Friday, September 19, 2014

Getting older

[Content note: light mention of abuse]

I haven't written a word all week. Things have been incredibly busy and draining for me. Mostly work things, which is probably why I have a cold that is getting worse because I haven't taken time to properly rest.

It's been a week of horrible annoyances and stress, but all that faded into the unimportant when I got a call an hour ago that my maternal grandmother passed away this evening, or as she was known to her grandkids, Mammaw.

The really awful thing is that I didn't even know the woman. As in typical abuse patterns, my dad isolated my mom and us from almost everyone, including her family who did not approve of his behavior. Add that to the fact that Mammaw had a stroke when I was younger and moved to Tennessee to live with my aunt who could provide her with care. The moral of the story is that I'm mourning the relationship that could have been with her as much as I am mourning the passing of her life.

Mammaw was my last living grandparent. My dad's parents were incredibly influential in my life, and as I've mentioned a couple times, my paternal grandmother had a profound impact on who I am today. My maternal grandfather died 4 years before I was born.

All of this comes at the cusp of my 30th birthday when I've been thinking about my own life and going down the frequently terrifying path of dwelling in the concept of mortality. It's mind boggling to think about the fact that there is now only one living generation of my family older than me. Scary and horrible and weird and sad and bone chilling to me.

On the other hand, there are some aspects of aging that I'm OK with...I really love the person I am. I am more self-assured than I've ever been. I feel like I'm making an impact in the world with my work. I have a partner who loves me (despite my many flaws) and who helps me laugh every day. We don't engage in the petty stuff we did in our early 20's.

Myself at 30 is not anywhere near what I thought it would be like when I imagined my future at 15 or 25, but I'm still pretty damn proud.

I do regret that I didn't know Mammaw and I don't have some happy stories and anecdotes to reflect on right now. But part of growing up is learning not to beat yourself up, and when to take a lesson to heart. I'm going to stop sweating the small stuff right now and focus on what actually matters. At least for a bit! Cheers.

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