Friday, April 17, 2009

Peter Pan Am I



I never wanted to grow up.


I was not the child who yearned to be a teenager or the teenager who dreamed of adulthood. I was the child who thought I would always be a child. The teenager who didn’t know WHAT had happened to me and missed childhood. The adult who didn’t understand how 21 turned into 22 so quickly. I will be the 80 year old who calls my friends and says “Hey girls.”

Now just for the record, I LOVE being a wife and mother. I just still find it hard to believe that I am THE wife and mother. I still look in the mirror and can’t fathom who this grown up is staring back at me.

I relate extremely well to children and yes, even teenagers too (though sometimes I am terrified :) I guess it makes sense if I still think I’m one of them. No, it’s not like I’m trying to relive the “glory days” of high school. Far from it. I moved around so much growing up, I wonder if I just scattered the ashes of my childhood onto too many places. Every new move forced me to grow up just a little faster. New girl better fit in quickly if she wants to survive. Be one of us, be who we want you to be or you’ll be all alone. Part of me had to perish with every step into every new school. I didn’t have the sense of self to save my drowning soul.

The funny thing is, all the reinventing helped me to get along with almost anyone wherever I am. It has served me well and I’m grateful for how my experiences stretched me. I tell you this, because Monday is my birthday…And I feel 21.



I’m okay with that.

23 comments:

Lara said...

Just the other day someone asked me how old I was and I answered 26. Without thinking...it wasn't really a lie, just how I feel. I assure you that I know perfectly well that at my next birthday I will be 9 years older than 26, in fact, but I just can't quite fathom that.

Becky said...

Love this post! It describes me, too. My sister (the oldest) always wanted to grow up fast and try new things, but I was content to be a kid. Heck, I was still playing with stuffed animals as a junior in high school...

Mina said...

Happy almost birthday.

I always wanted to be grown up. And I was very mature. I even looked old. At 13 I was mistaken for a sister missionary.

Now that I AM old, it's not that I mind. I don't. I am 35 and will tell that to anyone. But I just don't feel much older than I did back in high school and college. I always heard grown-ups saying that and thought it was so lame. But it's so true.

scrapsidaisy said...

I totally agree with you Rachel! I still feel like a kid or a teenager most of the time. And sometimes when my kids ask me questions I wonder, "Why are you asking ME?" And when people ask me how old I am I honestly have to stop and think about it (and usually have to do the math)AND I'm usually wrong. Phew! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! We need to do a girls night!!

rubberbandgirl said...

Here is something in which we are complete opposites.
I have always wanted to be older and am probably still looking forward to being what I imagined 40 would be like. (which you can see if you google Anne Sexton images and look at the first two photos of her)
I was never comfortable in my young skin and embrace the self-confidence I have gained with age.

deadchickenman said...

Happy birthday, Beautiful! No one here will ever know you as the hero I do. No other person will see the daily fight or understand the effort you exert every day.

I can say this, however... Most people would crumple under the weight of it. Most people would curse God and beg to die (and that's only after dealing with me as a husband, let alone all else you deal with). You have felt more physical pain in your life than most can imagine. You have reinvented yourself in an effort to improve. You are raising two incredible children, and even they are ignorant of the daily fight.

I understand the nature of the human spirit from watching you every day. You are truly your father's child and a queen.

So... don't worry about growing up yet. Entropy will one day even take the stars, but it will never conquer you.

Happy Birthday!!

Melissa said...

Hey, Happy Birthday in advance! I can't believe I'm as old as I am, either. I still feel 16. Though hopefully I am wiser than I was at 16. Really, your age is just a number. It doesn't mean anything. That's what I think anyway!

Kristina P. said...

Happy early birthday, Rachel!

And for the record, I will be 31 next month, and in a lot of ways, I still feel 21.

clan of the cave hair said...

I love this.

Erin said...

Great post. Happy 21st birthday on Monday! :)

Finding Joy in the Moments said...

Sad to say but even my 78 year old mother looks in the mirror and sees a stranger. Its good to remember we are all strangers in a strange land. We will all remember one day but for now we will have to be content to be strangers even to ourselves.

Christie Gardiner said...

What lovely comments! I feel old and young at the same time. I spent my twenties wondering how I got to where I was and mourning what was lost, and what would never be. Yet I was born with an old soul. Go figure. I finally feel like I'm at a place in life of contentment for who and where I am. But when the lady at the spa told me I need botox? Now that was a bad day! How could a young person possibly need botox?!? Wait a sec... I GREW UP!

mindij said...

Can I please be you???? Not only are you looking so hot, you are a fantastic writer! I always look forward to your posts and I always hope you leave a comment on mine! :) Happy 21st! You are older than me-I'm 19...

**the muirs** said...

Rachel, I LOVED reading all of your posts! You have such a beautiful family!

I never wanted to grow up either, and now I know why! Being an adult just isn't as much fun! You have all the stresses of the world, whereas when you were a child you were carefree! *oh to be carefree again* Although being a mommy makes growing up ALL worth it! :)

R Max said...

Wait til you get to my age... then there are no excuses and you have to be an example and can only go wild when you get with all the other old ladies.
I just read what I wrote and it sounds so awesome, I know you are so looking forward to it!

Kerri said...

Happy Birthday! It is wierd to be the grown up huh? I feel young, but I'm sure I seem old to my kids!

Donna said...

Happy Birthday!! There's nothing wrong with feeling young. I can totally relate. I mentally refer to myself as a "girl" and not so much a "woman" because it just doesn't seem to fit yet!

Bricyn said...

Happy Birthday Rachel!
Your blog is so fun to read. You're an amazing writer, full of depth and humor. I won't even tell you how old I feel, because I need to snap out of it and feel like a twenty-something again. Have a happy, happy day. C

devri said...

I look at teenagers and think I still look like that!! ugh!

Lara said...

Happy Birthday Rachel! I was never comfortable as a teenager and I remember after I had kids how much more comfortable I was. I am not very young at heart, but I am always grateful for those that are. I need help staying young!

The Kooky Queen--Rachel said...

WOW, I envy the ability to relate to teenagers! I'm now working at church with the girls and I'm FREAKED!!! Can I get in touch with my inner teenager?? But I think that most of us still feel 16 inside. :)

susette said...

Aging?? Who is? Not me, no never, never, never! I refuse to grow up. I say just surround yourself with young people and then you can always act like them and relate to them.

Happy Birthday girl! and wow, what an adoring husband you have!

Christine said...

Happy belated birthday!! I hope it was awesome. So, which telecommunications company do you go through now? Perhaps I'll switch...