Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years

For this week’s writing challenge, we’re asking you to explore what age means to you. Is it the loss of youth, or the cultivation of wisdom? Do things get better as you grow older, or worse? There are many ways to interpret age, often depending on your relationship with the passing of time.

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Age, we all age. In years, in experiences, in memories, in how we view things. We all age, unless we die young. For this writing challenge I’m going to take you on a road most have never been, except me. I’m going to take you down MY road.

In November, for NaNoWriMo I started writing my memoirs. Now I‘ve lived a long time. No, I’m not going to say how old I am, but take my word for it. It’s been a long time since my mother pushed me so rudely out into the world.

When I was writing my memoirs, I began to realize a few things. One, I’m amazed I’m still alive! Two, I’ve been through a lot of shit. Three, I’m still amazed I’m still alive! Ok, maybe that’s repeating myself, but I could have died any number of times. Just wasn’t my time.

(Age 0 to now) From day one I haven’t had it easy. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m not whining about it. It is what it is and I’ve survived. We all have choices in this world, depending on what choices we make, it could go badly, or well.

(Age 5 to 16) I’ve had friends from childhood that made their choices and it did not end well. I made other choices. Oh some were not the best and some were downright stupid. But I own them and give no excuses as I made my choices at the time the best I knew how.

(Age 3 to 10) I was born the second youngest of a family of 4 siblings. I wasn’t planned and I wasn’t wanted. How do I know this? My mother told me this several times. I believe her. I was born in a time when you kept your kids, whether you wanted them or not. So there I was. We were very poor when I was young. I remember eating ketchup or lard sandwiches. Yeah, lard, you know, animal fat. Back then you could buy it in big tubs. That’s what people cooked with before we knew it was bad for us.

My mother would spread the lard on a piece of bread and sprinkle sugar on it. We kids ate it and were glad to have something to eat.

(Age 2 to 9) Then growing up was hard. I was sexually abused for years by a family member. Since I was about 2 or 3 till I was nine. So coming from that I could have made wrong decisions and gotten into alcohol and drugs. But I didn’t. Those were my choices. I didn’t do it. I watched a childhood friend go that route when she was abused by someone. She became a prostitute and a drug addict. I don’t even know if she’s still alive. I doubt it.

I’m not saying I’m stronger than my friend was. I’m not. I just made different choices. I choose to bury myself in books. But I suffered in other ways. I became painfully shy, especially with boys and men. For  a while I hated myself. Sometimes I still do. I would gain weight just so I was unattractive. So you see, I made different choices.

(Age 18 to now) Then I made a choice to leave home, as my mother and I never got along. I moved in with a friend and she almost killed me. Twice. I wrote about that before here. I don’t blame her, as her mind broke and she didn’t have any choices, they were taken away from her. But it is part of my history. I could have died by her hands easily.

After that I moved briefly to Mississippi. For a man, of course. Needless to say it didn’t work out as he was a major asshat, not to mention he was a mama’s boy and mama didn’t like me. I moved to Texas after 6 months of him calling me names and fights. He was the only man I punched.  Ha! He called me a whore, I punched him in the face. A few days later I was on a bus to Texas and my little brother. Again choices. Some not so good.

I lived and worked in Texas for almost a year when I met my ex. Yeah, another bad choice. I married him, he turned out to be a major narc, I went into deep depressions.

Then I got cancer. And another depression. Now I know these things were not choices. They were just something that happened. I had no control over the cancer. Not much over the depression until I got mad and whipped its butt. That was where the choice came in. I got lucky and I know it. Most people can not beat depression on their own. I know this and I am deeply respectful of those people. It’s not an easy fight with or without drugs and counselling.

The first depression could have been my last as I contemplated suicide. I had the gun in my hand, ready to do it. My four dogs saved my life. Another story I wrote about on here.

The second time I found out I had cancer and my ex was a major douchcouch. I had lost my last of 4 babies. Miscarried. He refused to talk about it as usual. I kept the pain inside. I was told I had cancer, he refused to talk about it. I went into a major depression. After a couple of years I crawled out of the depression and was cancer free. Yeah, I should have died then too. Because I ignored the cancer.

I left the narc. We divorced and he stalked me for 5 years. My best friend was terrified he was going to harm me. I believed her. I moved back to Wisconsin, where I was from. He showed up one day. I left and moved to Canada. To this day I believe he meant me harm. Where I was living in Wisconsin there was a whole forest to hide my body.

There were of course, lots of other things in between these life changing events. But I don’t want to bore you. As I said I’ve been alive a long time. Sometimes I have no idea how I managed.

As for now, I’m thinking of another life changing event. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m hoping it will soon. That won’t be dangerous, I’m sure it won’t. Unless some critter gets me. I’ll just have to wait and see.

Lives are about choices. Good, bad, and ugly. We can regret things, hold hate inside, fury or some other destructive emotion, till it eats us up. Or we can let it all go and rejoice in being alive for another day. Choices.

I prefer celebrating. So it comes down to age, years lived. For me age is just a number, granted, it’s a relatively high number, but it’s all good. Don’t be afraid of aging. Don’t worry when the years rack up and you see a bit more wrinkles, a bit more gray in the hair. Be thankful you got this far and look to the horizon for more years to add to your age. You’ll be fine.

 

 

 

 

  1. Here’s The Thing About Age (That No One Seems To Know) | Sammi Talk
  2. Worlds Apart | Apoplectic Apostrophes
  3. Death and Suffering: A fear of the Unknown | Thorough and Unkempt
  4. The Path | siobhanmcnamara
  5. Weekly writing challenge, the Golden years : It’s all Gold, a 95 word story | Challenged for Words
  6. Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years | Wendy Karasin – Musings of a Boomer
  7. Turning 26 | Eclecticfemale’s Blog
  8. Teenage years? | Paper Plane Pilots
  9. Meaning of age | MamaAsparagus
  10. Beauty In A Plastic Age | the TEMENOS JOURNAL
  11. The Young Old Lady, Mrs.Thopmson | alifemoment
  12. Twenty-seven: The Year of My Death | Schizo Incognito
  13. Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years: After the Lights Went Out: The Lost Years | Just Be V
  14. Wrinkles | The Seminary of Praying Mantis
  15. Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years | Sarah Alison
  16. On Being 22 | motor city blondie
  17. Bending God. | thejimmieG
  18. If You Could Have Immortality..Would You Take It? | B.Kaotic
  19. “HIM” Weekly Writing Challenge | standinginthestorm
  20. Weekly Writing Challenge: Perspective Through The Ages | Fit 4 Life, LLC
  21. Aging like a fine Wine | C Life, Live Life
  22. “Can I See Your ID Please?” | littleladyme
  23. Birthday March | accidentallyreflective
  24. The Golden Years : Fashion Sense Vs. Fashion Sensibility | The Day After
  25. youth | yiching lin photography

 

 

 

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16 thoughts on “Weekly Writing Challenge: Golden Years

  1. Getting old isn’t easy for some, others do fine with it. Depends on your mental and physical health and economic status. But a funny thing happens on the way to a terminal illness. It brings focus to your desire to continue to live. Every threat to your life brings the will to live closer to the surface. Put a gun in one hand and a terminal diagnosis in the other and it’s interesting to see how angry one can get over the diagnosis. You have been through so much and the choice and desire to keep going never quits no matter how hard it is. You are more than a survivor, you are a victor. I’m looking forward to hearing about your next change. You inspire me.

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    1. Well you know, I have always thought age was just a number. My dad used to tell me I was an old soul. I think I am. Life ebbs and flows. I’m stubborn too which always helps. you will be one of the first too find out about my next change! Thank you Marlene.

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  2. I loved the brave, heartbreakingly-real, warrior-like reality of this. Life is full of all sorts of things that should make a checklist, but in the end,it’s as you say– your reality is what you make of it and that is how I know you & both will be absolutely fine. Still, thanks for the reminder. (I’m excited to hear about the positive item you plan to add to your life list here! Critters??) *hugs* to you.

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  3. Pingback: The 11th of May 1993 – Los Angeles, California | Forgotten Correspondence

  4. Your memoirs will be very impactful reading Jackie. You are a very strong person, a survivor of many things. May life show you a smiley face for the longest time to come 🙂 Hugs!

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  5. Wow you are a cat with 9 lives! So inspiring to see that you haven’t let these experiences let you down or hold you back. Bravo for making the right choices…including the punch ; )
    Many thanks for the mention. I’m new to the weekly challenge … look forward to seeing more from you. All the best

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    1. Great to have you stop in! I love the weekly challenges. Yes, I do think I’m part cat, don’t think I have many if any lives left. 🙂 Good luck in all the challenges!

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  7. Pingback: The Elders of Us | Wired With Words

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