I'm fully committed to trying to make sense of this Adolescent Again phenomenon. Being Thirty-something and caught in between the carefree twenties and the Free Again Forties. Where are we? Where do we belong and where do we fit in?
I've been thinking a lot about what I was doing when I was thirteen ( I'm thirty-three so it's my adolescent equivalent) and what was going on in my life. I was up every day at 5:30 to go with my mom into the city where she worked, and I went to school. Getting up so early meant I had no time for hair, make-up, fashion or even a shower so I always felt like a complete dork; ugly to the core. I went to a private, all-girls school that was my mother's alma mater. There were only about 100-120 students, and 90% of them were filthy rich. I was not rich, nor exactly filthy, but certainly scruffy when compared to the Greek Ambassador's and the Yuppie Lawyer's daughters. I wanted to be accepted, but I knew I wasn't able to buy my clothes where they did, or have cool things like they had.
I could, however, afford to buy hair dye with my babysitting money. I could do what their parent's wouldn't let them; I could be a punk. Ok, not really, my mother was slightly conservative, but also very tired and easy to bully if I put my mind to it. I was allowed to dye my natural medium brown hair, to copper penny red. I also got a haircut and a perm. When I was finished with my make over, I had a bright shiny red curly mullet; and I looked hot! I was not, however, allowed to bleach the strip of hair behind my left ear, as was current fashion, so I hair wrapped it instead in neon colors and put some wee trinkets hanging off it: a silver wishbone, a shell, a couple of bells that jingled when I walked.
My confidence skyrocketed, now when I walked around I felt like MTV were filming my every move. Nature helped out a whole bunch with giving me a set of "D" cups and an hourglass figure when most of the other girls were still...girls. It was the dawning of a time of being popular and admired, and did I appreciate any of this? Hell no. I was still terrified, deep down, that somehow my inner geek would mess things up for me.
So where am I today and what parallels have I drawn? Well, my "D" cups are now an "F" but that's down to breastfeeding, and I know when that stops, my nips will be a whole lot lower than they were when I was thirteen. I really could care less if anyone likes me or not, I know I'm decent, weird and funny and if they can't "get me", figure me out and accept me, it's their problem not mine. I have had to accept that my body isn't going to recommend me as "cool" to other people any more, in that regard I've become desperately average. I still see the cliques with the moms who gather to collect the kids after school, and I can stand back and observe, wave hello and be comfortable in not "belonging" but also in not being invisible.
I have to teach my little girl how to play nice, but don't play with kids who make you cry, and if they hit you-hit them back, then go tell the teacher. I still want her to see her Mommy having friends, and knowing that a few great friends are more important than a clique of twats you tolerate for sake of your image.
What else can I do? I can still change my hair. Now that I'm not working in the bank, where hair style and color is regulated by dress code, I can be adventurous. In fact, I've gone out today, chopped the lot down short, bleached it blonde, bought funky sticky goo stuff to make it all spikey and freaked out my Husband. He's going to bed with an MTV star tonight!