Seven years by the sea

Interesting study out that you’re a completely different person at 77 than you were at 14.

I like to think I’ve gotten more goddess-like over the years. But I’d also like to think I was just as kind and as thoughtful and thinking as I was then, too.

Yet when a good friend from back then said to me around the primaries that he assumed I was voting for Bernie, I was rattled. Like, um, not into socialism.

Granted it would be better than this communo-fascism shit we have now. Citizens getting stopped at airports and other random checkpoints to make sure they aren’t illegal or intersex? Christ.

In any event, I saw “Year by the Sea” yesterday and was so moved that the heroine had so much spunk. She was mom’s age and left her husband and moved to Cape Cod, where she had to go by rowboat to her apartment without running water.

At the point I had to walk through mud to get to the rowboat, I would have been out of there. Or maybe when there was no water or coffee waiting for me when I finally turned the breakers on in the dead of night.

But I bet my 18-year-old self, who lived in the haunted hotel … or maybe the 20-year-old girl who lived in the attic with the gargoyles and the entire homeless drag-queen population of Pittsburgh sleeping on the floor while she worked her three jobs … would have made an adventure of it.

I mean, I’d still take in a band of refugees over a single Trump voter any day. The latter would require heavy vetting if I were that into risk. Which, I’m not.

I feel like I try to get back to the girl who once was. Hard to do when you spend more than a paycheck on rent and somehow have to keep duct-taping your car together to make it go. I thought THOSE kinds of adventures would have ended in my 20s.

In muy seven-ish years by the sea, not much has changed. Same job title, same cat, same mom, same weight and same low-grade anxiety about everything. But a whole lot of peaks and valleys that keep drawing me back to the current mean.

As long as the heart keeps on ticking after it takes a beating, I suppose, all is well. And maybe the changes are there but I don’t see them.

I’d like to think I’m the “other” Joan in the film. Dancing on the beach and helping everyone else along their journeys. Colorful and wild and wise. Of course, she got a book deal. I’d like that for me too.

There’s a line in the movie (and there were many good ones) that says “I’m beginning to like the person I could be.” That didn’t make me cry as much as “True heroines write their own endings,” but I’ll take inspiration wherever I can get it. Seeing as though I don’t get it from everywhere like I used to.

One more line I need to remember was that things start to happen as soon as you start seeking. At this point I’m in search of some turkey sausage because the cat got me up too early and I’m hungry.

Otherwise I’m usually seeking a way out. Maybe I need to seek a way in to something that my 77-year-old self will thank me for. I just wish I knew where to look …

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