Thursday, October 16, 2008

Time to Grow Up


When I first began writing this blog in 2003 I described myself as someone who was still trying to figure out what I was going to be when I grew up. I was 54 at the time. Sometime in the past six years, I guess that I've grown up without really realising it. I haven't thought about growing up in ages. I found myself sitting with some young friends last weekend...funny thing how most of my friends are younger than I am now, but then a lot of people are anymore. We were talking about growing up and the realisation hit me that for the first time in my life, it was no longer an issue. I've finally done it, I think. I think I'm finally a grown up and I believe that I'm pretty comfortable with what I am.

I've been someone else's child for a while, but now that both my parents are dead, that doesn't really define me. It certainly formed me, but it doesn't define me. My parents were highly individualistic, to say the least. In fact, I used to believe that my father was simply weird and for much of my life all I wanted was to be "normal" whatever that was. I'm not sure that I ever really knew what it was, and looking back on things, I'm fairly certain that normality has escaped me at every turn. Having my own children was the most "normal" thing that I ever accomplished, but I'm not sure that raising them astraddle two continents and cultures qualifies as "normal" in most estimates. My daughter echoed my wish for the elusive normality in a conversation this summer, so this must be a continuing issue, at least in my family. I asked her what was "normal" and she had just about as much trouble explaining it as I've always had.

So now if I'm all grown up, what am I? Well, I wanted to be a cowboy when I was little, and sometimes I do get to mess around with the horses pushing water buffalo down the trails around here, but I'm not a cowboy. I've spent time doing corporate things after my husband died, but I'm definitely not a business person...definitely! My children are fond of reminding me that no matter how old they may be, I'm still their mother. Sometimes I suspect that they might wish this were not the case, but it is and I can be their mom sometimes...usually when things aren't going so well. That's when you always need your mom, after all. But basically I think that I've come to be quite comfortable in my eccentric skin. I'm fairly certain that is what one would call someone who lives alone on a small farm with a small zoo and animals like horses who seem to feel that it's ok to wander around the living room. Sorry kids, so much for normality.
copyright 2008 Maryanne Stroud Gabbani

8 comments:

Akinoluna - a female Marine said...

I thought that horse was just a big dog until I got to the second-to-last sentence!

Connie said...

Normal is too boring :-)

Cairo Typ0 said...

I still don't know what i want to be when i grow up and i'm ok with that. As for normal - normal people wouldn't uproot their lives and move to Egypt. So who wants to be normal?!

Barb said...

Nice hardwood floors, what type of wood is used in Egypt?

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

LOL! That's cheap marble that wasn't polished to the shiny stage. Hardwood has to be imported and is really expensive. Marble, on the other hand, is quite inexpensive since we are a major exporter of it, and is much less easily scratched by critter feet.

The Cairo Wife said...

Oh my I could write that book. Am now 52, still think (as in 2 days ago) that I have yet to discover what I want to be when I grow up, and also searched for "normal" and ended up anything but. I am now convinced--at least in my case--that normal was a fantasy I spent too many years chasing. My life has been this eclectic collection of bits and pieces--a little of this and a little of that--I have picked up from experiences along the way. In no way is it normal, but I have come to realize it is ME. And no matter that I wished some things were different--it's my life nonetheless. All in all it's been an amazing journey.

A.Gazzaz said...

I knew it would never become easier to find out what I want to be when I grow older but not to that extent... I mean I am 24 and I am trying to find an answer to the same question that you are asking yourselves in your 50s.

I never thought it would be that hard

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani said...

Maybe it isn't so hard but simply that there are so many things to be and try that it takes a while to settle on something. I never really noticed figuring it out, but just noticed that I stopped worrying about it.