It has reached my attention that I am, in fact, pretty old. I am so old now that I daren’t get up to warble at karaoke (as if I ever went) because even if I had the best voice in the world the overall response would be ‘wow – who did she used to be?' I am so old now that fashion means nothing (as if it ever did) and I am encouraged by ladies’ magazines to ‘create your own style and make it timeless!' I am so old now that my body now looks like my gramma’s used to. I believe they call that ‘matronly,’ and damn but you can’t do much about that as the years slip by. I am also so old now that losing weight could put me at risk of developing estrogen-related symptoms like osteoporosis and thinning hair (which has already happened enough, thanks for asking) because fat stores estrogen and once you stop making enough of it (estrogen, not fat) your body obligingly puts on a layer of pudge (see? there's no escaping it!) to sequester away what little remains, and it does so by adding a spare tire to your gut instead of inflating boobs to impressively pneumatic sizes or plumping up dat azz to jaw-dropping curvaceousness.
Yes, I am certainly old enough to be a cylinder of mostly fat AND to need to give up my dreams of becoming world famous one day, but I have not yet given up hope. For what is world fame, anyway? Is it adoration by masses wherever you go, or is it having a contact in each global region you can rely on in case of a charging bull attack or shortage of fairy dust? Not, of course, that I have friends who could serve in those capacities, but that’s only because I don’t have friends, yet, in the bull-charging and fairy dust-making regions of the world, which I suspect are somewhere around Romania for the latter and Ecuador-adjacent for the former. So, clearly, I need to make some new friends in those areas to shore up my lacking capacity.
World fame. The elusive goal of my youth. Ah yes. I wanted to be so famous I only needed one name (like ‘Cher’!) and people would hang on my every word when I spoke (like an MD!). I wanted to be ADORED, to be the center of the universe, to effortlessly slide from strength to strength as I sang, drew, acted, and played my way into the hearts and minds of the world’s populace. Oh, it was gonna be GREAT.
But something happened along the way that completely stalled my hoped of achieving fame. I lost confidence. See, it’s not as thought I COULDN’T sing, or draw, or act, or play, because I could, I just didn’t think I could ever do it good enough to be the absolute best (and therefore worthy of adulation). I sang solos, acted in school plays, filled notebooks with drawing and was one of the kids in the art class at school demonstrating techniques on open house night, I was in the top-tier bands and orchestra. I was involved, hoo boy, was I involved, but being involved and reasonably talented at so many things just felt to me like what was expected and not something to be especially proud of. Having talent actually stagnated my plan of capturing global fame because I couldn’t pick on thing and stick with it long enough to really shine because dang – there were all those other things I liked to do and was good at!
It sounds like bragging, and I guess it is, but the sad fact is that my youthful outlook probably kept me from achieving as much as I could as soon as I could. It’s the same thing that kept me from applying to really super-great colleges (though I did apply to a couple, but only those with strong programs in what I expected would be my career (it wasn’t) and a good music school (even though I wasn’t a music major)), that kept me from pursuing a career in radio (because I’d gotten a Master’s in Science, dammit, and needed to USE that education) even though that would have been a pretty cool job to have and come with a pretty much built-in fan base, kept me from applying for ‘stretch’ jobs throughout my career (even though countless bosses have told me to ‘not limit myself’). I have kept busy during the course of my long-ish life kicking myself in the ass and hiding my light under the proverbial bushel.
Well, as time has passed, some of those skills that used to flow as easily as pancake batter into a sizzling skillet are starting to dry up. I don’t play my horn much anymore, knowing that the work required to get back to half the skill level I used to be at would be too monumental. I don’t sing much anymore unless accompanied by a very loud band in a very crowded bar after a few whiskeys. I draw only occasionally now, mostly doodles and the occasional sessions-worth of effort that more often that not results in some really wonky flights of fancy translated into odd creatures or eye-swimmingly complicated doodles. Time is removing some of what I used to be able to do, and, obligingly, leaving only those things it seems I SHOULD be able to do in perpetuity.
Like, ‘squinting’ and ‘back-cracking’ and ‘snoring.’ Yes, the passage of time has revealed a whole HOST of talents I didn’t know I had when a youth, and I’m danged excited about that. Just think of how much time it will take to fully investigate the possibilities in ‘ass drooping’ or ‘wrinkling!’ Certainly the new-found past time of ‘love handle growing’ proves I’m an able gardender of adiposity, and who would have thought they’d be good at AT when they’re 21? Not me, certainly. Also, ‘freckling’ seems to be something at which I excel, but I’ve been told that's bad for you (much like ‘getting high’ used to be) so that’s out for now. Perhaps I’ll save that for when I’m nearer 90 and my time left for such giddy devil-may-care pursuits is limited. Certainly by then I’ll mostly be concentrating on ‘breathing’ and ‘pooping’ anyhow, so throwing in a bit of sun damage could be the thing that rounds out my portfolio.
Ah, it’s good to have goals. Even as truncated and abridged as they are, they do instill a renewed sense of purpose! Why, whole new fields of excellence are opened up, and if I’m the first in them then at least for a brief time I’ll be the BEST IN THE WORLD at it, and if that’s not an immediate call to fame then I don’t know what it.
So, I’ll be off now to work on things like ‘gastrointestinal noises’ and ‘groaning.’ Oh joy joy for a new direction!