My Real Life

May 22, 2012

Truthful Tuesday

Filed under: Truthful Tuesday — Amy @ 6:00 am

Today’s question comes from Jeff.

Jeff asks: If you had group therapy with yourself and the members of the group were you at various ages (teen ager, twenty year old, thirty year old, forty year old, fifty year old and sixty year old)?  What would each member of the group be working on(yourself at different ages), or will be working on (future ages)?

Great, great question, Jeff…

Looking around the group, I’d see teenage me.  Let’s say, at 15.

That girl would, most likely, be working on feelings of invisibility.  I went about my days feeling largely invisible, at 15.  I had my friends, but no one else really seemed to notice me.  This wasn’t always a bad thing, as I love to observe, and being unnoticed meant that I was completely free to watch everyone else.  However, that feeling that no one really saw me was definitely something that wore on me, as time went on.  To an extent, it follows me, even as an adult.  Real Man and I continually bump into people we graduated from high school with and they’ll say “Hey!” and shake Real Man’s hand and chat with him and then ask to be introduced to his wife.  Real Man will say, “You remember Amy?  She graduated with us?”  They look at me with blank, apologetic stares.

So, that quiet 15 year old is working on not feeling invisible.

Next to her, sits a 25 year-old young woman.  She’s there to work through the responsibilities of adulthood.

At 25, I was teaching 8th grade Science at a school that I loved.

I was making money, I was sharing a house with Mike and Nita, my roommates.

I was dating (and was about to become engaged to) Real Man.

Life was good, for sure.

However, 25 is young.  Very young, and at 25, you feel so adult, but at 40, I can look back and say “How young it is to be 25!”

Paying rent, having a job that required me to get up at 6:30 in the morning, teaching piano lessons after school, paying off debt, getting my first masters degree, thinking about marriage and the future.

It wasn’t hard…it was wonderful.

Yet, it was new and challenging and required a lot of self-reflection, and so this 25 year-old woman is working on being an adult, while still feeling a teenager in so many, many ways.

The 35-year old woman in the circle is in the midst of a life-changing decade.  In the course of 5 years, she had given birth to 3 children.  She had moved into her third home with her husband.  She had changed school districts, had taken on more responsibility at work, had enrolled in her second masters and principal certification program, was diagnosed with diabetes, was diagnosed with Kikuchi Fujimoto disease, which led to a neck surgery which, accidentally, severed a major nerve in her neck, and endured sinus reconstruction surgery.

Throughout it all, she had discovered the endless joys of motherhood, deepened her already strong bond with her husband, found how strong she could be and what she could endure and survive, and come to grips with the fact that her life would never, ever be about her again.  Life was busy, and exhausting, and rewarding and good.  What she is working on is how to maintain a bit of herself in a life that was all about taking care of everyone else, without feeling guilty about it.

The 45 year-old me will have a 16 year-old teenage daughter, and boys who are 13, 11, and 6.  It will be a life full of sporting events and plays and concerts and college visits.  She’ll, likely, spend most of her life in the car and life will be a contradiction of a child getting ready to leave school and another just beginning.  Proms and first concerts.  Drivers permits and first lost teeth.  It will be a time of hello’s and goodbye’s and will be tearing at her heart in more directions that she ever imagined were possible.  Luckily, she won’t be alone, and she and her husband will be each others greatest support and comfort.

So, this 45-year old woman will be working on how to deal with beginnings and endings without feeling as though the world is crashing down around her.

Finally, the 55 year old woman will be in a home where there is just one child.  Her 26 year-old daughter will (hopefully) be off on her own, with a job and a life that is not dependent upon her.  Her 23 year-old son will be in the same situation and her 21 year-old son will just be beginning an independent life.

She and her husband will, after so many years, be in a home with just one child, a 16 year-old boy, and it will be an adjustment.  They will begin to be thinking about an empty nest, and what that will mean for their lives.  They will probably be beginning to plan for retirement, although that will still be at least, AT LEAST, ten years away, probably more.  If I know this woman, (and I think I do), she will be starting to feel a bit of guilt about the stirrings of excitement of being able to start planning for things like long-term travel and other things that she and her husband were not able to do with a house full of children.  She will miss her children, terribly, but will, hopefully, be comforted by the knowledge that they are self-sufficient, happy adults.

So, this is a woman who is planning for the future, enjoying the present, and beginning to let go.

The 65-year old woman could possibly be a grandma, so, although I think I will ROCK grandmotherhood, I don’t really want to talk about that possibility right now.


  1. I wonder how they would interact with each other. Who would relate to who and who would resnent or butt heads with each other.

    Thanks for the openness – nice post

    Comment by Jeff — May 22, 2012 @ 8:11 am | Reply

    • 15 year old me would butt heads with all of the rest of them. 15 year old me had some issues with authority. 🙂

      25 year old me would likely hang on her own, and the rest of them would form a book club. 🙂

      Comment by abozza — May 22, 2012 @ 9:04 am | Reply

  2. This is an AMAZING question. I find myself thinking of how I would respond, and it is….quite interesting.

    Comment by thismummaslife — May 22, 2012 @ 1:26 pm | Reply

    • It really was good food for thought!

      Comment by abozza — May 22, 2012 @ 1:29 pm | Reply

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