In college mid 20s probably. Most of my pictures involve me not looking at the camera.

This is me at 40 looking terrified of the camera. I am really scared of the camera okay.

Crisis, pretty much describes my mind state for the last few days/weeks. I guess you could say I am going through a dark night of the soul. Purging. Trauma. Ego Death. The delicate balance between collapse and surrender. At the moment the only way I know how to let go is to beat myself down until I am too exhausted to resist. I don’t know if I am a sadist or a masochist. Maybe I am both. So what, you may wander, is bothering me specifically?

Well to start with there’s childhood trauma. I am really tired of dealing with this particular trauma and I have sincerely tried to heal these issues and move forward with my life. Basically it is feelings of insecurity. I don’t feel safe. I am still clinging to the side of the pool for dear life, metaphorically. There is other things too: I am afraid to hurt the people I love and afraid that the love I have to offer is somehow tainted. I don’t feel worthy. I don’t feel pretty enough, young enough, successful enough, good enough, sane enough, reliable enough, interesting enough, talented enough. Enough period.

Speaking of young enough. I am having some type of midlife crisis. I have always struggled with changes to my physical appearance for better or worse. I think it is because of the disassociation. I don’t see a gradual progression of changes but sudden, inexplicable changes. Which might be the reason I don’t wear makeup. I need to see my real face, not another external face plastered on top of my own. My dad was a pedophile and misogynist. He was really cruel in his judgements of women. Adult women particularly. I admit I have read about dating when you are 40 and it is basically the same diatribe he fed to me as a kid. One article said women are past their prime at 18. Presumably the article was written by a prebuscent boy. I hope so anyways because if a grown up of either gender wrote that article it is heart-breaking, not for me but for them. Personally I think you can be beautiful at any age. At least, I have never really cared much about the age of other people. So why does my age matter so much to me? When I was in college I used to subscribe to the Oprah Magazine. Which was probably geared toward middle-aged women but I liked it. Anyhow it had a collection of beautiful women. Older women. Each woman had a small biography accompanying her portrait. These women were in there 70s and they had such a sense of self, such confidence. They were gorgeous. I had this weird idea that I was going to get older and develop some sort of peace with my appearance. That I would shed the crippling insecurities of my youth as I got to know myself better. This hasn’t happened yet. The parts of my body I am not insecure about: my thumbs, my vagina, my feet most of the time, my nose which my daughter gives me hell for several times a week. I think a crooked nose is sexy (my nose is crooked and angular from the side from the front it’s a different nose). Truthfully though I always feel both old and young at the same time. I am not as different from myself at 20 as I expected to be (I mean internally not externally, I am definitely different externally lol). I am still me you know?

There is of course the whole financial insecurity thing. Speaking of which I’ve got an apprenticeship in a second hand store. They will be accessing my ability to work. They have many different departments. I chose to work in books. I was assigned to textiles.

I am worried about my daughter whose having a tough time right now, a really tough time.

I am still trying to work out what unconditional love means. What are twinflames?

I want to be painted in the nude by an artist who appreciates my very human figure.

I know I want to love and be loved. I know I am one of those sappy, hopeless romantic sorts. I write poetry so I am really obsessed with words. Rather than grand romantic gestures I prefer humor and small, thoughtful, and yes sometimes idiotic gifts. I don’t want a diamond ring. I’d rather honestly have a bubblegum machine ring. I don’t know why. I think it’s sweeter or simpler or something. I want something playful and fun. They say you get pickier with age. Here’s my list.

I don’t care that much about looks this (includes weight), money, status, or age (to a point obviously I think preference wise I am 25 up to infinity)

A good sense of humor/playful/silly/sweet

Loves me for who I am

A good lister (because I talk a lot)

A willingness to communicate

Honesty/they are real with me

Passionate and yet somehow still chill (this is where I get picky. How can they be passionate, a wee bit obsessive, and have a voracious directed toward me sexual appetite and still be laidback???! How can they be all-consumed with me and not be jealous as hell? See I haven’t worked this bit out at all.)

They reciprocate my feelings and willing to learn about intimacy with me because I am still learning

Stuff like that. Basically I wanted reciprocated love. I am probably not a casual dater and to be fair this has nothing to do with age because I never was one. I am basically like a baby duckling I imprint and so I literally don’t know how to think of anyone but the person I like. Which probably makes me needy and clingy. I can own that. Maybe after I work out these insecurity issues I will be less duckling and more swan.

Basically my current mission is just to learn how to relax and to heal. Also I am tired of pursuing/chasing whatever. I am going to do my best to just be open. To go with the flow. Let the universe decide.


5 thoughts on “The Aging Duckling

  1. I’ve come to believe that insecurity will always be with me. Some days, its voice is softer and other days its stronger. I try to sit with it and listen. I try to remind it of past times when I have succeeded. Like when I finished a story/poem that I enjoyed. And when someone has told me they liked a story/poem that I wrote. Insecurity and anxiety are parts of me, and I’m getting better about my acceptance of that. I wish you well on your journey of, as you put it, “how to relax and to heal.” For me, those are ongoing. I embrace the successes and respect the times that I fall short, for they make me appreciate the successes that much more.

    1. Thank you so much Dave for your wise and compassionate words. You are right of course it is a journey and we should be patient and gentle with ourselves just as we would be with a loved one. It takes a lifetime to get to know yourself.

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