Thursday, November 10, 2005

When I Grow Up

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I guess that this post is a tie-in to the previous one, but I was just reminiscing [in my "old age"] and remembering the things I wanted to be, the things I thought I should be, when I grow up.

Kids always want to be something they're not: when they're weak, they want to be strong; when they're plain-looking, they want to be beautiful or handsome; when they're short, they want to be tall; when they're dumb, they want to be smart.

Some of these wannabes can be helped: with weights and exercise, with makeup, with platform shoes, with studying.

When I was young, I wanted to be like everyone else: cute, popular, the center of attention. But as I got older, I realized I didn't want to be like everyone else; I wanted to be me. I could be all those things in my own way, following my own style, not being like everybody else, but being comfortable with the Pearl that I was and then developed into.

When I was young, I thought I should be a veterinarian...because I loved animals.

When I was young, I thought I should be a librarian...because I loved books.

When I was young, I thought I should be a writer...because I loved to write stories and poetry.

When I was young, I thought I should be a teacher...because I loved to guide and help people learn new things.

When I was young, I thought I should be like everyone else...because, after all, doesn't every kid want to be like everyone else?

Well, I'm an animal-loving, copy-editing (of fiction), creative-writing person who still likes to guide and help people learn new things.

And guess what else I am...

I'm lucky. I'M ME!!

Young - Old...It Really Doesn't Matter

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I'm 44 years old -- I mean young!

Like I've said many a time in my blog, age is just a number. I thank G-d that my life has been a good one up till now and I haven't had any negative life-altering events that have aged me physically or spiritually or mentally.

Okay, so I wish I had some more energy, some secret resource of "I'm rarin' to go, what are we waiting for?" physical energy to share with my kids who are still rather young...and deserve a mom who will run when they run, do sports when they do sports, etc.

My spirit is there, though. My young mentality is there. Although I'm 44, I continue to look out at the world through the eyes of a young teenager. I'm in awe of many things still, my eyes are big as they take in the things I see around me. I have lots yet to experience, as "late bloomer" is my middle name. And so, I think that I'm in the "spring" of what has already been formally deemed my "middle age" several years ago.

When I was young, I often related much better to older people. Perhaps it was because there was no "peer pressure" involved in such circles -- sitting with my mother and her friends in shul instead of with people my age, loving my several years' worth of volunteering stints with seniors in nursing homes for years, volunteering with an archival committee where I was the youngest by a good ten to fifteen years, etc.

When I was young, I also thought in older, more mature ways. I felt that my personal philosphies of life mirrored those of my parents -- was that a result of their wartime experiences, I wonder? I often said things that my peers wouldn't even think of, and when I hit a certain age, when it came to blowing out the candles on a birthday cake and making a wish, I ALWAYS wished for good health...for me and my parents. What young healthy person makes such a heavy-duty wish?

At times, as a young or older teen, I'd just suddenly let out a heavy sigh, as if the weight of the world was on my shoulders. People tended to comment, "What was that for?" "You sound like an old woman."

But I've learned throughout my life that it doesn't hurt to be young and have and display some "older" ideas, and it doesn't hurt to be older and have and display some "younger" ideas. One's spirit is nurtured throughout one's life, and at the end, the young-old balances itself out!

So with the sigh of an old woman, and the childish giggles of a girl, I'm signing off...