OK, so I haven't had (nor am I planning to have) an affair. I haven't killed anyone and buried them in dead of night, pumped anyone full of drugs, locked either of my children in a basement (not that we HAVE one, but still!) or done any of the things I suppose the ladies of Wisteria Lane have done. (I actually only watched the pilot because a friend of ours was on it. When it turned out that that was her only episode, I admit I stopped watching. But I read about it in a couple of magazines, does that count?)
But the other night I woke up in a cold sweat fearing I've become a horrible stereotype: The fat, frumpy, pill-popping (occasionally, for anxiety), life-revolves-around-the-kids, invisible suburban mom.
I'd been looking at photos earlier. Taken about 7 years ago, when the kids were itty-bitties. I was marveling at how much they've grown and missing their toddlerhood a little bit when it hit me: I've aged A LOT in 7 years!
Aside from the weight gain, I have many more gray hairs than I did, some deeper-set lines on my face, and I just look and feel...schlumpier. I know that's not a word, but it's a perfect description.
I've always said I would age gracefully. Of course, that's before my age began actually SHOWING.
Not to worry, I'm not considering plastic surgery or *shudder* Botox or anything like that. I'm just wondering if any of those over-the-counter anti-wrinkle creams actually work. Or will they just make me break out more? Because, joy of joys, after a number of years where my skin was relatively clear, I am once again hosting a semi-permanent mini-constellation on the right side of my face.
So, yeah, I woke up in a cold sweat, turned the light on to grab my journal, and that woke Hubby up. When he asked if I was OK, I started crying and pouring everything out: My fears of what I'm turning into, my need to be creative, and the fact that 10 years ago, after a particularly bad fight between us, I gave up myself. My. Self. Through no fault of his, and entirely due to my tendency to completely overreact and believe that I don't deserve anything (and certainly not anything good), I gave up my career, my dreams, and my voice. I told myself I was content. And when I didn't believe that, I told myself not to make waves, or I'd find myself alone with 2 young kids with autism and no support. Which was entirely untrue, BTW, but try telling ME that!
I have no regrets about taking a break from performing while I was pregnant with WG. And, truthfully, trying to go on auditions, let alone do actual performances, while the kids were little would have been extremely difficult. But I wish I could have at least been honest with myself. I DID miss performing, and I REALLY missed having a creative outlet!
Let's face it, I'm not the crafty type. I don't have the patience for knitting, scrapbooking is too organized, and a hot glue gun anywhere in my vicinity is a disaster waiting to happen. I don't play an instrument, my singing voice is just OK, and, at that time, trying to write anything more complicated than a grocery list was completely out of the question. I'm an actor. I have been since I was 8 years old. It's a big part of who I am, even if I haven't been on stage in nearly a decade.
So there I was, feeling old and ugly and useless. Hubby was wonderful and sweet, as usual, and supportive and complimentary. The problem is, I have a problem believing the nice things people say to me.
Then the next day, something very interesting happened: A friend of my S-I-L's, whom I haven't seen in those same 7 years, stopped by to see her. And he told me "You look exactly the same!"
Good ol' Universe, stepping in yet again
I focus on my weight and, more recently, on politics because I need a place for my attention to go. Because when it's not focused on Shakespeare, or figuring out a scene or even learning my lines, it has to go somewhere. Trouble is, those two places are NOT healthy, happy ones for me, lol!
So, enough. I will focus on my kids, of course, and on my marriage, but I will also find ways to be creative and not worry so much about the outcome. To dream without telling myself "That twill NEVER happen, because of x, y, and z!"
Who CARES if it will never happen? It's MY fantasy, and I can play it out however I want, including imagining my Tony acceptance speech! :)
Besides, it'll DEFINITELY never happen if I shoot it down before it can even take off!
Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Well, it's time to change that prophecy.
Time to go for what I want!