I used to be athletic: in school I ran with the cross-country & track teams and continued thereafter with ’bouts of yoga’ and mountain hiking or biking, kayaking; work was a marathon of endurance and I was always proud of my flexibility and strength.
Now I’m middle-aged and wondering what the hell happened? What happened to me physically and where did my sense of self go?
The body changes through aging and I’m all okay with that; I don’t concern myself at all with the waistline that broadened out to match my hips, the bat-wings (triceps) that echo my wave, and all the sagging flesh. Who fucking cares? Not me. But…
…I do wonder what happened to the me that I was proud of; the woman that people thought was fearless and danced on the edge, the woman who, not only was strong physically, but strong within herself? Where the fuck did she go?
It’s hard navigating the wilderness of life alone and ~don’t misunderstand me, I’m all about wilderness and aloneness. I am comfortable with both. I wouldn’t know what to do if things were different. But lately I’m a little concerned that I’ve drifted, yes, drifted, into the empty wilderness, the dead zone; the wilderness where no-one lives but the skeletons of those-who-used-to-be. There’s no communing or partying with those-who-used-to-be because they are devoid of any life, any spirit.
I need to search, find, and excavate my former self. I fucking miss her. She may have been an outlier, a misfit, a freak but she was fucking awesome. She marched like a soldier for the Almighty; determined, self-assured, and tall with strong. She had convictions, truths, integrity and she was determined. She didn’t give a fuck.
It isn’t age that makes us like water ‘evaporating’ into the sand. It’s the long-haul; we might get tired of overcoming the obstacles or we may become immune to the everyday joy that life offers – we stop noticing, we give up our struggle to be more comfortable, it’s easier, safer. But when we’ve become a soft, shallower sense of ourselves we ‘wake’ to wonder why we seem invisible to those around us, why we take up soo much less space. We’ve done it to ourselves. We’ve handed over our spirit as payment for something less tangable, less fulfilling and we become someone-who-used-to-be.