Being Grown Up

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029I began a post yesterday about growing up and of course with computer issues comes the loss of blogs to the ether… I’ve always been grown up. I didn’t have the opportunity to have a “normal” childhood but it is okay because I never knew any different. Coming from a family of dysfunction it is okay for me to admit that today, but as a kid, you always think of yourself as “different” and so you don’t admit that to others. What we don’t know as we are growing up is that others are living a life of dysfunction just as much as we are. I’m not sure if there is such a thing as really “normal”…I think there are just varying degrees of dysfunction and we each learn how to hide what we don’t want others to know about us. I’m reminded of this after a high school reunion that took place this past weekend. It was for the class ahead of me and was open to multi-year classes, so while it was a 30th reunion for that class, it would only be 29 years since I graduated. Seeing these folks in the pics (because my son is deploying I didn’t get to go because I wanted to stay here with him this weekend…family always comes first to me) I’ve enjoyed seeing the photos. I must say that the men seemed to have changed the most. The ladies, they look a little older, have different hairstyles and some are a little heavier, but they all looked fabulous! The guys though I realized I couldn’t recognize. This of course made me think about a lot of things that are long gone and happened in another lifetime…I don’t think we get just one lifetime…I think our lives are made up of several lifetimes…or chapters…since I’m a writer, I think in chapters it seems. When I was in high school I was the responsible one. I was a loner with a lot of acquaintances and only a handful of close friends. For the most part, all of those close friends are still the same close friends I have today. Just because I was the responsible one doesn’t mean I didn’t do my fair share of acting stupid, but I did it in controlled and measured ways which isn’t the norm for most teenagers. By the time I was 17 though that was pretty much over. I was an adult in my mind and have been ever since. Now as I look back at that time, I realize that being a grown up was the only thing I knew how to be. It is still the only thing I know how to be. I also know that being a grown up sucks most of the time. Being a grown up means having to make the right and responsible decisions. It means you pay the bills and forget the luxuries if you struggle financially as I seem to always be doing. I’ve always lived paycheck to paycheck and that hasn’t changed. Being grown up means having the common sense God gave you and not acting like an idiot when you get angry or sad or upset in any way. It means you don’t throw things at people or punch them when you get angry at them. It means you make hard decisions about relationships, your kids and basically just about life. I’ve always wanted to be able to let go with complete abandon, but the adult in me always says, “No, you have to think of a contingency plan!” How I’ve always envied others who were and still can let loose with their feelings and lives. I didn’t go out when I was 19, 20, 21, 22 and party and go to bars. By then I was divorced and remarried with a step-daughter and pregnant with my son at 23. Even after my son and I were on our own when I was in my late 20’s and early 30’s I tried to go to bars a couple of times with girls I worked with or was friends with and I just hated it. I didn’t understand why everyone wanted to go. I was happy sitting at home with my son, watching Disney movies or Power Rangers and reading or painting. I loved going to Little League games and Cub Scout meetings and doing things for PTA. Now, I’m at an age where I should be able to let myself “GO & DO” whatever I want and I still find myself unable to cut loose. I wonder if I’m doomed forever to always be the grown up? I hope that maybe as I get older, I’ll be able to let go a little more and have some fun. For now, I’ll be the grown up I’m supposed to be. I’ll pay the bills on time, (YUCK) and I’ll make the hard decisions and I’ll be the “Mom” to everyone I’ve always ‘mama’d’ and hopefully, I’ll have my ‘second childhood’ when I hit 50! That would be nice! So be on the lookout if I start doing irrational things in the future, like buying an extravagant car (I can’t see me EVER doing that) or taking a crazy trip around the world (or that either) or running away and not telling at least one person where I am in case of emergency! I can guarantee at least one thing…if I ever get married again, please check my pulse and see if my heart is still beating…because right now, I’d only do that over my dead body! Peace friends~

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