My life, designed by me.
Where was my ambition in my twenties?
I was happy, content and living life day by day. I was unencumbered by the bothersome realities of adult living. I had a roof over my head, good friends and consistency. My children were happy, I was happy. There was even a ‘white picket fence’ (grey timber, but close enough).
Now I find myself trying to jam twenty years of reticence and blissful ignorance into the present and feeling frustrated that it wont work. I have an enormous clock ticking, its huge, bigger that Big Ben, and apparently that is one mother of a big clock.
My enormous clock is not a biological one, although I hear that one is a loud bastard too. Mine is an accomplishment clock. My biggest fear, the biggest thing that drives my day to day existence is that I am running out of time to accomplish most of the things I would like to.
I am almost 39 and that is so, so freaking hard to admit to the world let alone myself. By the grace of God and perhaps some good genes, I don’t look 39. I don’t feel 39. I feel like I am trying to outrace time, racing toward a closing door that will slam shut before I get there and I will be left on the wrong side, with only hopes and dreams instead of tangible results.
I am not discounting motherhood as an accomplishment. I am so full of pride for my children and they will always be the proof that I did accomplish something wonderful in my life. I have had the blessing of mothering at a young age and mothering now, as I grow older and both experiences are very different and beyond measurable in the value they have provided.
But I have discovered, that I want more.
I didn’t know that I wanted more when I was younger. I was, as I mentioned, blissfully ignorant and living in my contented existence where motherhood was the only thing I was actively doing at that point in my life. I don’t remember having any ambition beyond raising my children. I don’t remember thinking anything about my own life and what I wanted to do. It was like my allegiance to being a responsible mother created blinders that made the outside world non existent and if I couldn’t see it, I couldn’t aspire to join it.
So now, some 14 years on from those sweet, youthful days when there seemed to be all the time in the world , I am feeling overwhelmed with pent up ambition. I am brimming with so many aspirations, I have big dreams and places I want to see, things I want to achieve. Yet that big fucking clock is ticking at me contemptuously, reminding me that I am not 25 anymore. I don’t have the whole world at my feet and all the time in the world.
I am 38 (almost 39) and having found my sense of drive and desire to accomplish so late in life, my overwhelming thought is that time is running out. I am not talking about mortality, geez I don’t even want to go there right now! I am talking about time to physically be able to do things and also enjoy them.
I don’t want someone to have to wait for me in my walker to hobble to the top of the Eiffel Tower, I want to do it while I can still tone my arse from the climb! I want to write my novel or my screenplay and see it come to fruition while I can still celebrate and dance the night away. I want to feel like I am not racing a clock all the time, not trying to desperately push millions of grains of sand back through the hourglass as they cruelly slip between time I have left and time that I don’t.
Where was all of this ambition in my twenties? How do you double- time your efforts to make up for the years of living life like the future didn’t matter? More importantly, how do you ignore the incessant ticking of that fucking clock?
Image Credit: Victoria Nevland
Used under license.