The ill effects of hair coloring post-breakup, 1988. Oh, to be 18 again...
I've operated the last few years under the guise of "being XX, but feeling 28." After the events of the last few weeks, I feel every bit of my 42 years. I'm feeling a bit melancholy about this, of course with my dad's passing, but also that feeling that my youth is gone. I've joked about this in the past and attempted to combat it with aerial class and skating, but there's no denying the adultness of my present situation.
While I'm feeling the loss of my dad acutely, I'm feeling guilty that I'm relieved he's passed and his three-year nightmare is over. I can't say it's not fair, because who decides that? There's a lot of shit in this world that happens to a lot of people, and while he died younger than he ought to, he had 69 years, a loving wife, three kids, and two grand kids. There's so many that end up with so much less.
While I was in Jackson, I have to admit to some reclusiveness. I know it was an opportunity for me to go off somewhere and have a good cry, like I did at the park. I drove listlessly around, stalking old haunts from some 20, 25 years ago. Ice rink, roller rink, parks, the mall, the YMCA, the county fairgrounds. I stopped by CH's house (Breakup Songs, pt 1) because it was empty and for sale. Didn't see any ghosts, but felt them. Was surprised at the clarity of my memories of the house, but annoyed that a few details were flipped flopped, like the fireplace being on the east wall instead of the west. I also visited Tricky Dick's, the site of my 3rd best kiss ever, because that house was also for sale, and my heart broke all over again. CH had done some beautiful work on his uncle's house all those years ago, but since the house had changed hands and eventually went into foreclosure, the place was abused, his work destroyed. But again, the clarity of my memories didn't betray me, and I got lost in 1988 all over again.
I may not be 18 anymore, but I sure felt like it for about five minutes.
But on a more cheerful note, not all loss is bad. I came in second for Biggest Loser at work. The prize I believe is $100, which I plan to blow on some awesome new clothes. This is also born out of necessity, as all my clothes are now too big. I need new underwear! Having been one size for so long, it's a new sensation to be in clothes that are close-fitting, a little cuter, and a lot more flattering. It's also a goodbye to a wardrobe I've accumulated through the years. Already on the Goodwill pile is a stack of jeans, my strapless yellow dress, some fun tops that are now tents.
Oh, and I competed at Adult Nationals in Chicago. Feels like a million years ago. My first event was Bette for artistic/dramatic, and I focused entirely too much on my chances to medal. Still, 7 out of 10 I will take. I evaluated how I did, and I was disappointed in myself because I didn't skate the way I wanted to skate... for myself. Wow, that was a revelation. Skate for myself. Being selfish in this way relieved me of all my nerves for comedy, and I skated better than I ever have in competition. I had fun. I mugged for the judges, made faces at the audience and the applause were better than I have ever heard. Michelle loved the freedom with which I skated. It was the best thing I ever discovered about myself in regards to competing. It was awesome.
I'm also grateful that I was talked into going to the competitor's party. Surrounded by friends, I danced the night away, various drinks in hand. I was swung around by one pairs skater, mugged for the cameras, and shared in the camaraderie of being with my people.
In all, I'm doing ok. I'm not sure the feeling of loss will ever go away, but it may dull to a sweet feeling of nostalgia at what I shared in this life with my dad and the luck I had to have a dad for 42 years.