really big dreams (the ones that require roots and cannot survive a lifestyle that uproots you every 18 months.) I can't wait. Bring it on, 38. Bring it on, laugh lines.

    {Thank you for your transparency! It is like sitting down with a friend when I come here to read...}

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  16. Smiling as I read this. Wrinkles here too. Sometimes I feel like the "children phase" in life has aged me so much faster than plain old living. And I didn't get started with this phase till 28. :)
    Anyhow, despite your feeling aged, I'm pretty sure we'll look back at 50 and laugh at our naivete.
    And I agree, the children are the gold in life! True treasures.

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  17. You are so very lovely.

    Can I offer one small word of encouragement? The Thirties? Have been the best so far. (I'm closing in on 35). The Thirties, I think, are the decade to Go After It. And you are really, really quite fortunate in that by the time you begin your Thirties, the little ones underfoot stage of life will be behind you. I cannot tell you how different my life is now that my girls are a little older (7 & 4).

    Great things are ahead for you, beautiful lady. You are doing GREAT things now, this tending to the little years. I can't think of a better way to invest your youthiest years, and you have SO MUCH TIME to pursue with boldness and confidence all that your heart still chases.

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  18. You are beautiful. As are your words.

    And as someone who became a mom much later than you, I can say, someday you will have much more time for the other things that speak to your soul. While I will be old and cranky when my babies leave the nest.

    Either way, you seem to know what life is about and what really matters.

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  19. i'd do things the exact same way, too. i still have time to sing into the microphone if i want to. to take the stage i crave. until then, i'll mother the babies i asked for.

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  20. Interestingly I just read this while watching Metroland - a movie about a man (Christian Bale) wondering if he screwed up his life by ditching bohemia for marriage and a kid.

    Anyway, I have to admit that I do miss my pub life. That was a fun time in my life and it still feels great when there is occasion to catch up with my old friends. And of course there are times that I wish it lasted longer. But yeah, what I got now with my wife and daughter are way better.

    If anything I get more jealous of someone like you these days - why did I wait so long to get started?

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  21. After reading the other comments, I'm pretty sure I'm the oldest so far who has chimed in. I'll be 41 in June and feel like life is just getting started in many ways. I've actually done more interesting, meaningful, amazing things in the past five years than I did in the whole of my 20s. I had 2 of our kids in my 20s. That was huge, but I still felt like I was adrift in many ways. I loved turning 30 because I felt like my age finally fit my life. Same with turning 40. I still have small children and sometimes think I always will. That's the only way I don't think my life fits my age.

    I look in the mirror and see grey hair and real "behold the ravages of age" wrinkles and then feel a small child tug on my pajama pants, saying, "Mama?"

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  22. Oh, yes. I hear you on all of it: the wrinkles (mine are crow's feet...deeper every day it seems), the age (I'm 29) and the way life turned and turned and turned again. I got married so young (19!) and had three kids in my early 20s and here I am, almost 30, just beginning to carve another new path, a career, a new phase and it's all just so crazy sometimes. You'll find your way. PS: You are beautiful!

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  23. and i'm on the opposite end of the string as you. as i'm looking down the barrel at 40, with two young kids, wondering what life would have been like had i started *this* journey while younger. (i don't think i would have done it right.) i think you did it right for you. i also think we will always wonder 'what if'...because that's just our nature, yes?
    p.s. wrinkles are hot. just sayin.
    and your wrinkles don't look like wrinkles. they're to pretty. maybe they're prinkles.

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  24. I can speak as a bar-goer - you're not missing much. And you've got so much time left, 28 is only the beginning!

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  25. I just turned 29 and I am feeling your pain. You should blog more often....You are a good writer. :D

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  26. I agree with tacybeck, your writing skills are above par! And remember what Mark Twain said, "Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been." So.... just keep smiling, the people who matter most will only see your lovely smile :D

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