I cut the conversation short. I feel relief as I continue loading the dishes. The disenchantment I feel is typed away in 140 characters or less but I refrain from hitting post. The picture of all three of my daughters in one frame begs me to upload to Facebook, but I demur. I look at my reflection as I sort through my clothes looking for something appropriate. I pause and walk downstairs in my comfortable gauchos instead. Working on a post for the blog, my eyes notice the date and I realize a person from my past is celebrating their birthday. I ignore the urge to send a note and focus on the post instead.
The changes have been slow. Gradual. They have crept up on me over the years. I have always been a people pleaser. An approval seeker. My happiness was tied to the people around me. I counted my worth by the number of friends I had. By the number of calls I received each birthday. I believed in giving even when it seemed like an one-way street. I reached out. Far more than I should have.
Age settled on me like fine construction dust. Particle by particle. With age came wisdom and the freedom to be me. Opinions mattered. Just not as much as before. I paused before I used empty compliments. I kept mum if I had nothing nice to say. I hesitated before I shared my life with some one new. I deflected when conversations with acquaintances took sharp personal turns.
I turned inward. I focused on the best version of me I could be. I wallowed in my domesticity. Unapologetic. I let myself be. Unvarnished. I let go. Of people. Of memories. Of lessons imbibed from a long ago past.
And in the process found myself. And my voice.