How Old Is Too Old?
I’m just going to sit here and pour my heart out. I really hope you don’t mind.
Since I turned 30 the other day, I’ve been sitting here thinking what the hell happened to my life. I’m starting to feel like it all just slipped away from me at a lightspeed and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. In the week and a half I’ve been here, I’ve gone through a range of emotions. The day I saw my daughter again for the first time in two years was one of sheer bliss. Just holding her in my arms and her hugging me so tightly was so bittersweet. I wish I could never leave her side and it’s breaking my heart in two that in a few days time, I will have to do just that. She’s part of me and she always will be. But how much longer can I do this? How much longer can I keep living so far away from her like this? It absolutely kills me to do it and I cry myself to sleep some nights because of it.
How much longer do I keep going back and forth? When do I decide is a good time for me to move on with the future and leave the past behind? Or do I leave the past behind? Is it always going to be a part of me? Am I always going to be stuck in the past, which surely means there’s no future for me unless I go back to my family and my ex and I just try my hardest to push my problems aside, bury my dreams and just live for her? Do I just go back to playing housewife, letting my ex make the money and me look after Abby?
Actually. No. Fuck no. I’m not letting that happen. I hated that part of my life. I love my daughter and I loved looking after her and raising her to become the smart little cookie that she is today, but I had NOTHING back then. I dressed myself in thrift store rags. I made my own clothes. I got food from hand outs and made casseroles to freeze. I want so much more for myself. I want so much more for my daughter. I want to see her happy, and it absolutely pains me that she is in a horrible situation right now. I hope she’s got my fiery determination to want more for herself, I know she’s incredibly strong and willful- just like me. I see the happiness in her eyes when she giggles and then the pain and sadness in them when I have to leave in the evening. I hate leaving her too. I want to pack her up and bring her home to the UK with me. But my mother in law continues to block access to my own flesh and blood. I want to just pick her up from school without my ex having to be there. I want to take her out for the day by myself. But no one trusts me enough that I’m not going to run away and hide with my daughter.
If I wanted to abscond with her, I would have done it years ago. I guess that raising her and being her primary caregiver for four years is not enough. My mother in law looks at me like I am a dirty rat that is carrying the plague. She’s nice enough to my face but the second my back is turned, I imagine she’s bad mouthing me. I’m trying bitch! Had you not noticed that I work all the hours possible, buying pretty things for my daughter, saving my money so I can come and see her? If I didn’t care, I would not be here trying to patch together some kind of relationship with my daughter? I’m not a bad parent, not in the slightest. I swear, she doesn’t have a damn clue how hard it is for me to be living so far away. And all I ask for is some kind of understanding, and not hatred. I don’t hate you. I appreciate everything you do for my daughter. I thank you for giving her shelter, clothes and food when her father can’t. But bitch, don’t shut me out like I’m the Wicked Witch of the West. No house fell on me, but boy…I sure do feel like it did some days.
I have dreams, I want to fulfil them. I did a degree in Photography. I’ve been writing since I was able to hold pencil to paper. I can still can remember getting a sticky gold star on the top of my writing pieces and stories in primary school. I remember standing at the front of the class, reading them out. I can remember how on Show and Tell Days I would bring in things like hand puppets, give them a life of their own and make up stories with them. My friends would always be laughing and enthralled with what I had to say. I miss being able to make people happy. I miss people laughing at my own stupidity. I’m tired of people looking down on me like I’m a good-for-nothing scrub. Just because I don’t work in a shiny office or have people under me. Just because I work my ass off in a two-bit retail assistant job. I’m a person too. Everyone has hopes and dreams. Who gives a damn that I’m 30? Is it too old to have hopes and dreams? Because I certainly don’t think so. The more you tell me I’m too old though, or the fact that I should be settled with a career behind me by now…the more I’m going to believe you. SO SHUT THE FUCK UP. PLEASE!