I heard a very good saying recently. It went “You’d worry less about what people thought of you, if you knew how rarely they did…”
Watching Juno reminded me of that saying. Wasn’t she just the sassiest, smartest, coolest pregnant teen you’ve ever seen? At least on the outside anyway.
As you may or may not know, my book Mae-be Roses is written about my own and my mother’s experiences with being pregnant teenagers. I could really relate to Juno.
Watching her, I had to wonder if I’d looked that young while waddling around with a head stuck in my pelvis. The truth is, I almost certainly did. I was probably also just as transparent as she was. I spent a lot of time preserving the illusion that I was completely together and that I had everything sorted. I don’t know why really, except that it seemed very important that, while everyone was waiting for me to fall apart, I should remain completely together. And if you consider how completely uncool pregnancy looks and feels, it was a tough illusion to manage!
Funnily, now that I’m a grown up and it’s my job to keep everything organised, under control and completely together…the illusion is unnecessary. I don’t even bother. I fall apart when I fall apart. I laugh at ridiculous, nerdy things. I fret over small stuff and occasionally, very occasionally, I lose the plot altogether. And I really don’t care who’s watching when any of that stuff happens. Why not? Because in between the nutso moments, I’m really good at what I do. Most people know that and grant me the privilege of having the odd psychotic break!
Maybe that’s one of the true advantages of age; the need to preserve an image has disappeared. As an adult I’m confident enough to be who I really am. I have a history of achievements other than childbearing. . Iactually ‘am’ everything that stuff represents. It’s not an act!
Strangely though, I still sometimes feel like that preggie teenager. She hides inside my skin, waiting for it to be discovered that I’ve accidentally fallen into someone elses life! But it’s not true…really…it’s not…