One thing of note, last week when in Monaco, was that the women I met (the wives and girlfriends; although not always) were so open. Maybe there was something unusual about the prospect of a few days in a different place with people we’d never met before. People whose perception of me was unformed. Late at night I found myself in conversation with a variety of women, all picking through opinions and thoughts, dispensing wisdom when it was relevant but otherwise in listening mode. I met a few women who seemed very much like me, which is odd considering in my normal life, where I see women all the time, I very rarely meet anyone who is entirely on my wavelength. And I feel that it takes about five years to establish trust between two women over the age of 40. Certainly by 35, the veneer (which I have often written about) is up. Glued into place. This has led to me consider that my wavelength is one that not many of my contemporaries tune in to, although they’re generally happy to have me in the background – like the unknown readers of this blog.
So, as ever I came away with observations. One was that of the women I met, all of whom had taken different paths in life; some with children, some without, some working, some not, all expressed ‘is this how life is meant to be?’ queries. No one asserted that they’d got it right. There was an inherent unsureness. Admittedly this is a small and privileged demographic of corporate wives or corporate climbers, but still.
Of course, this is relevant as I prepare to start my Masters in September, any and all human interaction becomes potential book material, to the extent that I eavesdropped on a conversation on the plane which was so candid and so public that by the time we landed I was taking notes! My friends have admitted that they are disconcerted about the idea of reading about themselves in something I have written. Everything has become fair game. I feel faintly bad about this; as if I am inadvertently plundering places I shouldn’t for inspiration. But then I figure, that’s the way it goes doesn’t it?! Where does one draw the line?
So back to the women I met; where does this lack of confidence derive from? Why does no one have it all figured out? I’ve always been fascinated by the way women relate to each other and I am sure this is one the reasons I have blogged here for so many years. I look occasionally at my blog stats – where the visitor traffic comes from and how many followers etc. Over time it’s become less and less important to me as the blog has become something I write for myself (can you tell?!) rather than crafting it for an audience. If the audience applaud, then great. But isn’t it interesting that all this blog, or any blog has ever been is a series of observations about life, written mainly by women, mainly for women. I quite like that.
Meanwhile in the mind of this woman, this week:
Suitcase unpacking; dry cleaning of my party gown.
‘This time last week’ feelings.
One unwell teenage daughter, upstairs in bed. Sunny outside.
One piece of local news, affecting a peer of my daughter’s, that was so awful and so tragic, I couldn’t sleep after I heard.
One beach walk with friends, righting the wrongs.
A fairly hefty guilt about not having actually written much yet.
But much thought about what I might write.
Story of my life.
Fish tank issues.
One son who is so in the midst of being ten years old and heart-stoppingly handsome (there’s a mother’s love, I know) that when I talk to him, no matter what it’s about, I smile.
One husband who is doing pretty well at work.
One half-done house that is constantly messy.
Not enough sleep.
A painful return to yoga after just one week off. Aching muscles.
A wild sale purchase that I am sure I shall get the wear from one day.