I’ve been thinking about growing up lately, about my age and what it means to be an adult, to be a grown woman. To be established in my skin.
Maybe it’s the changing of a season, another summer coming upon us and the noticeable way my plans have changed from frolicking around the hills on the bare back of my sorrel horse to fulfilling obligations and responsibilities, meeting deadlines and penciling in time for the fun.
Maybe it’s the new silver scattered in my hairline, the silver I just sat in a chair for hours to have covered, to camouflage the passage of time as it’s made a splattering of an appearance for the world to see.
It could be those things and then it could be how it feels to watch my big sister raise an almost four-year old, my little sister finish her Master’s degree and my parents make plans for a new chapter in their lives.
Or it could be tax season and the oh, so grown-up responsibility and that cringeworthy check I’m plopping in the mail for the government today.
Maybe. Maybe it could be that.
When I was a little girl no one told be about these things. About what it’s like to wake up one day and realize that the growing up part isn’t like a music montage in a Disney movie.
No one told me the adult version of myself might forget about the ten-year old girl who used to wonder out loud when a person turns from a kid with energy to burn into a tired adult who would rather sit on the porch and drink coffee. No one told the ten-year-old version of myself that one day, I too would find myself a little too tired at the end of the day to build forts in the trees and stay out until dark or suppertime, whichever came first.
No one explained to me that one day that supper would be my responsibility and it’s importance would eclipse my waning desire to lean logs up against fallen trees.
I wouldn’t have believed them anyway.
But all that doesn’t matter now. I’ve made it this far and between the work and the worry I decided I needed to make some promises to myself.
About getting older.
About the kind of woman I want to be.
The kind who doesn’t bother with things like gray hair and doesn’t get worked up about mud on the floor.
The kind that saddles her own horse and breathes in the spring air, declaring the beauty of the season change while searching for crocuses.
The kind that doesn’t mind the passage of time. Who wears the lines on her face and her weathered hands with grace, a badge of a life well lived under the big blue sky of home.
Making these sort of declarations is freeing. To know how I want to turn out, to see myself there in my garden below the house, to know with as much certainty as that ten-year-old girl I used to be that I want to be the kind of old woman who doesn’t just live here on this place, but becomes a fixture, like the old fence posts holding stretched wire across the landscape–expected, subtle, weathered, wise.
Catch me at the
North Dakota Bloggers & Writers Workshop
Monday, April 14, 2014