Friday, 30 March 2007

Midlife Crisis!

Do you ever wake up and think, 'I'm in someone else's life!' I mean I look around and they're my kids, and he's my husband, and that's all fine. It's the place and the circumstances I don't get. Ten years in one place. It's the longest I've been anywhere, ever. I grew up on the move, and carried on into adult life. I'm used to being surrounded by different cultures, different languages. The novel is making me quite reflective (it's about identity in people who are culturally hybrid and nomadic). I've even got back in touch with people from 10 years ago, researching Spain, remembering. Always remembering. (You see - writing is bad for you!!!)

And suddenly I find myself living the life of an English person without feeling very English. Too weird. I've been at the University in one capacity or another for 8 years. It still amazes me - the nomadic hippy chick has somehow turned into a statically located academic, not to mention eternal student. When exactly, did I decide to 'settle' in the UK and speak English everyday? When did grow up? I must have taken my eye off the ball for too long. And it's making me feel old. Really old!

So I went and had my hair cut - that is what you do isn't it when your daughter tells you that you look 45 and not 37!? I've had my hair done a total of 4 times in my life. I had a perm in 1986 which was a very bad idea, a disastrous bob in 1989, and a lovely cut in 2002 that looked great until I washed it and got tangled up in those new fangled straightener things. So basically, hair is as it comes, long, and tied back... But then to my absolute horror I found some grey hairs last week, and added to the general dismay of 'fast approaching 40' I summoned up all my courage and got my hair cut. And highlighted. I mean it's not plastic surgery, granted, and it won't help fight off gravity, but it's done something! I can't pass a mirror without going, "Eek!" to myself (in a kind of, who is that?! way). But Hubby likes it. Eldest daughter loves it. Youngest can't stop laughing because mummy's gone blond. It is very blond. But I do look a bit younger... I hope!

It's been an exciting week - what with waking up in the wrong life and new hair. I have a well needed break coming up though, and have been frantically marking essays in a bid to clear my in-tray before the family forcibly removes my pens and paper. (But I shall smuggle a pad and pen in my ski socks HA!) I'm looking forward to having my brain working in French again (well trying to)... to different smells and sounds, to hurtling down a slope, out of control and terrified, and feeling alive just to have survived this far. I wonder, when the novel is finished, the PhD completed, and the kids a little older, whose life I'll wake up in? If fate is out there taking requests, I'd like France or Spain please, and erm... land would be good, with stables and stuff... and erm, money would be useful. Just enough for the occasional haircut!


On a totally unconnected note - Success on the Serpentine! Hurrah! Managed to get Touchee round it in both directions, in a fast working trot, so most pleased. Also did first ever smooth transition from trot to canter - there's hope for me yet!


Jen said...

I can empathise totally with your feeling of being in someone else's life...

I've no idea how I ended up where I am - it certainly has nothing in common with where I thought I'd be right now or even where I want to be.

I can't ride a horse either.

Being a grown-up's a funny old business, isn't it??

hesitant scribe said...

It certainly is! For me the weirdest bit is the geography thing - the how am I here question, and yet I know how hard it is to re-relocate so why on earth put myself through that again. Maybe that sense of beginning again is what I seek - that stripping away of everything familiar and the joy of discovery.

All very heavy for a Sunday morning!

p.s. The hair did look good and then I washed it so now have to beg teenage daughter to sort it out for me with the straighteners (which I still can't use ha ha!)

Rhea said...

Midlife is a surprise a minute.

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I don't know how I ended up here either, but I feel lucky, because it's miles better than where I expected to be.