I wonder if its possible to overdose on Zyrtec…my allergies are just so damn bad. I just googled that – yes – you can, so don’t. Fuck. I had upped my dose to two and was also throwing in a Claritin for good measure. I would say the solution would be bolt the doors – don’t go out until the cottonwood is gone, but when I went to the kitchen to get my coffee this morning, I found cottonwood floating on the hardwood floor under the kitchen table and also on the edge of my favorite cup. Its in the house now from people and dogs going in and out. I chose a bad time to let the housekeeper go.
I’ve been having weird dreams. (Probably from the allergy meds?) My dreams have always been a place where I could resolve some issues on my mind, explore new ideas and how they might play out, and sometimes have been the source of inspiration. This morning I was dreaming about roles we play in our lives. We all take on a “role” at various times. For instance, as “wife” or “mother”.
My earliest “role” I can remember was at about age four. I took on the role of my mother’s protector. She had divorced my bio dad a couple years earlier, met who would become my stepdad, was deep into the whole “hippie thing” and somehow, I realized she was not the adult in charge, so I had to be. She had me when she was 19, so she was still kind of a child in many ways. I realized I failed in that role when I was 7 and she was rushed to the hospital after attempting suicide. That morning I took on a new role, my baby brother’s caretaker. It would maybe be easier to protect him since he didn’t have access to drugs and stay up past my bedtime.
Over the course of my life, I have had many roles. Daughter, mother, sister, grand-daughter, wife, fiancé, salesperson, mentor, business coach, volunteer, divorcee, widow… I’m feeling momentarily lost. I don’t have a “role” that I am embracing at this precise moment in time. I am still a “mother”, but my children are adults. Real adults, with careers, houses, cars, etc. and they take their own advice and dish some out to me… I’m not actively “mothering”. I’m not a grandmother. I am no one’s wife or fiancé. I am not even anyone’s “girlfriend” technically. I no longer have my government contract for my business…so I am no longer a “HUD LLB”. Which has been my identity in my business world the last decade plus. I’m taking a momentary break from my volunteer duties to put my own oxygen mask on first (although I was asked to go to Baton Rouge yesterday and almost went) – so at this moment “volunteer” is not an active role for me. I have no role. I am nobody, nowhere, doing nothing.
I guess this is an opportunity to define my next role. I just don’t know what it is. I can’t retire – I have no retirement…I was going to fix that in the next five years with my government contract that I no longer have… Who am I? Aren’t I way too fucking old to still be asking that question?
Also I recently heard somewhere (some podcast – no clue which one) that you have to “make room” for the person you want in your life – you know to be sharing your life with…. you need to be clear on what you want their role to be and what yours is. If you are completely self-sufficient and do all things in your life for yourself, there is no room for anyone to add to or bring things to the table other than companionship. Companionship you can have with a dog. This idea of making space…from having space in the closet for their clothes to having a role for them to fill is interesting to me. I have never – almost never – had a clearly defined desired role for my partner. When I wanted to get married and have children, I wanted a partner who could impregnate me (Very low bar…). Just prior to meeting the person who would become my fiancé I wanted a physical protector. He filled that role (My ex had become a stalker – bad story for another day). Other than that, I have never had clearly defined roles I asked to be filled…I always felt responsible for doing everything.
So, if I play pretend for a moment…imagining I can place my order for whatever I want…maybe it looks something like this: I would like the role of permanent partner to someone who could take care of me. (Fuck that would be a nice change). I could be free to do yoga, write, explore the world without worry. He could provide financial stability, explore the world with me, protect me, appreciate me…. we could just adore each other. In other words, I guess I still want the Disney princess storyline all little girls are subliminally promised. Which makes me hear my stepdad’s words in my brain “Prince charming is not coming. He does not exist. No one is charging in on a white stallion to rescue you.” He also didn’t allow me to believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. He didn’t believe in “lying to children” but instead felt they should have the cold, hard, truth.
The women’s movement did some positive things. But it also caused some harm that needs correcting. We, as women, need to know we can do anything and everything. It needs to be acceptable for us to take on whatever roles we want to (And also okay for men to take on the roles that make them happy). It is okay for us to be alone and independent. BUT it is also okay for us to be interdependent with someone else. We don’t have to do everything, out partner can have a role also. Everything will never be equal or 50/50 all the time. Some days are 60/40 or even 80/20 – but it all balances out if both parties are contributing and really care. Human beings need other humans. Personally, I am
tired exhausted – by trying to be a Superwoman. I would like for someone to go ahead and be my provider and protector now. I feel guilty even typing those words…it has been so ingrained in me that I must be self sufficient and cannot rely on a man. I’ve been providing for myself since before I left my parent’s home and protecting myself – or trying to – my entire life…Fuck it…I’m going to keep practicing the words until I don’t feel guilty anymore. I want a man to adore me, love me, appreciate me, and also provide for me and protect me. It seems a man might like having a role that makes him feel good and important too? I can’t promise to make room in the closet for him…but a good provider can get us a bedroom with two walk-in closets.
It seems like because of the shifting of paradigms that men are afraid to even try to be filling traditional roles. They feel it is wrong to be dominant in any way, be the provider or protector – they have been trained now to step aside and let a woman take care of herself…open her own doors, fight her own battles and buy her own things. It has become more of a competition in relationship…who can earn more, take on more tasks, get more external societal validation…. on the dating sites you see men write things like “emotionally mature, financially secure – expect same in partner. Let’s travel together.” Meaning we are going Dutch. If you can’t afford to go, I will find a partner (i.e. independent financially secure woman) who can. Sorry…I was busy supporting men, putting kids through college, taking care of poor grandparents…I didn’t know how to do all that and still have a savings…no one taught me that.
So who am I? A woman in her mid 50’s…who has done a lot of things but has not done enough…and has no idea where she is going or how she is going to get there…