Tag Archives: aging

My life in a Creative Writing MFA program – T minus 10 weeks

Preston Sturges said that the night Isadora Duncan’s charms stopped working to seduce and beguile men was the night that the scarf took her. He said she let it take her.

Tonight I over heard a young man at a dance I was attending say of his dance partners “I had these two old biddies.” If there is a chink in my armor, I guess it’s that. Still shopping for men at 54 gets old. Yoga, seven minute workout, face creams and I can’t complain. Assume there’s 40 years ahead to complain. But still, we know how things used to be. It’s odd to be in a body that wasn’t designed to be maintained so long. Much less remain attractive to the opposite sex so long. Genetically speaking.

My mind travels to the MFA program I am starting in January. Is it a strong enough future to put back together my waning self-esteem? Sometimes. Maybe I’ll teach. Teachers get laid. Writing teachers are cool, and expected to be in their 50s and 60s and excentric. If it works out. I write well. Maybe I’ll get laid. Get loved. Is that why I’m doing it? To avoid the scarf?

scarf in the wind

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What I Want

Walking in the woods, a big tall breezy green woods over a glorious sparkling bay, I stood, looked out, felt that angels would swoon at such a sight, and yet myself, I felt sad, frozen, and alone.

Walking down a sunny street in the seaside town nearby, I smelled cinnamon rolls, hops brewing, passed flower baskets dripping with pansies, heard the buzz of the occasional car, click of the occasional cane, chatter of the occasional town occupant, and I, myself, felt so overjoyed.

Revelation at 51 – I don’t like walking in the woods. It makes me sad and lonely.  No matter how much Thoreau enjoyed it and no matter how poetically he portrayed it, I, being me, don’t happen to feel uplifted by it.  Revelation part 2 –  That’s OK. In addition, it is OK to like small quaint streets with flowers and people and cars. This is what some people like. This is OK. I don’t have to keep forcing myself to walk in the woods thinking it’s supposed to be spiritual and peaceful.

How long does it take to get it? How you feel is how you feel. There is no supposed to, in the “what you enjoy” department. A long f-ing time, in my case. 51 years and counting.

Is there something you ever forced yourself to do because you thought you were supposed to like it?

 

a long road

When I turned fifty, I finally decided that, even though people tell you to take a bath because it is relaxing, I was no longer going to submerge myself in a tub on any regular basis. I will shower, don’t get me wrong, but I just realized, I didn’t need to fight the intense anxiety I felt every time I sank into that, albeit lavender scented, sea salty water. It finally dawned on me – I hate baths, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Fifty has been a year of realizing:

I’m not interested, I don’t have to do it.

I’m not afraid, I’m going to say it.

I really love to do this, I’m going to do it.

I am pleased with fifty so far.  Fearlessness goes so far toward getting you places you want to be, and getting to be with people you want to be with.  And there’s still time to enjoy it…

What has age taught you?