Lately I've been reading memoirs in which women recount their days of being young and single and playing the field. These books brought back to me the emotional storms of those years: the infatuations, the giddy waiting for a call. Planning what to wear, looking forward all week to a date, analyzing words and conversations for clues about where the relationship is going. The women in these books kiss a lot of frogs, figuratively speaking, looking for their princes; they make a lot of the same mistakes I made. They make me realize I'm glad to be past those years myself. That was a time of excitement and promise, but also plenty of pain and disappointment and uncertainty.
It got me thinking
about perspective, and how the stories we tell change over the years.
The meaning, or at least our interpretation, of the stories changes as
we grow older, and as we grow. We stop trying to fit in, stop seeking
the approval of people who don't matter. We get tired of trying to
change the bad boy into a good guy, or of trying to force the chemistry
with the wrong (albeit perfectly nice) guy. There comes a time when
putting on ankle-breaking heels to stand in a loud smoky room late at
night no longer seems like fun.
Sometimes we realize that certain things were never fun; we were faking it all along, fooling ourselves. Other times really were fun then, but wouldn't be if we tried to repeat them today.
stories I wrote about my life then are different from the way I would
describe the same scenes now. I find that some stories seem to have a
"right time" to be written; that may be during the events they're based
on, or shortly after, or decades later. Sometimes I try for years to
write a story. For some stories, I still may not have reached their best