For the past year or so, I feel almost as if I've been going back in time, back to my pubescence, my time of adolescent unknown.
You know that time, when you thought you knew everything, and yet you really knew nothing, and deep down inside, you were more confused than you ever thought possible. The Great Unknown Future reared its ugly head for the first time, and trying to figure out what the hell you were going to do with the rest of your life began creeping into your thoughts without you even realizing it.
Well, I'm rather unexpectedly at that place once again in my life, strangely enough. I never thought such a thing could happen, at my age. I'm in my 40s, for god's sake.
But here I am, nonetheless, in more ways than one. At least as a silly, flighty and relatively carefree teenager, my main worry, besides boys, boys, finding pants long enough to reach my ankles, and acne, was what I was going to do with the rest of my life. Nowadays, my main worries are many and varied, and include my kids, my health, and what I'm going to do with the rest of my life. Some things never change.
Since becoming unemployed, I've been doing a lot of soul-searching, a lot of delving and digging, trying to finally figure out who I am and what I'm doing here on this earth. Of course, there are some questions that will always go unanswered, but that doesn't stop me from continuing to try.
For one thing, I've been trying to figure out my kids. Here we have a beautiful daughter, 14 going on 26, who has entered her teen years with such a vengeance that it takes my breath away. She is beautiful and very smart, and yet still so very young. She doesn't yet know what she doesn't know, and it's scary. This world is a scary place, and we find ourselves trying so hard to protect her, to hold onto her just a little longer, to keep all the hurts away. But she's growing up, and so fast, with a boyfriend now, and thoughts and urges and feelings she doesn't know what to do with. And, of course, Mr. Handsome and I know nothing. The arguments are many, the words of love few, and it hurts my heart.
Then, we have our son, 11 years old, in-between boy and teen, trying so hard to be grown-up, and yet still so much a little boy. It's hard to know how to treat him most of the time, because although he isn't a baby anymore, he loves being babied, so what's a mom to do when she tries to give her son a hug and he runs away, screaming? Or when he comes in crying because he fell down and scraped a knee, and yet, when you go to comfort him, he gets angry and upset because he's not a baby anymore. God help me.
And then there's the whole job issue. I've been searching, and applying, but nothing's happened yet, which is fine, and yet, not so fine. I've also been trying to finally figure out what I'd like to do with the rest of my working life, and my thoughts are leading me closer and closer to returning to a career in writing. When I was writing, I was happiest, it seems. Maybe I should finally listen to myself. Getting back into writing is difficult, to say the least, and that's what's making it so hard to decide. I'm not one to give up easily, never have been, but I'm no longer alone, and have a family to feed and a house to keep up, so money is not as unimportant in my life as it once was.
Today, I sent Em off to a morning of orientation at her high school, her first day of four years there. She's attending the same high school I went to so many years ago (can you say 30 years?), and just the thought of that brings back many memories and feelings I thought I had entirely forgotten.
So, while Em sits in the huge auditorium and listens to teachers and then tries to find her homeroom in that great big maze of hallways, doors and flights of stairs, all as part of her entrance into a new, big world that simply sits before her, waiting for her to discover it, beckoning, I sit at home and attempt to do exactly the same thing, only with perhaps a bit more knowledge, and a lot more fear.