I might have mentioned a time or fifty that I am fully ensconced in my 4th decade of life. I’m pretty much right smack dab in the middle of that wonderful age. I had a friend recently tell me, when she heard I’d been married for 19 years (19!!) “I know you joke about being old, but I didn’t know you were that old”. That could very well be because I don’t act that old. I’ve heard fun, cutesy sayings like:
You’re only as old as you feel.
Great. I feel 12. Or some days 5. Someday I just want to tell people I’m taking my toys and going home if they can’t play nice. I want to scream at them to SHARE as loudly as I can. I want to (and sometimes do) cry when I fall down and go boom. I want to, but because I’m not really 5, I try and act a little mature, at least out in public.
Yesterday I had one of those times. Someone screamed lies at me. About me. And I stood there. She stormed off in a fury. I felt like I was 5 and wanted to do nothing more than cry, sob, weep and maybe wail if you must know. I felt I needed an ugly cry because “she hurt my feelings.”
I really am 5 after all.
I knew it was lies. But I also knew that did not mean it stung any less.
Along with wanting the whole ugly cry, I wanted someone to beat her to a bloody pulp. (See, I am 12.) I wanted someone to rise up in my defense. To tell her she couldn’t yell at me (or anyone) like that. I know her family, and I know they knew she was yelling lies, but they chose to not saying anything, at least not to my knowledge.
As the day wore on, the sting was replaced by an ache that went away as long as I was busy doing something else. But then bedtime rolled around. And the whole experience was in the forefront of my mind once again. Unbiddened. I did not ask to think about it. I did not want to think about it. But it would not leave me alone.
Earlier in the day I kept telling myself she had been stressed, her day was bad. But really that is not a reason, they are excuses we all throw around to cover our bad behavior. And really who doesn’t have bad days? Who doesn’t have stress in their life?
I somehow found the words last night to pray for her. I prayed for God to bless her day, to bring her some joy in the midst of her reasons for screaming. It wasn’t easy. And it still hurt.
I still wanted to hide inside my house and not ever venture to the front yard again. Because it was no longer a safe place for me to play. Because I’m 5.
The funny thing about being hurt by someone else’s words, they haunt you for days. At least they do me. This morning I was again thinking about this and was shocked to find while the hurt is still there, and she is the last person on earth I’d jump at the chance to have coffee with, I know her actions and words say far more about her than they do me. I find I’m no longer as afraid of what other people who heard, or will hear of her actions will think of me.
So maybe by the time I’m in my 8th decade of life, I’ll finally feel like I’m an adult in my 4th decade.