That was then … this is now

Yesterday, I mentioned how hopeless I was at concealing my unhappiness in the dying years of my marriage.

It reminded me of a blog post I wrote about being 44, called “Who are you in your 40s?”. It noted:

This should be a blog post about how fabulous it is to be 40+.

But it’s not.

I have no fricking idea who I am in my 40s. I am completely, totally lost.

I thought I finally had my shit together in my 30s. I was juggling a successful career with two kids. I was confident. I ran at life like a bull at a gate. There may have been a dance with PND, but I prefer to gloss over it.

The main thing is I had purpose.

Less than a decade later, I am completely rudderless.

I know who I used to be. I have no idea who I am now.

How does that happen? I thought you were supposed to become more comfortable in your own skin as you got older.

I am not comfortable in my own skin AT ALL. I’d like some new skin instead.

I’m so tired I want to crawl into bed at 6pm every night.

I don’t even recognise myself in the mirror. I catch a glimpse of a strange woman and think, “Who the hell is that? No! It can’t be me.”

But it IS me …

I can remember my ex’s mum nervously noting that HouseGoesHome was “rather dark.”

That’s because it was a (I can see now) desperate cry for help.

My husband was struggling too. He’d run out of energy to keep us both above water.

But, fortunately, leaving me to drown forced me to save myself.

And lovely things started to happen that made being in my late 40s feel pretty damn good.

As a friend and HouseGoesHome follower noted yesterday: “You are always honest and I agree your photos post split show an increasingly genuinely happy soul which is lovely to see …”

It’s five years since I wrote that post about hating what I saw in the mirror. I’ve lost even more collagen since then, but I’ve also realised that being old and happy looks a damn sight better than old and miserable.

I’m getting my purpose and confidence back too.

In a few years I’ll be writing a “Who are you in your 50s?” post. I’m not looking forward to being those daunting digits, but I am looking forward to seeing who I am.

It’s butterfly time, baby, and I’m breaking out of my chrysalis.

Song of the day: Paul Wellar “Amongst Butterflies”

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