Who am I, and what did I do with me?

I’ve become — suddenly, inexplicably — a stereotypical middle-aged mom.

The other day, I found myself tugging at my shorts. They were too short. These shorts are longer than almost every pair of shorts I’ve purchased for myself in the past 10 years. But suddenly I am self-conscious of those extra inches of exposed thigh. Not because I am ashamed of the thighs themselves; I’m feeling better about them than I have in a few years. I just…don’t want to share them with the world.

My miniskirts are thus probably also on their way out of my wardrobe.

For more tangible reasons, I’m also wearing lower heels these days. My ankle has never fully recovered from the nasty sprain I suffered the year before Anya was born, and even sneakers hurt me from time to time. I haven’t gotten rid of all of my 3-inch heels, but I’m afraid their days in my closet are numbered. I will miss you the most, stilettos.

I’ve shortened my hairstyle from waist-length mermaid to just past my shoulders. (Well, when straightened it’s to the middle of my back. Any shorter than that, and it becomes a hassle.) My hair takes hours to dry, you see, and I don’t have hours to spend on my appearance these days. Does it look better longer? Sure. But who has that kind of time?

I’m coveting a minivan. ‘Nuff said.

Most distressing to me, however, is the fact that I have caught myself as of late looking through Netflix’s offerings yearning for something light and fluffy and wholesome. Something with gentle, clean, inoffensive humor, a predictable plot, simple drama, and a guaranteed happy ending. No crime, no horror, and absolutely no endangered babies. I am weary of tragedy, of grief, of death and dying and injustice. Life sucks. I don’t need my entertainment to remind me of that fact. Facebook is more than happy to do it for me.

Deep down inside, I promise you, 20-year-old me still exists. She plays Goo Goo Dolls way too loud. Struts a bit when you dress her in ripped jeans and boots. She wears flannel and misses smoking and likes to drive a little bit too fast.

I miss her.

But my life is infinitely better than hers was. Even if it comes with modest clothing and teachable moments and sensible shoes.

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