The One That Got Away…

This wasn’t the blog I was going to write tonight. I had something else completely planned but I got sidetracked. As many of you know, I believe everything happens for a reason and tonight has proven to be no different. Recently I started a YouTube channel called PEMOVISION. Tonight I recorded a video about an old, lost love inspired by the new Katy Perry song The One That Got Away. After recording it, I came home and edited it and posted it. Alex had told me to watch the video for the song, but I hadn’t actually had a chance to look at it yet. I sat down and searched for the video and began watching. I found myself transfixed by the images before me. You see, the video is about an older woman looking back on an old romance in her life.

I guess I related to it because I often feel as if I’m looking back instead of living in the present or looking forward. A lot of people comment on my constant dialogue about aging and think I have a problem getting older. That’s not it at all. I love getting older. I actually love the gray hair, the wisdom and the “I don’t care” attitude that comes with age. I just wish time would stop and we wouldn’t have to get any older, not because I’m afraid of the years. I’m just not ready for it to be over yet. I think my mom dying at such a young age forced some stop watch to begin ticking in my brain. If you have things you want to do, you better do them now. You’re not going to be here forever!

Earlier in the evening, we had a ridiculous fight at dinner which resulted in the two of us screaming at each other over the dog. Threats of break-ups and boundaries drawn were smeared all over the place. We hadn’t had a fight like this in quite some time. Interestingly enough, now writing this, I can’t remember how the fight originated. But, as I watched the video, I wasn’t reminded of my old, lost love, as I was when I heard the song and recorded my own video. This time, I saw Alex and myself, joking, laughing, fighting and loving on the images flashing before me. And I realized…I didn’t want that to ever stop either.

We grow up…maybe too much sometimes. All enjoyment of flight and fancy stops. We don’t have time to finger paint with each other, or watch movies in bed with movie popcorn and melting chocolate on our fingertips. Long car rides and even longer discussions about love and life stop as we have to be at work to clock in or get the kids to soccer practice on time. Time warps us into believing we have to live a certain way. Aging reminds us we’re living that certain way. And yet the clock just keeps on ticking.

I don’t want to live that way. Recently I got on a friend of mine for having her son go to bed so late. She told me she likes having him on her schedule. As soon as I left I realized what a cool mom she is because she makes sure he has everything he needs to grow up and achieve success yet he lives this bohemian lifestyle. He’ll probably be much better off than any of us.

My goal is to stop living by the rules we’re told we have to follow as we get older. I want to finger paint a little bit more. Drink fresh squeezed apple juice. Eat cookies on Christmas Eve with Santa. I want to live the greatest love I’ve ever imagined with my husband. Crazy, stupid love. He’s the one I chose to be with and I don’t ever want him to be the one that got away. And I want to enjoy being 39 years young…because we’re on borrowed time as it is!

Check out the video…you’ll love it!

Own Your Coolness!

I was driving around this afternoon listening to some old music I loved in high school. The Cure. The Smiths. The Grateful Dead. Thumbing through my iPod I found songs I hadn’t listened to in a few years; probably not since I had downloaded them during one of my “back when” memory fits. As I went over song after song, my eyes finally rested on the words of a song I could not remember having heard since my last days of high school “Anchorage” by Michelle Shocked.

I couldn’t just immediately play the song. It had to be perfect. So I lit a cigarette, took a sip of my coffee and finally pushed the play button.

As the words flew through the car my mouth rested on every syllable, remembering every last rhyme and intonation as only happens to me today with songs I’ve heard 9 million times. And I was reminded.

Of smoking Camel Lights late at night in my friend’s back yard. Of endless nights driving around Carmel, Indiana looking for “something” or “someone”. Summer days so hot we could barely breath. Winter days missing school but able to drive over to each others’ houses to complain about how our parents were driving us crazy. Notes passed in hallways. Threats of fights. Butterflies flapping wings of love uncertain in our stomachs. Movies like Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles. Moonlighting. Roseanne. 90210…the first time.

And listening to the words of this magical song I instantly remembered one person.

Shell.

I had a small group of friends in high school but she and I were the closest during the first years of high school while I ended my days there being best friends with her sister Margaret. I’m not really sure why I thought of her or why her smile and ever changing hair flashed through my memory. Maybe it was the funny cartoons she used to make for me of a imaginary triplet named Trendy Hairlip. Or maybe it was my having found my old journals which reminded me why we stopped being friends in the first place…because I had found and read hers. Or maybe it was just perfect timing. I don’t know.

I miss her though. I miss all my friends that knew me way back when. Sometimes I wish they were still around me today. And I’m not afraid to brag…I’m cool. I’m probably cooler now than I was then because I don’t care much, or at least I’ve convinced myself of this, of what other people think. Nonetheless I found myself wondering if she was still cool today because she was back then. Man…we were cool!

And laughing to myself as I type this I find it interesting I didn’t realize how cool my own mother was until mere years before her death. But she was very, very cool. The kind of cool that would smoke clove and vanilla cigarettes with coffee at midnight, light a few candles and say, “you know I still don’t understand how Oswald got Kennedy from the 6th floor. There’s just no way.” Or, dancing in her kitchen to Janet Jackson and Garbage while walking miles in her neighborhood to The Grateful Dead and CSNY. Her greatest claim to fame was having finished Ulysses in one weekend and knowing Steve Martin was going to be famous when she saw him on Johnny Carson. “I just knew it“.

She was way cool.

And so am I.

And so was I. And so was Shell. And I hope she still is today. I hope she wakes up every once in awhile, the sun straining her eyes and thinks for a split second it was all a dream and I’ll be picking her up for school in just a few. Maybe she’s forgotten the journal incident. But if not, I apologize. This is my amends for a horrible act…but I liked what I read, sorry. I hope she remembers and retains that coolness…because we’re on borrowed time as it is.

Laugh…

I recently began a YouTube channel called Pemovision! I’ve had really mixed responses but a lot of people seemed a little unsure about what to say or even feel the need to inform me they think I’m making a fool of myself.

Exactly. I don’t care anymore. The time has come to grow up and grow back into being a child’s life filled with imagination and wonder and stop caring if wearing a Burger King crown looks ridiculous or not. Who cares! What…a relief!

In the same breath, I have also chosen to stop coloring my hair. For those that don’t know, my hair began turning white when I was 23. I’m sure this is genetic although I like to paint some mystical and magical story along with it to make my life seem more interesting than it already appears to be. Nonetheless, my hair is white. Not salt and pepper, as many people like to assume, but white.

At first I wasn’t sure I was o.k. with the idea of letting my hair go. Within the first two weeks I got guessed at much older than I am, 39 to be exact, when I had typically been guessed at much younger. People I had known for a long time didn’t recognize me and almost everyone had a comment, whether good or bad. (I loved receiving all the comments but I was just surprised that the changing of my hair color was such a drastic change to my overall look.)

After my wedding this past August, I had a discussion with my dad about getting older. His hair is snow white. Blizzard perfection. “You know Peter”, he said, “I believe in being authentic as we grow older.” He said. “We do the best with what we’re given and we present our genuine self.”

Ahhhh…wisdom. And yet, I still wasn’t sure.

But as the words dripped down into my brain over the next few days I knew he was right. I began to embrace this new transition point in my life and accept that as I turned 40 I could let go and not care as much. What’s the point any way.

And 40! I never thought I’d be 40! But the reality is I’m actually enjoying getting older. I just want time to stop. I don’t want to continue getting older and older with a destination point of death. I’m just not ready for it to be over yet. And with a mother who died at 64 I see the proverbial clock ticking in the distance.

But ticks for all of us, no matter who we are. We’re on borrowed time.

Getting older is a gift. Don’t get me wrong. If I could go back to 25 knowing what I know today, I wouldn’t in a Texas second, but I can’t. And there’s something horribly sexy about looking in the mirror, white hair and sun kissed wrinkles, and finding yourself mildly more attractive than you did at 25. Because you don’t care anymore.

Thus the birth of Pemovision!

In the future, my friends, family and readers can expect to see me doing much more foolish things in hopes of pushing myself even farther. Living on the edge, with safety nets attached. Dancing on table tops. Singing operas I’ve never even heard. Gambling with winnings from penny slots. Kissing in the middle of the grocery story. And laughing my ass off.

After all…we’re on borrowed time as it is!