May 26, 2007

I had a dream....

I had this dream lastight that everything I ever wanted slipped right through my fingers and I couldn't grasp it. I wanted to and it was there....waiting, but I couldn't reach. Then it was gone. Dissapeared. When I woke up to the sunrise I felt like I had went on a journey through time and space. It left me wondering....

As you get older, life and the people in your life take on a new priority. This is the beauty and the ugliness of the stages of life. When you'e a kid you think nothing can harm you. At a young age we played in the dirt, swam in lakes and didn't for once think about getting any nasty parasites. Our idea of fun was a campfire with graham crackers and chocolate. Tents in the backyard, sandboxes, big wheels....DISNEYLAND!

My friends and I rode our bikes all over town when we were dark GASP! We spoke to strangers..oh my! We smoked cigarettes behind the garage, snuck boys into the house when our parents weren't home, and occasionally induldged in a little underage comsumption. Well, probably more than occasionally. At 16 we had a new found freedom...the 1st vehicle. We drove to places our parents didn't know big cities for concerts that certainly wouldn't be approved by the folks. We attended crazy ass parties that would make our parents lock us away forever.... if they only knew. Hauled all of our friends around....without seatbelts! Walked through wooded parks at night for fun, not even worrying about the boogyman.

At 18 we began making our 1st real life decisions. Some of us went to college, some moved out of their parent's house for the first time, some moved out of town completely in hopes of 'finding themselves.' Some stayed right were they are and that's where they remain. Many mistakes were made, many things happened leaving you feeling that sense of regret that only your heart knows about. This is the time when you really start to learn who you are going to become independant of your lineage.

21...ahhh we discovered the bar scene. Complete with making a fool of yourself and learning time and time again that the cold toilet bowl doesn't make a great pillow. Some of us woke up wondering what we did the night before because we got a little too liberal with the spirits...but not me, I'd never do that. (wink)

We fell in love, we had our hearts broken, we fell in love, we had our hearts broken. Tears, smiles, hello's and goodbyes. We have old battle scars that are seen and unseen. Many wounds, many accomplishments, many failures...oh what a time all of that was.

Now that I'm 31, life looks so different. I have a family, new responsabilities and new worries. Not that I don't like this stage, but I sometimes wonder how I got here. When did I go from being reckless, young and full of life, to being guarded, careful and mindful to make the right decisions? Damn...being wise isn't always that fun. Actually, I always felt as though I was an old soul. I think a lot of this stems from the fact that I didn't grow up totally oblivious to life and it's consequences. I had lost my father at 14. I had my first baby at 18 (the summer after graduation). Gained friends, lost friends. Had my heart broken more times than I'd like to remember. You get the idea. I guess you could say that I had a lot of hardships in my life, but without them I wouldn't be who I am today, as the cliche goes. It's so true though. Many people say they don't have regrets and I'd like to think I don't, but I do...have a few.

My oldest son is now 13 and I feel as though I'm just now becoming an adult. "I'm not ready for this". I keep telling myself. My mom was right, "you will get this back" and believe me, I am. Being the parent of a teen is no joke. My son's personality has changed ten fold and I went from being super cool mom, to super stupid mom in a matter of months. I can't help but think back to the days when I was 13. Trampsing around town like I knew everything and thinking my parents were fools. All of this eye rolling, door slamming, sarcastic comment lashing is throwing me for a loop. Teenage angst! I know this well, because it wasn't too long ago that I was doing these exact things. Sometimes when he looks at me as if he wished I'd crawl in a hole, I get a chill because I know exactly what he's thinking. He'll argue this ofcourse, because 'I'm old and couldn't possibly know what's going on in the mind of a 13 year old.' Sigh.

I often wonder and worry how I should handle his new stage in life, just as I'm learning how to deal with my own new stage. If only there were a manuel on how to raise a little asshole. BUT, being as there isn't, I'll just have to reflect on myself as I, too, was once a little asshole. (smirk) I remember at 13 thinking my mom was so old. I'm 31, not that old, and I wish I hadn't thought of my parents that way. Retrospect is a bitch. Karma.

If we could go back again knowing what we know now, what would we do differently? I know I would do many things different, which is why the parents are always at a cross roads with their children. We want them to have what we didn't. We want them to make the right decisions, not be so careless and to grow with the knowledge and confidence that we lacked. Thus, the cycle of life. Now that I know a thing or two (maybe) I would like to tell my children to follow their hearts. Don't settle. Always love yourself first so that you may love others the way they deserve. Listen to your instincts and watch for signs. They are all around you, you just have to open yourself up to them. I once asked God for a sign, as we all have done before. He gave me the sign loud and clear and I still doubted it. How foolish can one be?

As you get older you learn to appriciate the good things and not so much the trivial. Now that I am at that stage I want to live life to it's fullest. Being in healthcare really opens your eyes to what can happen. There are no guarantees in life. It doesn't always turn out the way you plan or the way you think it should. Doors close, others open and I want for my children to take every open door and run through it. Don't hesitate. Don't stand at the open door wondering....GO! Life is so short. I guess this is where I want them to be unlike me.

Being in your 30's does not in any way mean that life is over. I still have a lot more to learn and a lot more life to live. But now, I will live my life in a way that I leave myself to never regret. With knowledge comes new responsability. When you know better, you do better. We can't go backward, but what we can do is go forward. Let those you love know this before it's too late. Don't let the opportunity slip through your fingers. Grab hold of life and never let go.