Ok, this may be taking a song title a little too far...I admit. But I am here in Santa Clara with my daughter and all the other Swifties. The positive vibes and energy are infective. The staff at the hotel is happy, the guests are happy...everyone is walking around like they are a little drunk and high.
My daughter and I spent the entire evening last night running around a giant mall (we got lost - twice) buying things to enhance our concert outfits for tonight, to overload on epic couture. It was a great day all the way around. We ate in the food court. We shopped at Forever 21 - which really should have been renamed this weekend to Forever 22 - well, cause you know.
Someone mentioned, and they meant it nicely, that I was having a second adolescence...and this got me to thinking. I AM having a second adolescence, right along side my daughter as she grows up. She and I have long joked that sometimes she forgets that I am her mom and not her BFF. And I will admit, that I am often less mature than her.
When I was her age, I was drunk pretty much all the time. I wasn’t going to fun, girly concerts. I was drinking with the boys in fields, basements or bars. I was out there in the world, acting like I was 25 when in reality I was barely 16. My life was on the fast track and I was not concerned with women powered rock stars. I was concerned with smoking cigarettes, drinking copious amounts of whatever I could get my hands on (I preferred whisky and beer - but I was an equal opportunity drinker). I was not running around the mall buying cute outfits to wear to rock concerts with my mom.
So I am kinda having a second, non-drunk adolescence. And perhaps there might be a little make up time warranted for my misspent youth that seemed to go on forever but was over way too quickly in some regards.
I entered adolescence broken. I was a mess and ill prepared for all the growing up that was to occur. Sex and intimacy were things that I was very fucked up about and had a lot of very bizarre notions about how to navigate. Most of my ideas only served to keep me stuck in an endless loop of misery, some of which I am still perpetuating to this day...sadly. I say with no shame, I mean, fuck, I am admitting it. I am naming it, so I can therefor heal it. Good for me.
We listened to all things Taylor yesterday on the drive up. All the different music from all her different eras and today’s blog title comes from a song that I haven’t heard a lot and didn’t really listen to until yesterday. We are driving with the top down, zooming down the freeway, and Taylor is belting out this whole high school drama. And I was transported back in time. I was that bad, bad girl. And I had my share of heartbreak princes. I never could allow one to stay and was never going to run away with any of them. You have to have some sort of intimacy in order to even consider running away with someone, and for me, intimacy was a completely foreign subject. Sex was one thing but intimacy was something that I would not really have a passing acquaintance with until decades later...and even then, barely.
While the song is actually about political disillusionment set in high school, the congruency still holds for me. I was disillusioned but I was too young to know what to do about it. My relationships with men were always with heartbreak princes. I had my share of bad relationships mostly because I was not good dating material. I switched from one to another and then back again, as seems to be a life long pattern for me. I am so done, until I think that perhaps taking another turn on that particular heartbreak train seems like a good idea...again. I might have just done this...again.
And I think that my drunken, alcohol infused adolescence still qualifies me for Miss Americana. I was an average girl with big ideas but was mostly too stoned and drunk to really effectuate very much. I dated boys and then men that were all too happy to take advantage and somehow I still ended up with some amazing guys that loved me, even though my ability to love them back was so very, very limited.
Running around the mall last night with my daughter took me back to a place in time that I have long outgrown. We laughed, we shopped, we checked out guys (that was more her than me, but she enlists me in her folly all the time which makes me feel more than a little pervy...I try to stay non-committal and just allow her to tell me who she thinks is hot and why...I do a pretty good job of keeping my opinions to myself...)
It was good to relive my youth but sober this time. I was happy, without chemical enhancement. I was present, I was me, and I enjoyed the fuck out of the whole experience. And I was grateful. Grateful to have grown out and beyond the limited focus of my youth. Grateful to be sober and able to afford to bring my daughter to such events as this. Grateful that I am relatively sane and happy. And super grateful that the paralyzing self doubt and fear that both plagued and fueled my own adolescence, that sent me to the bottom of many bottles, is a distant memory.
This weekend, I can be 16 again or maybe at least 22 for a little while. I can partake in the fun without all the prior attendant self destruction. I can show up and enjoy, relish even, this time in my daughter’s life, while knowing that while I can never go back in time, I can enjoy the fuck out of it now, healing perhaps a little more of myself in the process.
Tonight we will adorn ourselves with glitter and glam and will go to Mecca to worship at the alter of the high priestess of femininity - we come to revere and to soak up the magic of this most powerful woman who overcomes so much. She takes in the heartbreak, the soul crushing blues and turns it into something relatable. We all love her because she has a hard time in her love life. And she is fucking Taylor Swift! She gives us permission to be powerful, to be real and to be broken all at the same time. None of us have it figured out and that is the place where we all converge...
I can relate to that.
I am well past my Miss Americana phase of life. And I should be long done with the heartbreak princes...but here I am, again, licking my wounds from another love gone wrong. And as usual, I can find a Taylor song that captures my current sentiment about this break up perfectly...
I am too busy living and dancing and loving my life to really care. Perhaps it isn't love or hate...it is just indifference.