Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sue Monk Kidd, My New BFF

One of the reasons I love reading so much is because of the instant connection you can feel with someone, even though you’ve never met them.

Right now I’m in the middle of reading Traveling with Pomegranates, a memoir by Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter Ann Kidd Taylor in which they travel abroad and explore foreign countries, each other, and themselves. In the book, Kidd is about to turn 50 and is looking back at where she’s been and forward to where she might be headed. I’m getting ready to turn 47 and doing much the same thing. I can also totally relate to Kidd’s pre-menopausal insomnia and overwhelming (often frantic) desire to re-locate, though I’d not seen a connection between these two conditions until she suggested it.

With as similar as our feeling are on some things, though, they’re quite different on others. I’m not dreading this changing point in my life. I don’t feel it’s the end of my youth or that my identity as a woman is changing for the worse or that it’s moving me more swiftly toward death. I actually feel just the opposite. I feel rejuvenated, energized, and at the beginning of an exciting journey.

I’ve started to feel an intense desire to break all the rules—or at least see them for what they really are: Guidelines created by other people to create a life I’m not necessarily interested in living. The closer I get to my birthday, the more passionately I feel the need to actually do something about all this restless energy. To acknowledge and be fueled by these surges of rebellion that seem to be pushing me every day to move, change, go, see, do!

Now all I see ahead of me are wide-open roads. I don’t know exactly where I’m headed, though I have several big dreams rolling around in my head, but my first step will be to move out of the house I’ve lived in for 11 years. I’d like to be able to say I’m moving to Paris or London—and that might be a road for another day—but for now something a bit closer will have to do. Actually, something closer will be just fine because it will give me a chance to brush up on my French.

What steps are you taking—or considering taking—to get to a place that feels “just right” for you?


  1. Ah! What a beautiful and inspirational post! I love your outlook on aging.

    Some of what you said made me think of Steve Jobs and what he told the graduating class of Stanford in 2005:

    "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.... Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

    You go, girl!

  2. Oh, had to share this with you...another great quote from that same commencement address at Stanford:

    ""[Y]ou can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life." -- Steve Jobs 2005

  3. Thanks so much, Leslie! I've watched Jobs' commencement address several times over the last couple of days--to help me deal with feeling like this is the end of an era and because his words have such personal resonance for me right now.