This year has been all about changes for me. Changing not only my look but my universal outlook as well. The last few years have been stressful and sometimes overwhelming, and I am aware that I tend to let that stress fester inside of me until I look on the outside how I feel on the inside. A mess. That first year of homeschooling was a buffet for the inner critic, and she often feasted on my insecurities and fear. And then I decided to quit feeding her. It really was that simple. I may inadvertently throw her a crumb here and there, but that bitch is starving.
So, while I am starving the hell out of the voice that spent a lifetime trying to convince me I was ugly, stupid, awkward, chubby, I have begun feeding the voice that tells her to shut the hell up. And what I’ve noticed is that the quieter the inner bitch gets, the more confident I feel. I am probably too damn old to wear some of the clothes that I wear now. I know that people stare at me when I go out in my old lady glasses and victory rolls, but I feel fucking fabulous, so I don’t care. I’m having the time of my life, and my friends don’t seem too embarrassed to be seen in public with me, so I’m going to continue to devour as much fun and freedom as I can until I decide to stop.
I used to sit at home on the couch every night watching TV until I was too tired to move, and then I would drag my frumpy ass to bed wishing I had enough energy to go out. Now, even if I’m exhausted from teaching my kiddo, doing the housework, shopping, blah, blah, I will force my old, tired ass into a cute outfit and paint the town with a friend. And I have never once regretted that choice. Because I have the best friends around, who not only support and encourage me, but are always down for a good time. Last month, my buddy Kate and I went to see a very cool band in Chicago called Honeyhoney. Kate is my go-to gal for concert shenanigans. She loves music as much as I do, and she never gets embarrassed if I dance like a jackass. She is the cat’s pajamas.
We were crazy close to the stage – it’s a very small venue – and the band is still so unknown that they genuinely seemed surprised every time we applauded. In a later post, I will discuss how the banjo is the perfect instrument, so you can understand how much I geeked out watching this band.
A few weeks later, I invited my good friend Jane out to dinner, and we hit up a Cajun joint in Plainfield called MoeJoe’s. Lucky for us, we got what the hostess referred to as “THE booth.” We sipped on hurricanes, and I binged a bit on sweet potato fries. They play excellent music before 10 pm – a little bit of Stevie Ray, Johnny Cash, and even some Pink Floyd. Then, they cleared out the front part of the restaurant, a DJ came in, and the place became Douchebro Central. We quickly got the hell out of there. Once Ke$ha remixes come out, I gotta bail or I get stabby.
Now, I am certainly not a believer in “things happen for a reason,” but if I did, Jane would be one of those people that I was meant to be friends with. She was my son’s special ed teacher at a school he never should have gone to. I immediately connected with her, and while Perrin was attending that school, I would often tell John that it was a shame Jane was his teacher, because I would totally want to hang out with her. So, after I pulled Perrin out of school to homeschool him, I emailed her and asked her on a date. From that point on, she’s been a pea in my pod.
One day soon, I hope to get my homegirl, Debbie, to come out with us. And then I will force her into a picture. Ren Faire is right around the corner, Debbie. You shan’t avoid my camera forever.
I spent way too long in a cage that I built, truly believing that there was no longer a point to trying to be pretty or expressing myself because I stopped mattering. I allowed my life to revolve around parenting or housekeeping or any number of obligations that gave me an excuse to stop living.
I am not dead yet. I choose to live.