January 3, 2011

Coming of Age

I had a good giggle this morning when my husband was joking with me that as I edge deeper into my 30s that I seem to be 'coming of age.' I would most 30-something women might take offence to any attempt at age jokes, but remarkably I am OK with where I'm at right now. I don't think that I would want to return to my teenage years - except having my 18-year-old body back and I could take 36-year-old knowledge with me. You know, "If I knew then what I know now."

Of course, if that was the case, dating would have been a whole different experience!

What exactly is 'coming of age?' Without digging into my trusty Wikipedia bookmark, I strongly suspect the idea behind the expression is when someone reaches the point of maturity; often reserved for those late teen years, where in a modern sense we say 'drinking age' or 'legal voting age.'

For me, I still don't remember any "Ah ha!" moment from that stage in life.

My husband's reference was to a conversation we had yesterday afternoon and I threw it up as my Twitter update this morning. For the past 10 years we have been gradually immersing ourselves into a lifestyle of sexual exploration, adventure and fantasy. It was back in 2001 that I made my first crazy leap into depravity by allowing my hubby to post naughty photos of me online. I hadn't really thought about it, until he said we needed to sit down and do some real planning for our naughty hobby this year.

But, then it occurred to me that it was also about that time when we began to have really meaningful, deep conversations about our sex life as individuals and a couple. For us, a turning point that turned us into the couple our friends love to hate - according to my best friend, who constantly claims publicly that we are far too "cute" and then quietly drills me on what the secret is. I get a sense that not a lot of couples share openly when it comes to sex.

I am a very lucky person, and have no problem saying it. I have known many women who have suffered through mediocre relationships, hoping that intimacy will come around in time. Some of my divorced friends say intimacy was one of the biggest factors in why their relationship failed - and we see that in all kinds of surveys on divorce and marriage.

But, at the same time, I have allowed myself to be open to a lot of experiences I know many of them would not have even imagined. There have been many times when I was so nervous of a new experience that my knees were shaking and my stomach was in knots - only to be replaced with an uncontrollable lust to do it again. Is that part of the problem, or just my perversion? Sometimes I wonder if women are allowed to be that way...

Either way, as I play the role of witness in some of our friends' relationship demise, I keep one door to my own closet shut, so that only a select few will ever see how I keep my husband's eyes and hands on me ... oh, and willing go out to places with him where he allows other husbands' hands and eyes on me.

As our conversation twisted and turned through the memories of where we've been together and where we hope to go in the next few years, it occurred to me that 'coming of age' isn't just about becoming legal drinking or voting age - goodness, I know people older than me who should not be allowed to vote. I believe that 'coming of age' is actually more about reaching that point in life where you come to terms with who you are; when you are in touch with a healthy balance between fantasy and reality, where dreams can still be followed but don't dictate the only path.

So, if shaking off a bit more of that shy, small-town girl and putting on a killer pair of boots and flirting with my Office Guys or the Cute Guy on the train is part of my 'coming of age,' hang on because I have arrived!

1 comment:

Snake said...

Yeah, exactly . . . Being comfortable in our own skin, whatever that means to each unique human being . . . Unfortunately many aren't, and never will be . . . I like my skin . . . Then again, a Snake can always shed his and start over . . . lol