Friday, May 28, 2010
17 All Over Again
One of the things that has been a total surprise to me in my return to the single life is getting in touch with my inner 17-year-old all over again. Never in a million years did I think that I, a responsible, mature 57 year-old woman would revert to emotional behavior much like that of my 17 year-old self. It's been pretty crazy how the emotional psyche works!
When I first started thinking about dating, I found myself obsessed - to be liked, to be noticed on online dating sites (as close to virtual high school as it gets!), thinking that every hair had to be in place at all moments, that I needed to be available for the phone to ring, the email to arrive, always waxed, tweezed, polished. I found that the modern equivalent to waiting for the phone to ring was waiting for the red light on my Blackberry to indicate a message or email. No wonder I related to Ke$ha in "Boots and Boys"
"I think it's time that I mention
I've got myself an obsession
For the smell, for the touch
I know I got myself a habit
But I've got to have it now
I dont care where ,work it out
(let me break it down)
Boots and boys
They bring me so much joy
I wear 'em both so pretty as I walk in the city
Boots and Boys
(give me boots and boys)"
It was as if all the strength and confidence I had developed over the years about who I was had disappeared in a moment, and that obsessed teenage girl returned. (At least pimples didn't arrive along with the obsession!)
I can't say that over this past year I have totally pushed that 17 year-old away and replaced her with an entirely emotionally mature woman. But as each potential romantic encounter is no longer a "first-time", as I have gotten comfortable with my independent life as a single woman, as I have shed that childlike desire to define myself by the company I keep, much of the obsession has quieted. One of my favorite men is very good at reminding me to look in the mirror. One of my favorite women is very good at reminding me that I am who I am regardless of whether or not I have a man in my life. One of these days I will remember all these things on my own.
Shedding the emotional responses of a young single woman for those of an older, wiser one feels great. I can still be giddy about love and crushes, still get excited about romance and meeting new boys (and boots), but leaving that old stuff behind - that's what I'm working on!