Paths and Forks in the Road

292338_4548100420520_1147882596_nI deal with a seasonal depression right around the 4th of July, every year. I’ve never been able to figure out what causes this. I often feel an uncontrollable sadness and rage at the world. The thought of navigating through crowds to see the fireworks has often left me with an anxiety so strong I have thought about skipping out all together. This year however, I felt a lightness I haven’t felt in years. The entire day was enjoyable and spent with family and good friends. This July also marks the year I turn 38. I have been dreading this year in the same way others dread turning 30 or 40. It has nothing to do with getting older and everything to do with realizing just how young my Mom was when she passed away. I have tackled the idea of 38 like a mouse being detained for testing. It frightened the hell out of me. I had somehow gotten it into my head that this was going to be the year things ended. What is beyond 38? Dumb, I know, but real for me none the less. I thought, if I can just get passed 38, all will be well. I think this may have played into the seasonal depression, but was not the only source. I spent many years without direction, without a goal. This crippled me. Spending so much time on trying to figure things out rather than doing something to change the predicament I found myself in, made for a very angry woman.

I don’t think anyone understands just how young 38 is until they get there. We spend so much time when we’re kids thinking our parents are so old. They never mention that life seems to begin in your 30’s. The teen years are usually selfish and full of angst. Your twenties are filled with frivolity and flying by the seat of your pants, not knowing when to slow down or stop. Your thirties however, seem to be the turning point. That time when you start asking yourself, “When will I feel like a grownup?” I actually asked this of my Dad just a few years ago and he looked at me, smiled and said, “I’m still waiting”. Not only did this put the whole age is just a number thing into perspective, it made me realize I wasn’t alone in my concerns. It’s also taken me several more years to lighten up and move on. I still struggle with the moving on thing, but I’m getting there.

Tonight, I spent an evening with some amazing people. Not just the people you enjoy having a beer with from time to time, but the people who have made such an impact, you really have no comprehension of how you would make it through life without them. It is humbling to know that these people love me with all of my flaws and scars. How did I ever think I could navigate life without them? My friend Jenn and I had a very weird spat several years ago when we realized our political opinions differed from each other. We lost four years of friendship because of this and we’ve been making up ever since. I can not imagine my life without her in it and I’m happy to say that politics is no longer a part of our conversations. Do not do this dear people! Do not let the difference of opinion separate you from someone who truly understands you as a person.

Now, as you can hopefully see based upon my writing and the dates, I have now progressed into late July. The 4th is now in my recent past and the evening of spending time with fabulous people is now set a few weeks ago from the present. This does not in any way change my topic.

This Saturday is my 38th. I will be spending the day at our neighborhood block party and then proceed to head out to the great land of Muskegon to drink beer and sing karaoke with my fabulous sister and hopefully a few friends and family members. Come on out if you’re so enlightened. We’ll be at Hennessy’s Pub at 8pm until they kick us out for debauchery and excessive drunk flirtatiousness. This is my life and I thank you to smile at it.

On Monday the 29th, I will embark on a spirit journey/quest to find the woman I have left in the dust for so many years. I will be heading north without a husband or children to camp out every night in some unknown campground for four nights and five days. Some of you may be thinking, “who the hell cares”, while others will understand that a woman who became a mommy at the age of 18 and a wife for the second time at the age of 28, this is kind of a big deal. I have no friends or family to visit, I am just going. I need to be by myself. I need to find the girl inside that seems to always be screaming in my ear. I need to know her before jumping into the next adventure of life. She’s kind of a bitch and sometimes high maintenance. She is a Leo after all. For this, I’m going full on hippie. No makeup, no hair product. I know this is a scary thought for some of you. Steph without makeup?! Steph without cute hair?! Yikes! However, I believe that if I can not be comfortable with myself, I will never be comfortable with others. I put on a very good mask of ease when I’m around people. I seem confident and full of extroverted goodness. Inside, is a person that really just wants to hide away in a cave from time to time. I know, right? Have I confused any of you yet? This is my midlife crisis and I’m trying to grab it by the balls or vagina, whatever metaphor works for you, I’m good with.

Life is a journey and so many of us, including myself, never give it the opportunity to shape itself into what it should be. We’re so concentrated on what others think, that we forget to look at ourselves and what WE truly think and believe. I am doing something that is so generic, yet so rare. I may not post everything I do next, but look forward to the journey, for I plan to share it.