Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What I wanted out of life when I was a little girl.

The reality of how it's turned out for me.

These are two things I ponder sometimes as I take Buster on one of our hour-long walks through the park with the iPod earbuds in and music playing in my brain. Listening to music while I walk really facilitates deep thoughts, I find.

I've been fighting off a teeny tiny little attack of the blues; part of that, I'm certain, is my still dealing with the emotional aftermath of the end of my relationship with X. If I get a little blue I always get extremely philosophical. And part of it is probably being 54; it's clear my life is more than half over and I can't waste a moment of what's left for me.

What I wanted "when I grew up" when I was a little girl:
1. To have two children, a boy and a girl, with two different fathers. I wanted one of my babies to be black because I thought black children were much more beautiful than white children :)
2. To join the circus and become an aerialist, trapeze performer or tight-rope walker.
3. I said I never intended to marry.
4. The technical skill to draw, fabricate or sew whatever I imagined -- drawings, dolls, costumes, books.

And, when I became a teenager, these things were added to my wish list:
5. To speak French, to go to Paris and maybe even to live there permanently.
6. To be a stage actress or dancer. Or a writer. Or an artist. Or a photographer. To be famous. To live "la vie Bohème" as much as it's possible in the U.S. in the 20th century.
7. To live in a gypsy vardo or an Airstream. Or an Airstream tricked out like a gypsy vardo.
8. To get my fair share of love, affection, kisses and great sex out of my life. To be thought beautiful by my beloved.
9. To march to the beat of my own drum and be true to myself. To be authentic and sincere.
10. To travel the world.

And then, as a grown-up, after my children were raised and I had fulfilled my obligations to others:
11. To own prescription designer sunglasses, a Louis Vuitton wallet and an Hermès scarf.
12. To make love in and have a great romance play out in Paris and Venice.

It's interesting to assess, at mid-life, how well I succeeded in my original goals. Pretty well, n'est-ce pas, all things considered. I find myself at this stage of my life worrying more about the "will I have time" issues: Will I have time to make every drawing I wanted to make? Will my health and vitality hold up so that I can continue to travel and hoof it relentlessly once I'm at my destination?

Why do I have to sleep eight hours a night? I'm wasting time!
Why does work have unpredictable hours and so many special events that derail me from my personal agenda?
Why do I often just walk around my house in circles finding stupid little putzy things to do rather than the grand projects? And then another evening's wasted, and how many more of them will I have in my lifetime?

That's the issue that seems to emerge as critical for me now, as a woman of a certain age: is there enough time?

And did I get all the kisses and great sex and loving I hoped to get out of this one life of mine?

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