Feb 22, 2011

I've heard it said that one of the glories of maturity, and aging, is that you become comfortable in your own skin, that you really begin to know yourself.

Perhaps this is the halmark of aging gracefully, of truly maturing and not just degrading from wear and tear, because I have found quite the opposite.

Maybe it is an indication of a path wrong taken, maybe it is just a variance of the experience of life, these are questions I am not equipt to answer.

But I have found my thirties have afforded me more questions than answered, and have only served to make this skin suit seem less fitting, more confusing, more confounding.

And sometimes I wonder if those who find peace simply do not ask the questions I ask. Or are more comfortable with unanswered questions.
Like they walk in the house and suddenly the house has changed and they just assume that is how the house is meant to be. And they make themselves a drink. Elephant in the room? Welcome! Do they do that? Have a martini in the room they never noticed before? Take a bubble bath in the tub that suddenly appeared in the basement.
Their backyard has turned to ice...do they just strap on skates and have at it? Shrug and decide it's nicer inside anyway?

I don't know. I just know my instinct is to poke the elephant. To ask everyone about the new room? Was it always there? Did I just never notice the door? I check the thermostate, go online: why is it so cold out. And more importantly, more relevantly, never really rest until I find my answer.

This is what I am like in my own skin. Suddenly I look different than I expected and I can barely recognize myself. Suddenly I have thoughts and feeling and expectations I never had and they can not simply just BE ME. I am, very suddenly, a bigger mystery to myself than I was when I was 18. I hear a song and it doesn't sink in, I see a movie and I am having a dialogue with my many voices, instead of simply absorbing and reacting. I am, quite actually, very out of sorts in my own skin.

And there are choices. Choices I never anticipated and can't seem to make and options present havoc.

And there I am, viewing everything from a certain strange safe distance from myself. Judging, but less and less understanding. Trading empathy for clarity and receiving, in kind, a room with a view to a wall that once had a door. Or vice versa. So hard to tell when you have lost the floor plan and left the map in the glove compartment of a car you haven't driven in ages.

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