Thursday, 12 September 2013

Things change

It’s interesting - I’ve been reading a bit of young adult books lately. And one thing they often reference is that confusion that afflicts teenagers as they grow and change and aren’t entirely sure where they fit into their world.
I’m not sure that we lose that feeling at any age.
I am change averse. I have told you this before. I do not like it. I laugh at myself about it, but I really get annoyed when the supermarket moves the tomato paste for the third time in a year for no obvious reason and I can’t find it. Maybe I just hate grocery shopping and if I spend minutes longer trying to find the stuff… yeah - it’s annoying.
I’ve been through some dramatic personal changes in my life. I used to be a world traveller who lived in a foreign land in an enormous house with servants and personal drivers. In Australia we bought a house commensurate with that income level. It was a very nice house. We entertained a bit; it was a great house for that. People played tennis on our lawn court, swam in our enormous pool and used our sauna. They came to stay for weekends, organised the soccer team party at that house etc.
Things change.
Post-divorce my income level and thus the kids’ and my standard of living dropped pretty dramatically. I stayed in the same area so that my kids didn’t have too much change in their lives. They can go to the same schools and they didn’t move away from their friends. But it is an affluent area and we no longer are. We moved house. To a much smaller house, right on the edge of the affluent suburb. We get the suburb name but not the tennis court or the pool.
And interestingly, the people who wanted to be my friend when I had that big house aren’t around any more. Sycophants - much?
But I forget that, sometimes. I ran into one the other day at the barbers and I was genuinely pleased to see her. She tolerated talking to me but kept flicking through her magazine as if I would get the hint and go away. For just a second, I felt about as lost as a teenager does when they get into a situation they don’t understand.
I know I wasn’t at my best. I had walked down to the shops with my sons and I was wearing an old tracksuit and a pair of runners. I hadn’t spent hundreds of dollars on my hair or nails like she had. But still… I had thought we were at least on a talking basis.
I’m no teen and it still hurt.