May 23, 2013

Generation Gaps and Lessons Learned

This one is for the Missus.

Ever wonder when you've become "that woman"...?  You know the one, she owns Tarot cards or a hefty worn down Bible, and is able to lay down the "when I was younger and skinny" stories...  The spiritual lady, the devout lady, the one who understands who/what God is to her... Has seemingly done it all...Will look you in the eye and say, "you will understand later on"...or "you have some growing to do".... Have you ever left a conversation or a moment in time, sat in your car and thought, "was I this naive? Or is there really a generation gap? when did I become....Her..."  All the while learning, growing and conquering her own deamons.  She doesn't see herself as the one who needs to be giving advice or spouting lessons or wisdom...  She's the woman who is trying to conquer poison ivy and keep her relationship current and hot and alive...AND learn how to grow up....

I've spent time recently with some folks young enough to, technically, be my children.  Technically.  As in, if I had been 15 to 18 years old, I'd be a mom right now to someone who was more than a brand new legal adult.  I believe in generation gaps.  I believe in people being confused and not knowing quite exactly what kind of person they want to be or what kind of life they want.  Maybe it's just weird to me because I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be and I became Her.  I became the loud mouthed, can hang with the fellas, speak man, speak woman, and still manage to find a peace inside type of person.  Well, the inner peace part has taken some serious work...finding balance is hard to do.

I have been watching my own girl grow up and it's really starting to set in the kind of person she is and who she's going to be.  I was afraid that seeing her grow and become beautiful, as my own looks fade, would bother me, but that hasn't happened.  I'm somewhat taken aback by it but I'm very happy with it.  Am I still a vain woman?  Yes indeed, always will be.  But I am very happy to see her growing and becoming her own person, I have never felt that....threat... that some moms feel with having a girl child.  I know at some point she and I are going to butt heads and I know I can't stop it from happening, but I can try to control how I react to that moment in time.  Just like men and sons, women and daughters have to have that "coming of age" moment when she has to tear herself away and show her mother that she is capable of being the woman of the tribe.  Mama has to know when to step back and say, "Ok, show me" and allow it to happen.  I know, ideally, I have a few years before that happens, but biologically we're right on the cusp of that notion.  It isn't that far away in history where young women were married and setting up house at 14 or 15.  Young women are exactly that:  young Women.

I've encountered other young women throughout my life recently and the sentiment is the same.  Some women my age would use the "30 is the new 20" phrase and run rampant with it, I know plenty who try that very thing.  Hang out with them, try to keep up with them, play the drama games....and wake up in the morning feeling worn down and old.  Why try to keep up with a lifestyle that you no longer fit in?  Oddly enough, 10 years ago, if someone would have told me I'd be typing that last statement, I'd have called Bullshit--quick, fast, and in a hurry.  There was a point where all I wanted was to be free of the bonds of society and marriage and just BE.  Yet, here I sit, quite content with the notion that I'm not going to age backwards and there are things that I can face without freaking out.  One of them is to watch my brilliant child be brilliant and have the life she wants.  If I can help her accomplish that goal, then so much the better.  I'm not trying to live through her, I've already done quite a lot; I've been around the world, been in love, created life, worked and toiled, and made great and horrible decisions.  I've done mine, it's someone else's turn.  

Ever try to have a conversation with your child or someone who is young enough to be your child?  It's tough.  It's tough to hold your tongue and keep in the "I told you so", or the "you really should do it this way".  So much about the new generations is different, so much has changed in the last few decades I'm sure I'm not the only one sitting back wondering if anything I said made sense.  Hell, the world in general is different, maybe it's not even someone outside of your generational block, maybe it's just someone who crossed your path.  I'm just now sneaking up on the mid-30's, I'm not sure I'm ready to be "that woman".  I think I figured it would come much later, but then I started seeing how different the generations are.  I started paying attention to those around me, I would just stop and observe.  I watch my daughter interact with her friends, I watch my younger in-laws and cousins enjoy their lives.  I love to see young, beautiful people growing and changing and figuring out the world around them.  My eyes are opening to things I never thought I'd see.


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