I’m proud of being 26 years old. I’ve done a lot of hard work to get here, I deserve every single year I’ve earned. So when someone has such a profound effect on me that it brings me back to the mentality of a 15 year old, even just for a night, I get a little pissed off.
I know better than to let myself be antagonized by someone younger than I am. I know better. (In my head, “A wizard should know better!”) Hell, I shouldn’t let myself by antagonized by anyone at all. I should be zen as fuck, because I’ve dealt with a ton of crap in the last ten or so years of my life, and also, I used to be a lot calmer like six months ago.
Apparently weed has that effect on people. Who knew?
Anyway, my patience for people trying to get a rise out of me is non-existant now, and whether that’s attributable to the lack of marijuana in my current diet, or my ever-changing hormones, or the people I have been surrounded by, or just the fact that it was Mother’s Day weekend and I was DONE, I don’t care. I’m a little mad at myself for, well, getting so damn pissed off.
Dude. I am 26 years old. I have seen things, you know? I have done things. And even with all that to consider, I will still rise to the bait of someone who is just trying to make me jealous FOR FUN.
I need to be that person who just does not get jealous. I need to be emotionally invested in making a relationship work without all the crappy emotional baggage that seems to come along with it. I am freaking exhausted thinking about being a better person all the damn time. But jealousy is supposed to be about trust- in your relationship, your partner, and yourself. Without it, I think we can all pretty much agree that the relationship is pointless and you might as well just give up now. And I don’t have a single reason to think that I can’t trust the person I’m with.
So what the fuck was I doing all jealous and pissed off?
I don’t know, and I don’t want to know. I could go all Psych-101 on my ass and think about how insecure I feel in large groups of people, even people I know. I can blah-blah about past relationships not working or being cheated on, I can talk about not being the prettiest girl in the room, I can make excuses about my fragile emotional state since it was my second Mother’s Day without my mom. I can say all these things and more, and I’m sure they’re all true to some extent. But a big part of growing up and getting older is acknowledging your weaknesses and trying to fix them. It’s about being a stronger person, a smarter person, a better person. It’s about knowing that you’re super uncomfortable and shining anyway, because you are a motherfucking ADULT now and that is what adults do. It’s putting on your big girl panties and stepping up. More often than not, it’s walking away from the situations you know will drag you down.
So I’m still learning. It’s a work in progress, this adult self I’m trying to create. I am 26 and yes, I still fail at so many different things at so many different times it will absolutely send your head spinning. I don’t particularly want to get old, but I’m happy to because I know it’s not something a ton of people get to do. And there are a lot of days when I’m much happier to be an adult than a kid. I like to think each year is going to get a little better- at least since my mom died. I’d say they can’t get much worse, but that seems to invite all kinds of trouble. So hopefully they will continue to get better, with as little backsliding as humanly possible.
And besides the intense and immature fit of jealousy I experienced this weekend, how am I doing?
Eh. Weekend before last was harder than Mother’s Day. I went with D (haha, initials) to the bookstore to get a book or two and they had a huge display of those Nut Brown Hares (“Guess How Much I Love You”) and they made me think of my mom, since she loved that book and we used to read it a lot. And they had a copy of “Runaway Bunny”, which I totally got as a present, but at least I knew better than to open it because that would have been HORRIBLE. And of course I started crying and it was super embarrassing, because no one wants to be THAT girl, crying and snotting all over herself in the middle of a bookstore, holding a picture book and a stuffed rabbit, trying not to make eye contact with the poor guy who decided he wanted to be in a relationship with her, because he is so totally regretting that right now. But I’m still that girl, reverently touching the spines of the picture books and letting myself remember all the damn time, because it’s what I’ve got. I feel ridiculous, crying over things like pine trees and picture books and camping gear; hyperventilating when I read someone else’s account of watching a parent die of cancer, but I wouldn’t trade the memories I have of my mother for the sanity that would come with fewer tears at less embarrassing times.
My mom rocked. I didn’t think about her on Sunday any more or less than any other day, because I had my little emotional breakdown the week before. I didn’t worry about what I would’ve been doing if she was still alive, because if she was still alive I would still be in Modesto, trudging along through that life. If you believe in alternate universes, then that Jennifer exists out there somewhere, and I’m sure she’s happy in ways that this Jennifer cannot even begin to comprehend. But this Jennifer has jumped off a bridge, has been pushed out of airplanes and has touched her feet to the ground in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. This Jennifer has a million reasons every day to be happy, and only a few to be sad.
So yes, it’s a struggle for me. It has been for years and it will continue to be for the rest of my (hopefully very long) life. But I am so in love with the person I’m becoming and the people around me that it’s getting harder to say I’d give it all up to go back.
That’s what I wanted to say. Yes, I backslide into petty fits of jealousy that are totally ridiculous (I’m sorry, D) and stupid and silly, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to walk through the children’s section of a bookstore without tearing up, but oh God. I’ve been to FIVE continents and I’ve seen so many things and I’ve done so much in the last two years. And I’m so happy here, so exceptionally happy here that it would be really, really stupid for me to think I would just go back. My mother made this whole life possible for me, my father encouraged it. I’m the person they raised and as much as I keep looking back over my shoulder, I cannot imagine actually trading this life for that one.
And the most comforting part of all? I know my mom would more than understand. She’d be so pleased.