I guess these questions could be equated to, “What’s the meaning of life?” Right? Let me explain more…
I am reading this book, which I guess you can say inspired today’s post. The book discusses, overall, the freedom we must experience if we were to live our lives with no masks…not to become something every morning, just because that is what our society expects of us. For example, many of us (I believe, anyway) are victims of that society who says that we all need to grow up, meet someone, get married and have children, all before we’re 30-35 years old…sometimes even younger. That means that with that premise comes the expectation that we all gain an education so that we might have a job to be able to buy the house/car/wardrobe/jewelry so that we can compete with the neighbors/classmates/family members with whom we’ve been forced to compare ourselves with since childhood. We are adults to do nothing to lead our children down the wrong road. We’re as mature as we need to be in order to now lead productive lives. Right?!?! WRONG!!!
The section in the book that I read today dealt with the idea of how we are basically made up of 4 parts: our bodies (includes our health or the embodiment of ourselves that takes us to physical places), our sentiments (like our feelings, what makes us feel emotional…like crying over the ASPCA commercial), our intellects (or our ideas, innovations, creations, etc.) and our desires (sexual in nature…something we can never forget about). When we decide what is best for our lives (whether that be location, climate, people, significant others, or just friends), we need to make sure that we take, not just one of these parts into consideration, but rather all of these parts into consideration. And that’s a really interesting idea, if you ask me!
Listen, I remember when I was young, hearing a joke about the 4 animals that every woman needs to possess…a mink hanging in her closet, a jaguar parked in her driveway, a tiger in her bedroom and a jackass to pay for it all. Hahahaha! But what a strange way of looking at life! What does this mean? Won’t I one day be able to find the man who can satisfy all of my needs & desires? My need for an intellectual conversation, my need to be cared for emotionally, sexually as well as stimulated consistently in order to keep me interested indefinitely?!?! Or was I just being immature and naive?
Now at 41 years old, I have discovered that everyone needs many different “types” in their lives in order to get them to that next level…emotionally, intellectually…sexually. Ex. The man you met at 20, who may have helped you to discover your body and your sexuality maybe cannot also be the man who you have children with and who you choose to grow old with because at that time in your life you spent too much time concentrating on that 1/4 of your life and you forgot about the other parts. Maybe you shared too much with him anyway and then you felt as though you did not keep enough secrets…ultimately making you too vulnerable to continue that relationship anyhow. So you end that affair in order to grow more intellectually or emotionally…and maybe even sexually.
Weird, but I feel as though it was the women in my life during my early 30’s who taught me the most, emotionally. Granted, at 30, I lost my mother to breast cancer so it wasn’t a man who was going to teach me how to survive without her…it was the strong women who existed in my life at the time who were the ones who reminded me how to get back on the horse and trod on! I always tended to befriend women who were 5-10 years older than me. I think now it was probably because I always needed them to help me feed that 1/4 of my psyche…they helped me to broaden my sentimental side…the ones who taught me how to be strong without the support of a man. They may have shown me their own lives post-divorce, or as single women…with or without children that they raised alone…these women will always hold a strong place in my heart and my soul as I remember watching them march on…usually to the beat of their own drummers…never imagining themselves (or desiring themselves) to be with another man for fear of once again being led astray. I get it!
But what about my intellect? How do I feed my intellect? I went to college right out of high school and I obtained my Master’s Degree in Business Mgmt. when I was 31…but is that it? Or at that age, had I not yet experienced enough life to be able to expand my intellect at that philosophical level that we must broaden until the day we die? I look at my life now…and I love it as much as I loved my life 5 years ago…10 years ago…I saw people come into my life as well as those who left it (either voluntarily or involuntarily). And I see now how my life has changed in the last 10-12 years and it amazes me! I’ve learned things that I could have never learned from just reading novels and textbooks! Things that only my ability to travel and live in so many different places could have taught me.
Then there’s my body…I am 41…do I still have the body of a 20 year? Of course not!! No matter what you do with your life or how many trips to the gym you make or how many lotions or creams you buy…gravity always sets in. If nowhere else but in your face. Your skin is not as firm in your face and neck, giving you the look of something dragging you down…like a hook pulling your skin into a sag from the chin…no matter how much you laugh. I would like to say that I don’t look bad for 41…but what does a “41” look like? I see old friends I haven’t seen in 15-20 years on Facebook and I see that they’ve put on weight (though I may not be being fair, they have 2-3 children each so I guess that’s what happens) or maybe they don’t “seem” as happy as I would have hoped or I see that their dreams (which we may have discussed when we were in our 20’s) did not pan out the way they may have once hoped they would. So maybe that’s the reason for the hook pulling their faces down into that sag…
I guess every day I should be making a decision about what is good for my life…do I feel like going to the gym today or can I have that piece of cake or should I have that 2nd (or 3rd) drink? And maybe I should now try to take each of my 1/4’s into consideration so that maybe I will become less impulsive and more pensive and reactionary in my actions…at 41. If I allow myself to become too emotional with drink, will I not be able to enjoy the intellectual conversation I’m in the middle of? If I have that 3rd drink will I lose the inhibitions that are stopping me from allowing this conversation to turn into a sexual encounter? Or even worse yet, if I don’t stay for that drink, will I come off to be too serious or not desirable enough? Are these the things we should be concerned with in our 40’s? Or can we just continue on the same path we’ve always walked (regardless of what society claims us to be)?
I guess you can say that in the end, I’ve always walked to the beat of my own drummer and while I’ve never been too concerned about what anyone thought of me…I’ve also always shown myself to be what I am…no masks for me. And if someone doesn’t like it, they know where the door is and it can take them out just as quickly as it brought them in. I’m very comfortable with the skin I’m in and can recognize that a lot of shit had to happen in order to bring me here…but that’s ok too. My life was what I made it…no regrets! Never!