Not Your Shoe Size

When I was still in Primary School, some of the boys enjoyed teasing me. Just usual stuff, hair pulling, insults, anything really to get a reaction. Sometimes, the teasing would cross the line and I would cry. I remember Allister in Year 5, the one with the rats tail, telling me in his mealy mouthed, spit dribbling way, to act my age, not my shoe size. Back then I was ten. My shoe size was already a size 10; I looked down at him through my tears, narrowed my eyes and said in that scathing way only primary-aged-girls to primary-aged-boys can: “I am”.

It’s a funny (peculiar) thing, to reach your forties and feel less like an adult than you did when you were a kid.

Lately I find myself wishing I had a mum who could take care of things for me.  Having tantrums when people don’t understand me. Wanting to lie in the grass and ignore the calls for dinner. Playing. Being petulant. Speaking my mind and all manner of other childish behaviours.

I feel like this chick.

Maybe it’s menopause, my early entry into the M-zone is not surprising for me, it came early for my Mum and my sister too. I certainly find the addition of hot flushes to my life to be a hair-trigger into the tanty zone.

Maybe it’s Maybelline.  Pffft.

I don’t know, but adulthood sucks sometimes, doesn’t it?  I recently took a break from Facebook, something I would never have contemplated a few years ago. Back when I was sick, Facebook was my lifeline. I love Facebook. But my inner child was stomping her foot and putting her hands over her ears.  Too. Much. Noise.

For the first time ever, we asked for a home stay student to be moved to another family. I found it so hard to do, I was broken up over the decision. It was the beginning of me realising that I am overstretched, not coping, not ‘adulting’ in the way I believe I should. You know that dream you have sometimes, where you are running and running and running, but the ground doesn’t move beneath your feet at all? Maybe that is just my recurrent nightmare, but I feel just like that. I’m running, but not getting anywhere. My voice is being whipped away by the wind. I’m overwhelmed with all the business required of me, but I don’t have the resources to meet demands.

So I have been taking these steps back, wherever I can. Maybe all women get to this point at midlife. Maybe I’m just pathetic. I look at my life and I wonder if I will ever achieve anything. I look at my kids and I wonder if I am doing a good enough job. I look at my marriage and I hope that he will love me through this season too, because I am not the woman he met all those years ago. I am changing. I am regressing into the child I feel like I am.  I see the moody ineptitude of myself and I want to run away from myself and climb a tree, stay up there until the sun goes down and someone forces me inside for a meal cooked by someone else, followed by bed.

My shoe size is now an 11.
But in European sizing, I’m a 42.  My exact age.  
It makes me smile a bit to think that I truly am acting my age, and my shoe size. Either way you look at it.

Are you finding yourself hanging out a lot with your inner sole (soul) too?!

11 thoughts on “Not Your Shoe Size”

  1. Hi Rachel. It’s so important to understand that as humans we go through stages our whole lives, not just as children. Like you, I am feeling overwhelmed by the demands of life and in subconscious protest I have stopped doing a lot of the things I used to do and focusing more on the things that bring me joy (crafting and writing in my case).

    I totally understand your feelings, and you are certainly not pathetic. I think we become tired of having always to be the carer in our family’s lives. Well, I know I do. I know that there are times when I wish I didn’t have that responsibility, and immediately feel guilty for dreaming of that reality, knowing in my heart how lucky I am to have the family I have. But I do think it is normal to want to break free sometimes.

    I’m glad you found your voice with regards to being overstretched. It’s important we speak up (something I do so little).

    You act your age or your shoe size, whichever suits you on the day and that is perfectly okay. Much love to you xx

  2. What Sarah said!

    You, my gorgeous, always reaching for the stars, going the extra mile (or seven) friend, are as far from pathetic as a person could possibly be.

    I say, listen to your shoes for a bit… as you know, the world continues to turn if we don’t do all the things.

    Be kind to my friend Rach, she’s so worth it.

  3. I can relate to so much of this post. It was one of the reasons for taking my time-out. I wonder if I will ever feel like I’m a true adult…

    “I look at my life and I wonder if I will ever achieve anything. I look at my kids and I wonder if I am doing a good enough job. I look at my marriage and I hope that he will love me through this season too, ”

    You have achieved so much from where I’m standing, as an onlooker. I’m constantly amazed by all that you do!

    I don’t even have kids or husband and still feel this way! And more particularly because I don’t have them I question even more what I have actually achieved. Tough feelings to ‘sit with’…wherever you are in life.

    1. Yes. I find myself so deeply conscious of the passing of time. Of how much of it has passed. And it feels like I haven’t gained much ground from when I was a confused teenager thinking about the meaning of life! Sigh. I suspect it’s my hormones (hubster calls them my hor’moans’). I can’t wait for this season to pass so I feel comfortable in my own headspace again. Let’s hope we get through the next decade relatively sane, Silke! Hope all is still well with the current job and less commuting. Great to hear from you. X

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