I found myself caught in the middle of a conversation tonight. And it was a win-win lose-lose situation.
The conversation? Mine. By me. Including only me. Am I the only one who does this? Do you ever have conversations with yourself?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have dual personalities or multiple personalities or some mental defect. (Although some may disagree.) But I find myself having conversations like “you know you should be eating salad instead of chips and salsa!” Or “shouldn’t you just go to bed and try to sleep?” And then there are the arguments. “No! I don’t want to exercise! Yes, I know I need to cut back on sugar. But dark chocolate is healthy, even if it’s enveloped in a cookie!”
And most recently, “what do you have to offer? Do you have value? Is it too late to contribute to society? Are you willing to let a Lupus diagnosis from 20 years ago define you?”
No dual personality, although I suspect – no, I’m certain! – that there is a 25-year-old, beautiful, confident, intelligent woman with a body that has no hail damage, stretch marks, frown lines, age spots, or wrinkles inside of me that’s begging to get out. A woman with a gift.
Either way, it’s a win-win or a lose-lose and sometimes a win-lose situation.
Am I alone? Is this normal for the over 50 empty nester mom who is trying to reinvent herself? Not just reinvent, but remember! Remember the girl I was when I was 18 or 21. That girl! Confidence. That girl! Nothing to back up said confidence. All she had was a belief that she deserved more. That she had a gift. And that girl hadn’t lived long enough to have fear. Fear of rejection, fear of disapproval, fear of trusting. That girl came from a small town where she believed she had something to offer. That girl had the “big fish in a small pond” mentality.
And then, Life happened. She began to view life behind the curtains. No longer was she a viewer, she saw what went on backstage. Behind the scenes. If you’ve ever been to a Broadway show, you sit in the audience and you are entertained and all is well. Lines are rehearsed and remembered and repeated the way they are intended. As a member of the audience, you have no idea what goes on backstage. The chaos. The confusion. The stress. The meltdowns. The forgotten lines. And the realization that This. Is. Live.
No retakes, no do-overs.
Is it too late? Should I put a stop to the conversations I have with myself? Or do I let the world determine my value? Am I too old? I’m over 50. By the world’s standards, am I over the hill?
My brain says “give it up.”
But my heart says GO. PUSH. You have VALUE.
Is that wrong? Is that ego? How does someone recognize their gifts without being perceived as egotistical?
When I was 16 I believed in myself. I believed I had a gift. I wanted to be on a stage making people FEEL. I wanted to entertain, for people to experience laughter, sorrow, empathy.
If it sounds egotistical, I ask for your forgiveness.
It truly wasn’t about elevating my ego, it was about the ability to make people feel something. Even if it was at my own expense. I used to say I wanted people to laugh, even if it meant laughing at me!
We have been given an opportunity to start over. To begin a new season and write our own chapters. Part 2 of our life.
Should I listen to my heart? Or should I be realistic and recognize that statistics indicate that I’m on the downhill side of life?
And still, the conversations continue. Should I post this blog? Should I keep my inner thoughts to myself? Do I really want to know what people think?
Should I press the button? The “POST” button? Knowing that once it’s out there, it’s out there forever? Am I strong enough to handle the critiques?
Pressing the button before I lose the courage or talk myself out of it…