And what did she say when I posed this same dilemma to her?
“AS, you like hanging out with people who are ‘street smart,’ because you are ‘book smart.’ You learn from them, and that’s why you like hanging out with me and your other good friends. That’s also why I like hanging out with you – I learn from you too.” Ya know, for somebody who can barely speak English, she’s pretty sharp. If only she were a little bit older.
Indeed, that speaks to the dilemma of my current existence. My old therapist once described me as “out of time,” by which she meant that because of my health, I am dealing with issues that other people deal with much later in life. I’ve realized, within the past 24 hours, that that’s true in other ways too.
As I said, my 22 year old mentee, too young to be my significant other, put my companionship dilemma into perspective, the way an actual companion would. Today, I went to see a play with a group consisting of mostly wrinkled faces. They were members of my art and culture Meetup group, and when I first met them, what bothered me was that they were all much older people, a fact that shouldn’t have surprised me, considering the person who invited me to it is himself 55. The thing is, they do things that I enjoy, like going to see live theater, and then talking and having dinner afterwards. I just can’t always afford what they do.
Today I could, and watched a wonderful play about Helen Keller while sitting next to a lovely woman who I would totally be smitten with if she was ten years younger. This lady is too old, my mentee is too young, but they’re both physically attractive and, more importantly, have qualities I’m attracted to, hence my being “out of time” in another way. I have an “old soul,” it seems, something that my life coach used to point out to me by saying I was too deep, like older people are. As a result, when I try to “do me,” as my friend from Saturday advised, I somehow end up doing things that don’t appeal to people my own age. My mentee is new to this country and ambitious – not so of most young people, who are just living for the minute. The lady from the play has had two husbands, one of which was Pakistani, the other of which was also of a culture other than hers, which is Scandinavian (won’t specify which country). She has no children, but we talked about how accurately the play depicted how women think of their children, and then began speaking about the Greek debt crisis, which of course, I know a ton about, thanks to NPR’s “Marketplace.” Again, right person, wrong age.
In spite of that, she gave me hope that if I continue with my current CBT therapist, I may improve as a person to where, when the right person does happen to present herself as I continue to “do me,” as rare as that may be, I should be able to capitalize. It just seems that may not be an option, for it was undercut by the other way I am “out of time” shortly after I left the theater.
As I exited, I received a text from the temp agency I work for, informing me that my current assignment has ended, and my family wants me to return to my hometown to help my sister care from my ailing father if I don’t really have anything going on for me over here.