Thursday, September 9, 2010

We have different lives now....

Mama Kat set up a writer's worshop for us...and I got inspired by her first two choices, so Imma gonna do this instead of what I had planned- m'kay?

I can never do this by the rules.  I don't know why.  This time, I'm taking two choices and morphing them into one: what I no longer have in common with my single friends, and what I no longer have in common with my married friends, and why I love them anyway.

Do I even have friends?

Ok- we have to start with my story.  I got married young.  I had my first kid 3 days after I turned 21.  My second came along 3 years later, and my third 13 months after that.  All my friends were going to college and working while I was popping out babies and being an at home mom.
Now- 19 years later- I am divorced.  My kids live with their Dad (this was a decision we all made that was best for the kids- don't judge me!).  I am living with Boyfriend and trying to get a career started (being at home for so long isn't conducive to work in the current recession).
My friends are all married with kids pretty much.  Little kids.  Some are in utero.  I picked up some new friends when I went through college and they are about 15 years my junior.

My oldest (she's a month older than I) and most enduring friend

some of the girls from college (Megan is across from me)

Anyhoo- back to the actual topic:  My life is very different from either of these ages of friends.

Tricia, oldest and most enduring friend (we've known each other for 25 years) has a husband, a house, a real job, and 5 kids under the age of 10ish. (how old is Nick anyway?)  She does mom and wife things.  She goes out with the girls for dinner and plays.  She's constantly taxiing a kid somewhere.  She's also an aunt of a gazillion other kids (she comes from a family with 10 kids).  She's very much a family oriented person.  And a job oriented person.   She's focused and devoted.

Megan is 25ish.  She just got married.  She has no kids.  She has two jobs.  She doesn't drink.  She cusses like a sailor.  Oddly, these two:Tricia and Megan remind me of each other.  They are the alpha to my beta personality.  The only reason I'd take over anything is because they tell me to.

Single girls I know go out drinking and dancing.  They wear stillettos.  They might show their boobs at the river.  They own pretty cars and work well paying jobs.  Their bodies are not stretched out from babies.  They look good in a bikini.  They flirt with boys.

Gosh- I am none of these.  I had a major upheaval when trying to figure out who I was after the divorce.  I was no longer mom, wife, caretaker.  I couldn't get a teacher job like I hoped.  I finished school so I wasn't a student.  I was feeling old, fat, like a loser.  I wasn't a fabulous mom like Tricia, or a go-getter newlywed like Megan.  I wasn't a young pretty flirty thing like other single girls.  I wasn't betty crocker, the good wife, or a career woman. 

I had a hard time listening to other people's kid stories- my kids and I had a lot of healing to do yet. 
I had a hard time listening to young and hopeful kids in love. 
I had a hard time hearing about people getting the jobs they wanted.
I had a hard time figuring out where I fit in.

Two years later I am still figuring it out.  My friends are still with me- that's one good trait about them both :)
I have figured out that I am me.  I don't really want to start over with babies, I don't want to taxi kids everywhere (mine drives), I don't want to go back to volunteering in the classroom.  I don't want to go out to bars to party all night every weekend.  I don't want to show my boobs.  I don't want to pick up boys.

I want a job.  A stable one, subbing may or may not be enough, we will see.  I want to be thought of as betty crocker and susie homemaker.  I like that part of me.  I do make a decent at home mom and wife.  I want to make art. I want to be loved.

So, though my friends and I are not exactly alike- I have realized we are similar.  They want a stable career, a stable relationship, to be loved and appreciated.    And those traits and connections we have just add to an already enduring and endearing friendship.  I don't wanna be exactly like my friends- that's why I have them.  Two of me would be boring.


Mara said...

Friends may come from different places, they may go to different places, as long as they take you for the person you are and don't try to change you: they are friends.

PS: I am single, no children, I don't wear stilettos, I don't drive a fancy car, I haven't got a flashy job (a busdriver is so not glamourous!), but I have great friends who will tell me if I behave like a complete muffin and accept me for who I am!

Her Mom said...

Sometimes figuring out where we fit in takes a long long time. Whether we're single, married or in-between. Maintaining a balance between the single friends and the married friends is a good thing and you're oh so fortunate to have such steady friends around you.

Lyn said...

I found it very difficult to adjust when I got divorced and spent my time as a single mum. All my smug marrieds didn't understand and I wasn't quite a singleton either. Divorce is a huge life change.

I'm glad you've got some good friends who are with you in whatever transition phase you're in. x

Barb said...

But one of you is GREAT! (And - don't forget it...) You want what we all want - hope your dreams come true.

SuziCate said...

You said My friends are still with me- that's one good trait about them both :) I say that says a lot about you as well. Sounds like you're just as good of a friend as them. My friends vary in age, economic and marital status...but we're there for one another without judging, that's what makes it work.I don't worry about "fitting in"- puts me too much in a clique situation, and I have a big thing against cliques...I yam what I yam!