Saturday, August 1, 2009

Are You There, God? It's Me, Gracie...

Do you remember that Judy Blume book, Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret? When I was 12 years old it was THE book that all the girls read. If you are female you may remember reading this book as you entered puberty. If you are a dude, well...I'd be a bit concerned if you read this book as you were going through puberty.

Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret is about a young girl as she enters that confusing time just before she gets her period. Confusing is putting it mildly; and yes, I even wondered if God was around during that time of my life. Everything changes for a young girl during this time...her body, her thoughts, her wants, her needs, and definitely her mood. Everything comes into question. I know, you're asking yourself, "Gracie, why are you bringing up puberty?" Well, my friends, what I'm going through now with this friggin' perimenopause is a lot like going through puberty.

Everything is changing. My body, my thoughts, my wants, my needs, my flipping mood. The only difference is that I'm no longer an innocent 12 year old. I have years of experience to add to this crazy mix. So...Are you there, God? It's me, Gracie...what the hell is going on here???

The books I've read about menopause say this is normal during the 5-7 years before the BIG M hits me in the face. Women question their choices in life during this time. You know, things like, Did I make the right choices? Is my life going where I want it to go? I MUST make DRASTIC changes NOW or I will just die. So God...It's me, Gracie...what's the flippin' deal here?? I'm feeling like a nut case.

God...there's an interesting subject during this time of my life. I have never been very religious, never went to church as a kid. However, I've always believed that there's something bigger than us out there. My Christain friends will cringe as I say this, but I'm not sure that "God" is just Jesus. I think God is whatever you perceive him/her to be. For some, God is the Buddah, Allah, Vishnu, or Mother Earth. I ask you, does it really matter how we perceive God? Isn't having faith the important thing? Is God listening to me as I go through this crazy time? I truly believe he/she does listen, at least I sure as hell hope so.

The question I propose is: does God answer us back? I have always talked to God...even as a kid...but my conversations are not really formal prayers...they are just conversations. I have always talked to God like he/she was just a person hanging out with me...again the Christians are freaking out...relax people...I mean no disrespect. I ask again...does God answer back? I think so...that is if we REALLY listen and pay attention.

Music has always played an important role in my life. Whatever, right? Many people like music, Gracie, you are getting off topic. Let me explain. For me music has always been the way God talked to know, got the messages I needed to hear through my thick skull. You know that song by Bruce Springsteen, "Dancing In The Dark" from Born in the USA? That record (yes, I mean RECORD ALBUM) came out in 1984. That song spoke to me in such a way that at age 20 I packed my bags and moved by myself to Los Angeles with a dream of being in the music business. That song was God's way of telling me that all would be OK...that I would make my dreams come true...and you know what? All was OK...and I made many dreams come true during my 20 years in Los Angeles.

What is totally freaking me out is that same song, "Dancing In The Dark" keeps coming up. The radio, my IPod when it is on shuffle, in the mall, in elevators. I'm laying at the pool today and there's Bruce singing,

"There's something happening somewhere, baby I just know there can't start a fire sitting around crying from a broken can't start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart..."

OK, God, it is me, Gracie...I get the "sitting around crying about a broken heart and worrying" stuff, and you are right....that gets me nowhere. But Bruce Springsteen is just one example. As I was laying there in the hot sun, songs just kept coming up, Semisonic's, "If I Run", Sarah McLachlan's "Surrender", David Gray's, "This Year's Love", Smashing Pumpkins' "Mayonnaise". I understand those songs may not mean squat to you people out there, but for me they have always had a certain significance. Take a listen, maybe you will get where I am coming from. Now God, that play list has over 400 songs on it and THOSE come up? What the freak? What are you trying to tell me??

Since I came back from Spain my brain has been spinning with so many thoughts and questions about what I'm doing here, how to finally fix "things" in my life, and the biggie, what do I really want for my "what's next"? See, I do ask that sometimes...I do not always live in the moment.

I do know that the answers to my questions or my "what's next" are not going to be found outside. This is all about me. It is not about moving to another place, whether I want HIM as a friend or not, making friends, or even a boyfriend. Those things will be the icing on the cake as I find my answers. I also know that the answers will be shown to me when the time is right. God, it's me, Gracie...have I got that part right at least?

I remember when I was 18 and I had my first real boyfriend. I could have wrangled my way into a marriage with this guy...really, I could have. Even though seeing me married off would have made my mother very happy, I just knew that there was so much more for me to experience. So much more for me to do, you know? I have had many, many experiences in my 44 years; yet I keep thinking there's so much more out there...Spain really showed me that.

I want my future mean something and not just be this empty vessel of cities I've visited or lived in, men I've fucked, jobs I've had, or people who have come and gone. I can hear the people in my life, "Gracie, you have accomplished so much. You've reinvented yourself a couple times over and have been successful, you teach children and impact their lives, blah blah blah." I know all this, but I am feeling that is not enough, you know? That there has GOT to be more for me...I do not mean to sound like an ego maniac or a narcissist, but I want, maybe even need my "what's next" to have a larger impact on the world than my experiences in the past have had. God, it's me, Gracie...are you getting my drift?

So here I sit faced with a new school year that starts in a month. Wondering what my "what's next" is. Do I stay in Virginia and buy my first home? Is it time to move on and reinvent myself again? Is going to Spain the answer or was that just the catalyst for what is going to happen in my future? I do know that I do not want to lose the woman I became while in Spain. I love her and think it would kill me if I allowed her to die as I get back into the grind of life.

I have well meaning people in my life who tell me to leave Virginia, that this is not the place for me. I have also been told, "If you go, I will follow you on the computer, keep in touch, etc." Before Spain these things would have influenced my decisions, but decisions are only about ME...that's the narcissist talking. The confusion I am going through is part of growing up and I just need to find some comfort in it all so it does not become too overwhelming and make me crazy. God, it's me, Gracie...I'm listening. You WILL give the answers when I need them, won't you?

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