I'm 46 and I Think I Should Have My Act Together by Now

by Eve Vawter

Remember when you were younger? You would try to imagine what you would be like when you reached a certain age. You would have accomplished ____, or would know how to do _____, or would look a certain way. Yeah, I've not reached any of those points yet. 

Growing up I envisioned myself as a grown-ass lady. I would be happily married, have a few kids, be amazingly successful, and possess a certain sense of style that involved always wearing artfully-draped silk scarves. I would have really beautiful hair and my house would be amazing. The only things that have materialized out of my teenage daydreams are the marriage and the kids part.

The rest of it I'm still waiting for.

Now, yeah, for the most part, I'm happy with me. I'm happy with what I've done with my life. I'm proud of my accomplishments. I can look at my house and even if it isn't the stuff that Pinterest boards and design magazines are built of I am lucky — I have a nice house and a mortgage that can be paid every month and groceries in the cupboards. I own some scarves, they just don't look as great on me as I had pictured when I was younger. My hair is OK. But at other times I can crawl into the swamp of middle-aged dread and muck around a bit, because I'm still not as successful as I want (Where is my bestselling book? Why don't I know how to make a soufflé? Why haven't I cleaned and organized all my closets? Why do I still get the occasional pimple?), and I cannot help asking the same sort of question that Peggy Lee asked in 1969. 

 

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Is this all there is? Is this as good as it gets? What if I never write the book or clean the closet or make my hair look cooler? What if this is it? 

And yeah, I wouldn't change many things... I think we would all love to have more money and better clothes and vacations and our shit more together though. I mean, I can't be the only one. And I can't be the only one who gets this way on occasion, who worries about everything I have yet to do and the things I may never get to do.

So what about you? Where are you supposed to be right now compared to where you wanted to be when you sat in your room and daydreamed about the future? I thought there would be more cake. At the very least, my hair would look better as I ate it.