The Goddess Speaks
All grown up but still full of questions
My mom said something the other day that really freaked me out. We were talking on the phone, and she announced, "I always thought that there was a certain magical age that I would be all grown up and understand it all."
I couldn't believe it. I thought she was born mature, never made a mistake and certainly never, ever second-guessed herself or the world around her. I've been waiting to grow up and be just like her someday.
I guess I was wrong. She's totally human.
I've been looking forward to the same thing. And she's 78 and still wondering about it. I can only imagine what answer that brings.
I remember when I was 20-something and still had acne, I was surprised that it stayed with me for that long. I thought it was something that would just disappear after my teens. Boy, was I wrong about that. It wasn't until I was 30-something that it mostly went away. And I still have the rare but irritating occurrence now and again. It never completely disappears.
I guess it's the same with life's great questions.
Becoming a parent was a major transformation for me. I'd been working professionally with kids for decades, but raising one of my own was a whole different game. While the satisfaction is beyond compare, it certainly does not bring answers. For me it's been one question after another, not to mention the evasive nature of those answers. Thank goodness I get to witness the smile on my daughter's face. That is response enough.
I hit 40 a few years back. Definitely a turning point. While I had been considered an adult for many years, I finally embraced my status as a grown-up. "This is it," I said. It's now or never. It feels good, too: the confidence, the empowerment, the self-sufficiency.
But questions still come up: those pesky incidents in life that challenge the old insecurities, that require new negotiations and pull on heartstrings yet untuned.
That's when I remind myself that it's the journey, the process, the experience. At least I have found some patience with age.
One of my friends turned 50 a few years ago. I've noticed she's mellowed a lot. She's nicer, more understanding and more accepting of others in a completely nonenabling way. That's something to look forward to. I'd like to be nicer.
But I guess if I am to believe what my mother was saying on the phone the other day, I'll just have to give up on finding the ultimate answers and accept myself as I am today, questions and all. Apparently that's exactly who I will be when I'm 78, too. Just plain old me as I have always been. And it turns out that's the magical thing that happens with time.
The Goddess Speaks is a feature column by and about women. If you have something to say, write "The Goddess Speaks," 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210,
Honolulu 96813 or e-mail email@example.com.