Sometimes I forget I am a grown-ass lady. I still feel like that goofy chick at St. Mary’s Catholic School with braces, a tragic bob-haircut, and a mad crush on all things Esprit. I still think time is abundant, that I have my whole life ahead of me, all the while daydreaming about walking the red carpet with one of the Ghostbusters.
Then my daughter asks me for a Danimals and I realize, “Oh crap! I am actually responsible for someone else.”
How can this be when I clearly don’t have all my sh*t together? How can I raise a human being to be a contributing member of society when I have yet to “get there?” How can I take care of such a precious little person when sometimes, I just want someone to take care of me?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a worker in this life. I don’t sit back and let life happen; I get out there and get it done. But sometimes, well…I’m still a kid.
This vice-grip on my kid-brain has recently reared up and smacked me in the face – specifically in the area of holding on so tightly (a little too tightly) to childhood ideals.
Case and point: When I was five I used to dream of becoming a famous movie star. I envisioned myself wearing glittering gowns and performing some ass-kicking combat scenes on the silver screen, all the while AC/DC plays in the background. I moved back out to L.A. and then had my eyes opened. I love performing, I love acting, and I love lip gloss. What I realized I don’t love is the time away from my family/glass of wine at night/favorite TV shows/clawing for gigs/having other broads stare me down b/c I might take “their” part. It truly takes some balls to wade through the swamp of Los Angeles entertainment. I decided my balls would be better utilized elsewhere. So I moved to Boston. I performed there, had a great time, met even greater people, and even made a couple of films (clothes on thank you!).
For a loooooong time I struggled with the notion that I had “given up” on my dream. But I hadn’t. I was still acting, still performing, and having a blast. I just wasn’t doing it the way my five year old self imagined.
The same ideal can be applied to relationships. I am sure we all had some notion of what falling in love/meeting our soul mate would look like. I don’t know about you, but I did not even put one iota of thought into envisioning a relationship or the day-to-day of a marriage. My daydreaming about “the one” was solely comprised of handholding and driving in a convertible on the PCH.
I know, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit too. The idea and the reality are two different things altogether.
So how do we reach a handshake agreement between the now adult and the then child? How do we keep the important dreams of our youth and adjust them to fit our current needs/life?
I say we give that damn kid inside us some respect, with a healthy side of reality.
Did you want to train elephants for the circus when you were a kid? Can’t let it go? Well, can you get involved at a program at your local zoo? It might work into your life a bit more than ditching your kids to ride around in a poop-smelling boxcar with Barnum and Bailey.
Was it your vision to head up a Hair Band and party like a Rock Star? You can still do it! Slap on a wig and fishnets and get some dudes together and jam it out. Might be more fun than trying to hunt down all the members of Aerosmith. Plus, they are all sober now and I’m pretty sure Steven Tyler goes to bed at 9:30 pm.
While not always easy, that is precisely what I am trying to do now – reformulate. I am a big-time believer in always having a dream, a goal, to sing so loudly and emphatically in the car other drivers are embarrassed for you, and to laugh until you nearly pee your pants (I may achieve this last one sooner versus later the older I get).
Remember, it is good to check in and be real with your inner dude or dudette. Say, “Hey man, I hear ya. I know it looks a little different, but how about we try this? What do you say?” You might get farther than you imagined and please the both of you.
Then go grab a cookie and a beer and make some farting noises with your armpit. Bam!
**If you have a childhood dream, I would love to hear it! Share below and let’s see if we can get you to it!