I'm finally in actuality becoming the old lady I always was. Perhaps I'm now growing into myself. It does in a way feel like that. I am more comfortable in my own skin than I can ever remember being. What is inside of my head and visible on the outside of my person seem to better line up these days. Maybe wisdom and awareness come across as somehow more convincing in an older body. Anyone who knows me very well remarks how I was born a grown up. Not in a creepy, Benjamin Button kind of way, but an old soul in a young body kind of way.... I was a very serious child who grew into a very serious adult, but with the help of therapy, I'm working on that. I did not give my parents any trouble; it didn't seem quite fair to put them through that; they were nice enough people. What would be the point? I did realize after years of therapy that one HAS to go through the emotional separation from one's parents at SOME point. I did finally, somewhat half-heartedly, get around to it around age 40. The hardest thing in my therapy has been to identify with my inner child. I know she's in there somewhere, but damn, she is really hard to find! So far I have only been able to ascertain that she always wanted a pony. I bought her a pair of cowboy boots. She will have to make do. I'm too old for a pony. As my aunt reminded me just the other day, "You were always a precocious child." True. I looked up the word just to see if it meant what I always thought it did. It is defined as thus: "having developed certain abilities or proclivities at an earlier age than usual." Yes, that would be me...the oldest child of the oldest child of the oldest child. And we first born kids expect a lot of ourselves. This came up in the conversation as I was relating to my Aunt my newest health challenges..... menopause at age 48, osteoporosis at age 49, and now shingles sliding right into home base just shy of my 50th birthday. Can't wait to see what surprises are around the corner for me! But it IS somehow appropriate: the girl who always seemed older than she was; who was more comfortable hanging out with the parents than the other girls at the slumber parties, the teachers than the students, and friends her parent's age than her own...she would cross the milestones of midlife at a younger age as well. Perhaps besides being fitting, it is even a blessing to get these difficulties out of the way now, all the better to get on with the process of life, my dear. I must make absolutely clear, however, that I prefer NOT to take that final step into the great beyond any sooner than absolutely necessary. I'm not THAT precocious.