Almost Eve

almost eve

7:52am, Tuesday – December 8, 2009

I simply refused to go to the gym this morning. I opted instead for a quick trip to pour some food into the cat dishes, pee and then a fast slipper-laden shuffle back to my blanket cave. And my thoughts.

Have you ever been kept awake at night by simply Me, Myself and I? Those three bitches in my life – this is where I vent them. They’re not really for anyone else’s consumption and aside from the issue-specific emails that circle between myself and less than a handful of girlfriends, I don’t really share. It’s easier to make people laugh (at life, at me) than it is to let them see.

So I lay inside my blanket cave and play Othello with the three bitches at 4:30am.

In two days, I’ll be 37. If I had a boyfriend or husband, I’d issue the missive that he could officially trade me in for two 18’s with some room to spare. My beneath-the-blanket thoughts this morning brought to light that I’m sitting on the almost eve of:

  • 37 years of being a pain in my parents’ collective ass
  • 30 years since my family moved to Houston, smuggling me onto a plane covered with concealer since I had the chicken pox and they couldn’t delay the flight
  • 14 years since I married for the first time
  • 10 since I married for the second (stop bracing for it – there hasn’t been a third)
  • 10 since I moved to Japan
  • 8.5 since I returned to the States
  • 7 since I moved to L.A.
  • 4 since I moved to Las Vegas (FML)
  • 3.5 since I officially opened RedheadWriting LLC
  • 3 since I started ice climbing
  • 2 since I climbed Mt. Rainier
  • 1.2 since I climbed Kilimanjaro
  • 1 since I moved to Denver
  • and less than 6 weeks since I discovered track cycling and told my crack dealer he’s gonna need to find something stronger to compete.

I sat this past weekend at Cali’s birthday dinner, helping a new friend ring in her 27 years among her dearest friends. What I’ve done to be included in such a group…cheese and crackers. Slap me and call me Sally. Whatever it is, I’m grateful. But I sat across the table from two couples so obviously in love, I left dinner with not only a full belly, but full heart and a greater sense of possibility than with which I came.

I sit here on the almost eve of 37 and think: I should really treat my Wants better. When did I come to settle and feel I didn’t deserve more? In my heart, my house, my mind…I have all that I Need. The Want side of things, well, has been lacking. Sometimes people cross your path and give you a glimpse of why you’ve been holding out for more in the Want department.

I thank Terry and Kia, Gwen and Joel, a Caligater and Miss Glasscock for all contributing to that glimpse. Terry and Kia, celebrating news of their first child on the way (the future Cabeen likely being the warmest attendee at the dinner on such a brisk night), Joel and Gwen’s glances, kisses and hand holdings that perhaps they thought went unnoticed (but for which I had a seat front and center), Miss Glasscock’s well-timed quips and story of friendship with The Caligater borne on no less than contact lenses and a bus ride. Cali – a fresh 27-years-old – basking in smiles and squeeeees after assembling a most eclectic group whose conversations went nowhere politically correct.

Sitting at that birthday table, while not mine, was an incredible gift for my impending 37th year. Needs – they change with less frequency. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of lining those up in the past four of my 37 years. The Wants, though…those refine with time. It’s really lovely to not have to speak and simply observe others having received what they Want. It’s certainly helped me refine my own list. A lovely gift on this almost eve.

And the image above – very Biblical, no? But I am almost Eve. A creation in progress, shaped by thought, action, inspiration and hope. And I’m pretty sure that, while half of you are looking at the elbows, the other half get it when I say I’m enjoying being almost Eve. I never really Want to get there completely, all the way to Eve. Do you?

32 comments
Darien
Darien

Well damn, without a list how am I supposed to get you something you want for your birthday? I guess I'll make something up and pretend it's just what you asked for!

Killian
Killian

Read this today off of a Redhead Redux link on FB. As someone who denied her needs and never stopped to consider her wants, for nearly twenty years, it was a bit of an eye opener for me. A colossal, catastrophic mistake made so many years ago, wound up with some bad results, but also with some really amazing ones...and yet, there I sat, knowing in my heart that I didn't deserve any of it. Reading this may have opened my eyes, but it also brought a wave of tears to them. I've been working on letting go of the guilt, and getting my own needs into the light. I've done a pretty good job of that, and therapy has been a huge, huge help. It's almost like an outsider's quiet, steady "permission" to drag those needs up to the forefront, and it was something I needed badly. Now that I've been doing it for a while, it's almost (but not quite) automatic. So now, maybe, just maybe...it's time to focus on the wants. As for being almost Eve, yeah. I do get what you're saying. And no, I don't want to be all the way there. If I ever reach it, I stop trying, I stop the self-examination, I stop the recognition of those needs and wants. Not a smart move. Thanks, Red. Happy Sunday.

Photogirl2u
Photogirl2u

Are all redheads insomniacs? Maybe I need to color my hair back to brown and get some sleep again. And as one who is sitting on the cusp of an even more traumatic birthday, I understand what you are saying here....

Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams

When you DO have your birthday, remember, RedHeads Rule! So whatever you do, it will be the right choice, as redheads are always right. On my 37th, I was months away from giving birth to my 2nd kid. I was exhausted, as the first kid was only 2. So I have to say that the 40s are way better!

Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams

When you DO have your birthday, remember, RedHeads Rule! So whatever you do, it will be the right choice, as redheads are always right. On my 37th, I was months away from giving birth to my 2nd kid. I was exhausted, as the first kid was only 2. So I have to say that the 40s are way better!

The Redhead
The Redhead

Glad you enjoyed Almost Eve, Kelly :)

kelly caldwell
kelly caldwell

Hello, it's me again...like you I am a red head insomniac, so I think you are my new virtual 3 am best friend. We are also about the same age. Weird. Anyway, I'd love to have you consult for me, you are brilliant. Yeah. And I'll get back to you when I...have a budget. Thanks Bye!

The Redhead
The Redhead

@ E - thanks for stopping by. It's been really interested to (a) get responses on this post, and (b) hear from a guy's perspective as well. Sometimes you don't expect anything and get everything. lad I could make your acquaintance via Geeks - I'm at The Rackhouse Pub as the regular QM every Thursday at 8pm. Perhaps you'll join us again!

E (a name)
E (a name)

First, Happy Birthday! As a relative newcomer to your writings, I'm amused, enlightened and sometimes confused by what you expound upon. But I'm a guy, that's to be expected. We've met briefly (you were a sub quizmaster that night), really had no idea of your online presence till afterwords. I noticed on this entry, you seemed to be aiming for your female audience. But it's true for guys as well. Three dicks, three jerks, three misguided dreamers, doesnt' matter, the same questions and issues occasionally keep me up all night as well. Needs and wants - they invariable change with age. I'm a 25 year old immature punk trapped in the body of a 50 year old man. The 'needs' become clearer with age, but the 'wants' can get ridiculous, and yet somehow more important. I never try to refine the 'want' list - I just let it materialize, and then I look at it, pick one and go 'yeah, that's it'. Then try to go for it. Not always successful, but that's not the point. I think you get that. Once you stop trying to go for it, start getting your tombstone engraved. "Now I feel like a putz". Thanks, and keep it up. So to speak.E

Elisa Hebert
Elisa Hebert

The nail's already been hit squarely here; all of the flattery and kind things I could say have been said below, on this, the actual eve of your birthday.Though I must say, on this new leg of my journey to what I want, I've been choosing carefully, and have to say I'm thrilled to get the chance to know you. Your'e a hot-shit rock star, a smarty pants, and a catch and a half (all wrapped up in a damn fine package - yeah, I look at the eyes first too... ;) ) Happy freakin' birthday!

KirAsh4
KirAsh4

Of course you can. That's a woman's prerogative. :)

The Redhead
The Redhead

Can I be 34 with three years experience? :)

The Redhead
The Redhead

Thanks for checking out the elbows *and* The Redhead, Mike. You've been a lovely addition to my last year, from both an introspection and friendship point! Raising a glass to only "three dicks." :)

The Redhead
The Redhead

Greg, you hit on something I was pondering in the car today: perpetual age. I consider myself 34. You couldn't pay me enough to relive life. I've got too much in my proverbial tool box at this point to dump it all out and start over :) Yay, birthday...

KirAsh4
KirAsh4

Here's the funny thing, I went through this when I turned 35 ... 36 ... 37 ...by the time I turned 38 I said fuck it, it's not worth it. Birthdays come, birthdays go. I've accepted the fact that I'm getting old (and love still being carded every so often - whoopee.) Revisiting the different failures in my life (or successes, depending on how you look at them) and what's lacking now, isn't going to make getting older any easier. So birthdays for me are a combination of saying 'Thank you' the whole day, and a bottle of wine at the end of the day. Done deed.Red, I've never met you, but know of you through friends and the various social media outlets. I hope you have a kick ass birthday! No need to say you're 37 (when you get there) ... you're 21. You just have 16 years of experience. Live it, enjoy it!Cheers!

KirAsh4
KirAsh4

Here's the funny thing, I went through this when I turned 35 ... 36 ... 37 ...by the time I turned 38 I said fuck it, it's not worth it. Birthdays come, birthdays go. I've accepted the fact that I'm getting old (and love still being carded every so often - whoopee.) Revisiting the different failures in my life (or successes, depending on how you look at them) and what's lacking now, isn't going to make getting older any easier. So birthdays for me are a combination of saying 'Thank you' the whole day, and a bottle of wine at the end of the day. Done deed.Red, I've never met you, but know of you through friends and the various social media outlets. I hope you have a kick ass birthday! No need to say you're 37 (when you get there) ... you're 21. You just have 16 years of experience. Live it, enjoy it!Cheers!

hollywoodcopy
hollywoodcopy

As a fellow writer, I'm quite familiar with Me, Myself and I... although, as a man, I'll refer to them as "the three dicks" (oh, and no need to brace for it, as there isn't a fourth, thank goodness, or I'd never get any rest). With that said (confessed), looking at your "beneath-the-blanket" thoughts, I have to tell you that I find the trajectory of your life over the past four years absolutely inspiring. So, while you're observing others, there are those of us observing you and, in doing so, catching a glimpse of what we've been holding out for and why. So, as you turn 37 and get closer to your Wants, thank you from this 41 year old. Oh, and to answer the question with which you closed your post, yes. Yes, I do. And, btw, it's possible to both look at the elbows and *get* what you're saying. ;-)

gregghaugland
gregghaugland

Hey Erika,Once again a nice post, but I feel like I'm intruding on the dinner party memories by commenting. 37 is nothing - it's like a non-year. 35 maybe, but that's like the age you are eligible to run for President. 40 might be more challenging, but that's years away. I'm 54 and wondering if I'm worth three 18 year olds - I hope so.On the other hand, men always view themselves as indestructible - and regardless of their age always think they are 22 (or maybe 32 in my case). Women age better mentally, but I don't think you really want to be 18 or 22 again. You are too smart for that, and we'd all miss out.One final comment on the 'Eve' pic. Well, the apple should be red, and if she's holding her elbows to hide sagging tits, she needs a pushup bra. Personally, I always look at the eyes first - really.

The Redhead
The Redhead

You. Are. My. Favorite. "20-year-old twins." The closest thing I have to 20-year-old twins is 4-year-old boobs. They're twins.

The Redhead
The Redhead

Man, Dana...I don't think I could run that long, what with the gimp ankle and all. Me? I'm enjoying the introspection. Kind of a gentle "bitch slap" that puts me more where I need to be, y'know? Happy early birthday, m'dear and thanks so much for the RT and for stopping by!

The Redhead
The Redhead

1) I am not 37 YET. I will be on Thursday. I know - it's hard to believe I look a day over 35. Two words: eye cream.2) Awww, shucks :)))It was great to actually share banter with you and Kia over a table instead of the Interwebz (finally) as well! I look forward to much more of that...

The Redhead
The Redhead

*sigh* they always look at my elbows... ;-)I think we all Need to be inspired. Sometimes we find we Want the thing that inspire us. Funny how that happens. Thanks for making me a part of your special day.

The Redhead
The Redhead

I'm backing up Cali in saying that we will arrange a collective #dryhump if you and Joel "edit" yourselves in any way :)

Tika Bean
Tika Bean

Gwen, One of the funniest posts I've read in a WHILE is the one tweeted about on facebook couples. (http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-five-most-ann...)As if you and Joel aren't couple #1. ;)OH: @gwenbell omg *swoon* <3333OH: @jlongtine no, omg *swoon* u!! <<<<3 !!!1And we love you both for it. :)

Cali Harris
Cali Harris

Heaven help me, Gwen: if you & Joel EVER attempt to keep your lovely affair under wraps I will #dryhump you both. Oh wait. I don't know if that's a threat or a promise. Anyway, I just finished telling Erika how uplifting it is to be around you and Joel. Period.And I completely agree -- Erika's character compels you to inch a little closer and listen to and take in the sincerity and wisdom she has to offer.

Tekee
Tekee

What a great reflection Erika, but I expect nothing less from you. And I agree with Terry. When I look at that picture of you sitting next to my daughter at the Rackhouse, I swear to GOD you look like identical 20 year old twins!

Dana
Dana

I'm coming up on my 37th b-day as well (next week), and I can't get those Wants out of my head either. I feel like I should pull a Forrest Gump and go running for three years, two months, 14 days and 16 hours to reflect and refocus. I thought we were supposed to be introspective when we turned 40. Can't we get a break and hold off until then?

Gwen Bell
Gwen Bell

You lit up that table. I smiled at how brash you were. At first. And then I realized there was something potent about you that pulled me along. Made me want to be in your orbit. Made me want to get to know you, to make you laugh, to hear your comeback. Cali. The woman has this uncanny ability to do without doing, to move without moving. To see deeper into a situation and a person and a moment because she integrates herself with it. Like you, I loved being part of that.Also, Joel and I must work on keeping our little affair better under wraps. Noted.

Tika Bean
Tika Bean

1. You're not 37. That's effing ridiculous. Seriously? I'm not trying to flatter you. I'm just flabbergasted. Keep up whatever you're doing, there.2. I speak for Cali, Joel, Gwen, myself, my wife, and even Miss Glasscock herself when I say you had every right and reason to be at that table. And I'm glad to have FINALLY had a chance to engage you in a real conversation. You're great.3. I've found wants to be as consistent as needs, actually. Rest assured that once you've started putting things in their place, you won't find yourself needing to re-do the process any time soon.I have a sort of guiding principle that brought me to Kia, and has kept me with her all these ... few short years. I'm hoping it continues to work for several decades, and all indications are that it will."Be the best me that I can be, because the best people for me deserve no less."I'm not saying I pull it off. But I've found a few good people who are willing to give me points for effort. ;D

Cali Harris
Cali Harris

Erika - wow. Thank YOU for your friendship.On this Almost Eve, know that you are an inspiration. Whether inspiration is a Need or a Want, I'm not 100% sure. It's probably a little of both. Either way, you're fulfilling THAT Need/Want in my life and I'd venture to say in the lives of others, too.Thanks for sharing, lady. Also - nice elbows.

The Redhead
The Redhead

You're most certainly welcome, m'dear. Thank you for stopping by, as always.

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  3. […] To Erika, who is one of my new people, who cracks me up, and knows way more than I do about a ton of things (and is seemingly willing to let me ask all manner of questions) – Happy (day before your) Birthday! […]

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