Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Brunette Me...and what that means

My long-dreaded 30th birthday found me high above America's heartland on a small commuter flight between Birmingham and Chicago. It was a good start to the 30th year of my life.

I spent one day alone wandering up and down Michigan Avenue. I watched the people come and go, made a few superficial observations about the people I saw, and somewhere during that day had a realization about myself. Namely, that I'm never going to be a twenty-something again. Ever. It's over. My life is serious now. I have grown-up problems. I make serious decisions with grave implications. I'm not solely responsible to myself or for myself. This is life. This is it. And I'd better get busy. I can't be 20, I thought, but I'll make this the best 30 that I can. And that's a good thing.

I think I grew up somewhere between Walton and Chestnut in Chicago, IL.

When we got home, I didn't feel blonde anymore. My blonde has always been a sign of silliness. I've always been flippant and effusive. Ready to crack a joke. I'm not anymore. I don't feel comfortable making the effusive and happy part of my personality public anymore. I've found myself being less friendly and more demanding of people. More willing to say "you're wrong about that." I think I've been a person that others can dominate and intimidate. I think I've been a person to whom others could express their opinions without first examining them for barbs. I think I've allowed other people to treat me in absolutely innapropriate ways. I've allowed too many people to tell me about myself. To tell me "what my problem is." I've learned that there are more arrogant and petulant people in my world that I would ever have imagined. I've also learned that "arrogant" and "petulant" do not ever equate to "smart" or "insightful." Ever. (Isn't it an odd thing that some people just say whatever they feel like saying? As if they really have something useful to say? How do you acheive that perceived wisdom that allows you to spew garbage and feel righteous? Is there some gene for that or something?)

The first thing that I've really noticed is that I don't really get mad when people overstep their boundaries with me anymore. I don't pretend that it's okay anymore, either. I just say, "that's enough." And people shut up. It's a new brunette power, I guess. Along with this, I've noticed that I don't worry so much about hurting people's feelings. I used to let people treat me badly and then assure them that I wasn't offended so as to avoid hurting their feelings. Now, I'll just tell them that they're wrong and walk away. Oddly, I find that I'm not as offended or angry as I used to be.

So, I'm not blonde anymore. I'm not blonde on the outside. I'm not blond on the inside. And it feels good.


ersatz said...

guess what? kelly and i are engaged! we looked for you at church on sunday, but i guess you were having fun in chi-town. but expect calls soon to work on this whole wedding thing at the new church. it will be exciting.

when you say you lost your blonde, you lost your silliness, do you miss it? i like my silliness, and it exists in seriousness sometimes. i think a lightness of humor and character is charming. and i expect that when i see you again, you will still smile and hopefully give me a hug. (kelly and i were talking as we were looking for you and david at church that we were excited to see you guys being happy for us. your happiness is so genuine).

anyway, i hope you kept the good silliness, and let the frivolous silliness go. i like the prior.

susan said...

That's fantastic news!! I am so excited for you. That makes my week.
David is thrilled for you, too.

I don't miss my silliness because I'm still silly with David and my close friends. I just don't want to be fully myself with other people anymore. I think there's a place for being guarded and playing your cards close. Don't you think? It's naive to think otherwise, I believe.

But, yes, when I see you and Kelly I'm sure I'll be silly. :-) We need to celebrate.

jeff said...

good thoughts. what you said reminds me of some things I've read in "The Road Less Traveled."

susan said...

Thank you. I'm a Frost fan, too. I think that poem is really about how the choices we make narrow our options. I think he could approach that from a less optomistic angle, but he sees the positive aspects of that fact and I think that's maturity and wisdom. I can see the similarity.


kristen said...

Brunette power! ;o)

I totally agree with this:
I've also learned that "arrogant" and "petulant" do not ever equate to "smart" or "insightful." Ever.

It goes well with what I have been mulling about lately.

susan said...

I'm interested to hear what you've been mulling about lately.


rebekka said...

I was tagged, and now I am passing it on to you:) I am going to tag you for 6 weird things. Hope you want to do it.

RULES: People who get tagged need to write a blog post of 6 weird things about them as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog.