As a little girl, I wanted to be a famous ballerina. All little girls want to be famous ballerinas. We dance and twirl and pretend we’re beautiful and light as a swan.
Then we grow up.
We graduate college with a single task in mind: Make a living.
Maybe we add on there to “Have a house! Get married! Make babies!” and then we happen to meet someone who has the same dreams and you work together to make them come true.
We work hard, we save our shackles, we scrimp and eat in and make our own coffee.
We purchase a Townhouse because we live in one of the most expensive places in the US. (Aside from California which we all know is completely outrageous and OHMYGOD how do you people do it?)
We’re ok with this until…
The economy tanks leaving us upside down in our mortgage.
We have another baby and cram him in the girl’s room.
The new neighbors vacuum at 11pm.
They wake up said baby.
They get a dog.
Who yaps at 1AM.
And wakes up aformentioned baby.
They have loud sex.
At 11 AM and this? This is the last straw.
Welcome to your mid-life crisis.
Grab some beer.
The mirror is not as kind, the scale is a bitch, the neighbors have more sex in two days than you do in a month and your children spend an hour soaking up what little sun they can get on your 2x2 porch.
I know I KNOW, woah-is-us. Boofuckinghoo.
It’s just that when I was writing in my journal at 21 year old thinking of the future I just didn’t really expect to end up here.
I’m sure nobody does.
My 21 year old liberal hippie self is so very disappointed. “Suburbia?” “But it’s what we can afford,” yells back my conservative mid-thirties self. “A barn? A field? Anything?” “Too much of a commute!” “You’re just like everyone else aren’t you? Ants. You’re just like the ants.” “We’re doing the best we can. Taxes are hard. Cost of living is hard. We have an ARM that comes up in six short months.”
Dear god we have an ARM mortgage and I know what that means.
My liberal 21 year old self just shook her head.
I’m sure you’d change something.
*Today’s post soundtrack is Dream by Priscilla Ahn
8 guests here now.
Oh honey, this is heartbreaking.
By VDog on 2009 03 18
I hear you. I love my condo, love the location near the Space Needle and that we can walk everywhere, but I’m starting to panic a little about being stuck there forever. Especially when we take our toddler son to the park or something and he freaks out over touching grass. Because he’s spent all 19 months of his life surrounded by pavement and he doesn’t know what this weird green stuff is.
Oh, and every time I open a closet or cupboard something falls out and hits me, because our condo is 900 square feet, and we have 2 adults, 2 cats and a toddler there, and oh my goodness, where are we going to put the baby when she shows up in June!
Yeah, I do love my home, but I definitely loved it more when the hubby and I were childless and both working in downtown. Now it just doesn’t work for us, but I’m not sure there’s a way out.
By Carrie on 2009 03 18
I haven’t encountered this quite yet, but it’s probably because I ignore my former self. Whenever she says something, I tell her to shut it. And when she won’t, I take my dog for a walk, and just running after him screaming because he’s vanished in a split second drowns her out.
And also, I always wanted to live in suburbia and live an ant-like existence, so quite frankly, I made it really easy to satisfy my former self =P
As for living in California, UGH. We’re solidly middle class, and sometimes I cannot figure out for the life of me how families with less income make it. Especially with the baby on the way, every spare penny goes to saving for a hospital bill or saving for wood to make a crib or saving for a breast pump, etc. I always considered us pretty minimalist until the baby came along and decided to suck money out of our wallets before it was even born.
By Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com on 2009 03 18
Oh, and you know what else part of the key is? We live next to retired people. HAH! Way to make yourself feel like the oversexed goddess of fornication! VICTORY IS MINE!
By Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com on 2009 03 18
Yea I’m there. In a different version, but there. I feel like we’re all hitting it together…. we should just start a pre-mid-life crisis commune.
By Gypsy Mom on 2009 03 18
I am convinced that our parents and generations loftier than ours, woke one morning from this sinking indebtedness and found themselves halfway up the mountain without knowing quite how they got there. Keep having the sex, smiling at your spouse and knowing the shared goal is worth the climb. And gin… good limes too, maybe.
By Molly on 2009 03 18
It’s been almost 5 years since I was 21 (I know, I know), but I can tell you that in those 5 years, life hasn’t turned out at all as I expected, and sometimes… being content with where I’m at is the hardest damn thing in the whole world.
So yeah, I hear ya. I can’t relate 100%, but after a couple drinks… does it really matter?
By Janae on 2009 03 18
Am dying inside for both of you; the 21 year old and the you of today. Still love you like mad though, and am hoping things work better in six months. I’ll be right here through it all tho, bet on that!
By Shash on 2009 03 18
I don’t have any right words, but I’m reading and thinking of you.
Stay focused on all of you there, together, healthy. Less on the where and the shape of the where.
By Oh, The Joys on 2009 03 18
I am you. Except not as cute. And not as married. And getting less sex (none is still less than little). xo
By syd on 2009 03 18
I don’t think it matters where you are when you hit a certain point in your life, NO ONE expects to end up “here.”
Suburbia gets a bad rap. I’ve lived in the city and I’ve lived in suburbia, and I prefer suburbia, especially with children.
By Amy on 2009 03 19
Life takes most of us to places we don’t expect. All we can do is make the next best choice from where we are.
By TexasRed on 2009 03 19
Hockey God and I were talking about the movie Walk on the Moon the other day. Have you seen it?
He loves it cuz duh hey, Diane Lane. He thinks I love it because of Viggo which, duh hey again, of course is true. But the real reason I love it is because of the ending, which puts a nice wrap on to everything you’re talking about here.
It’s the age-old crisis, isn’t it? I don’t mind our neighbors and the “settling” so much in the winter, but in the summer I long to be far, far away say in upstate New York.
By Wacky Mommy on 2009 03 19
I wanted to come back and read some of the other peoples’ comments, because I was hoping somebody would be like “dude, I am EXACTLY where I thought I’d be at 21.”
But no such luck.
On the up side of things, apparently I am the only oversexed goddess of fornication in the mix - when compared to my retired neighbors, that is.
Go team me. I’ll be sure I tell my husband that tonight so that there is no pestering. None.
By Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com on 2009 03 19
Sarah, YOU, my darling, are a riot. Do you people READ HER? Have you seen her website? GO! GO FORTH NOW.
One of my favorite clients ever and that says a lot because I have great clients.
Also, I wanted to come back and say THANK YOU. Sash, Amy, Vdog, Whacky Mommy, Texas Red, Syd, OTJ, everyone of you. It’s this community that I adore and why I’m willing to say things here in the first place.
I also wanted to say that earlier but I was puking today. Which, naturally, kinda leads to some over-analysis because I tend to get all Mid-Life Crissy when I’m pregnant. Soooooooooo…..
By Mrs. Flinger on 2009 03 19
OOOHHH SIS. Listening to all of Dad’s stories about being in the military. The people he knew, the things he went through. It all seemed like a great story to listen to, but nothing that was REAL to us. Living up in Washington, in our huge house, so much crap, and tons of….hippies around us (hehe). NO where in there did I grow up to think that I would be a MILITARY WIFE. That I would be divorced and remarried by 25. Give up two children to lead a better life. And to only see TWO OF MY CHILDREN once a year! and FINALLY have two of my own. LIVING in a state I knew nothing about and watching my husband go to work in his MILITARY UNIFORM. Watching him leave us to go and protect this country from the Terrorist that break our countries heart. NO WHERE in my life did I think that I would spend many a lonely nights with my kids because I SHARE my husband with the REST OF THE COUNTRY. Yeah…. Nothing goes as you ever thought it would. But GAWD OH GAWD. I love my life.
By sister flinger on 2009 03 20
I just found out yesterday where my husband and I are going to be living next year (it was match day!) and I don’t know, but when I was 21 (don’t hate me, it was only 4 years ago), I definitely didn’t expect to be a full time student at age 26, married to the poorest doctor in the world.
We are the definition of living on love. And A LOT of student loans. Like, could buy an average house amount of loans.
Perhaps that’s why we don’t really make big life choices at 21? Because I think that’s just not how thing were meant to work out. Or that’s what I’m telling myself while I rock back and forth in the fetal position and think about the grad school deposit I sent in yesterday.
By Overflowing Brain on 2009 03 20
Gosh, who you are at 20 is so different than who you are at 30, 35… Sakes me wonder and cringe a bit at how we as a society make our college/career choices at such a young age. It’s what we do, though, and there’s not much of a way around it.
We live in a 3-bedroom duplex that we moved into over 10 years ago thinking that within 3 years we’d be moving into something much grander.
By Groovy Mom on 2009 03 23
I kept shaking my head “yes” as I read your post, except for the part of being a ballerina. I wanted to be an astronaut, or at least a jet pilot, or SOMETHING that involved me and an expensive vehicle.
I now drive a car that is 20 years old, and the most expensive part of that car is the gas in the tank.
We never bought the beach house, or the sailboat (to cruise the Islands all winter). I own one suit and wear it to funerals and weddings, (thankfully not too often) so it has moth holes in it.
And sex is a fairly distant memory. You know that old “it’s like riding a bicycle?” I hope so, cuz I’m afraid I’ve forgotten where all the bits are supposed to go.
Oh, shit, I just realized I’m late to get my son to soccer.
Thanks again for the awesome blog. I mean it.
By ben on 2009 03 23
Oy…I hear ya.
(And that last picture has me singing, “Little boxes, on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky…”)
By Colleen - Mommy Always Wins on 2009 03 24