I think I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I am not and probably never will be a hipster.
I won’t ever wear the latest fashions because I’ve never had it in me to keep up with what the latest fashions are. I don’t really care for trends because the thought that they’ll soon change is much too mentally exhausting. And I think I have too much anxiety and children to be able to successfully worry about what others are doing in their lives and thinking about why I am not doing whatever it is they’re doing.
I came to this conclusion within the past nine months, I think, around the times I did things in my life that screamed of the fact that I am more practical than hip, like the time I bought my first pair of supposedly “unfashionable” Capri pants on sale for their cargo pockets and inconclusiveness, started going to bed before 10 PM, rolled my windows down and felt proud of my minivan, closed my public Instagram account, started taking naps, and decided that my once daily check-ins to Facebook were just not good for my health.
I heard a quote once by E.E. Cummings that said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you are.” And until right now, I don’t think I could have understood what this really means. Because before you’ve grown up, you always think you are grown up and that whoever you are at the moment is who you really are.
I can’t say that I’m done growing, in fact, as Oprah said best in the O magazine that sits in my bathroom at the moment (yet another sign I’m not a hipster), part of growing up is realizing that you will never finish growing, learning, changing. Those aren’t her exact words, but she said something like that when talking about herself and I remember thinking, “Wow. If Oprah’s not done growing, then, yes, it’s okay for me to say the same.”
I am still growing but for now, I’ve accepted what I have learned about myself at 30 and that I am not and probably never will be a hipster.
A friend of mine emailed me a month back about the last post I wrote on this blog, the one titled “Quiet.” She’s read this blog since its beginnings, so she’s witnessed the evolution of me in the space and asked in her email if I thought turning 30 this year had anything to do with why I am where I am today as reflected in the post. And to this, I thought about how I’ve been in the past three years and where I always imagined myself going in three years.
To the first point, I’ve been many places in three years, but to the second point, I didn’t see myself here when I started this blog. I always imagined then that part of being a mother-woman-writer was ensuring that that first identity didn’t intersect with the other two identities. So, I was a mother when I started in this space, but because this space was a place of separation, I valued the idea that I could be, at the time, someone else who wasn’t contaminated by that identity, if that makes sense.
But then I had another child and it got harder. And then I had (or am having) another child and I realized that separation is no longer possible. Motherhood spilled into all other parts of me and made it imperative that I be courageous and just me the woman that I am (and need to be at this point) rather than the woman I thought I should be. Motherhood made me grow up and take myself more seriously and decide that writing would have to be my icing until I have the space to name it something else.
Motherhood is not all of me, but it takes up enough space for me to feel its weight in all areas of my life at this point.
The woman I was before and am exists within the realm of that felt weight.
But she still exists as a much more grown up, Capri pants wearing version of the woman I was before I had children.
Part of growing up is becoming who you really are, but you have to first realize that you have grown up and that you need to change. And I think everyone has that moment or a series of those moments when they’re on the cusp of accepting this or walking over into this unknown territory but are reluctant out of fear of what that territory feels like, looks like, and could mean to who they were before. The change for me happened after I had my second child. I remember trying so hard to be the woman I was with one child who looked a lot like the woman I was before children and failing at it.
While I failed, my first child stopped sucking her thumb and started peeing on the potty instead of the couch and my second child started walking and talking and doing all these other amazing things that screamed of the theme, “Growth.” Like them, I realized I was growing up and out of the metaphorically smaller clothes that I continued to wear because they reminded me of her, or the woman I once was.
But the older woman, the smarter woman in me wanted proper clothes. I kept denying her them, but almost a year ago, I stopped being such a wimp and embraced her for who she was and decided that she is who I am, who I’ve always wanted to be. And I wore her proudly.
The woman I am is 30 and a mother who shops at Target, drives a minivan (that she’s proud of), is okay with chipped nails until someone stares, writes in a journal, avoids Facebook for mental health, reads novels before bed, sleeps early in the evening, values privacy, lives for Hummus and Spinach combos, bought a second pair or capri cargo pants in Navy, and is, thus, definitely NOT a hipster. That’s the woman I am and I finally have enough courage to just be her.