The Second Male Puberty.

So he left her. My Brother in law that is. Almost immediately after having their second child he upped sticks and fucked off.

There were warning signs along the way. A very unsubtle roving eye and he totally withdrew into himself, choosing only to communicate in grunts and insults. He was transforming into somebody else right before my sister’s eyes. We all witnessed the bizarre metamorphosis, he’d regressed to a moody teenager.  He felt grounded and was going to throw a tantrum until life went his way.  It got very ugly, very fast.

My very sweet and kindhearted little sister was in pieces. Absolutely grief stricken. When someone dies you can grieve for the loss. The pain is knowing they’re never coming back. But when the spirit of someone you love dies in front of you, only to be reborn as someone new – someone alien, what’s the grief process for that? How do you process a death when that person is still alive?

Invasion of the body snatchers. Or to be more precise – Second Male Puberty.

People change, we all know that, but what we don’t always make plans for is that at a certain point in life, mid life to be precise, some people change back. They revert to the last point in their lives that they felt attractive, desired and free.

But here’s the deal, we all feel like that in middle age. 

However, most of us are mature enough to handle these new feelings  within the construct of the life we have built around us. Not burn it all to the ground.

We realise there is no going back. We try to change our current lives in a positive way without regressing. We work at it, messily, childishly, perhaps over compensating with whatever self medication we can lay our sweaty hands on, be it beer or avocado.

Or we don’t, we just glide through it. We tip our caps to our second puberty impulses, acknowledging them with a wry smile and raising a glass.

He’s a Surfer now. That’s right, got himself a VW camper, surfboards and a younger girlfriend. He’s a developed a “Best Mate” approach to parenting and like’s to say “Dude” a lot. His Kids find this cringeworthy slash amusing but they love him, he’s their Father after all, just the younger version of.

As for my sister, well she wen’t through a metamorphosis that no one was expecting. Second puberty had a reverse effect. She transformed from this timid, submissive girl into a fucking Warrior Woman. None of us could believe it. Shit – well she takes none, ever, from anybody.

And as this Amazon started getting down to business she attracted a true mate. The real love of her life. She’s remarried now, happily. This ones already been through the second puberty and come out the other side unscarred and thoroughly grown up.

 

 

 

Take the first Exit on the Left.

In a few months time I will be 46 and quite frankly I’m losing the plot.

I’m happy-ish married and I run my own business.  From outward appearances we’re a solid, fun couple, the type that gets invited to parties to liven things up. We’re also the token gays or as we’ve come to be known “The boys”. We’re not boys anymore, far from it  (although we are bestowed with the eternal adolescence that comes with being gay).

So far so good. Married, tick that box, travelled a bit, tick that box, own our own home, tick that box too. Iv’e been working my arse off to tick boxes for the last twenty six years.

But I don’t want to tick boxes anymore. I think I want out. Not ‘out’ out, just a total mid life overhaul.

As I assess my life and take stock of all the crap I have accumulated over the years it’s painfully obvious that I’ve often been driven by what other what other people think of me. But as I reach this halfway point in life I couldn’t give a flying fuck anymore, (pardon my French).

I was brought up in the eighties in an era of “Must have”.  Must have a good job, must have a great body, must have a nice partner, must have a lovely home, must have at least two holidays a year and must have security.  It’s only now, at this mid life crisis, that I am daring to ask the question – Why?

Why the fuck do I need any of it? (I’m all out of pardon’s).

The trouble is every time I contemplate sodding off into the sunset with a rucksack and a change of underwear I get the guilts and not just my own guilt, a long line of guilt. I’m one hundred percent working class . Iv’e delved into my ancestry.com and it’s pure poverty as far as the eye can see.

So not only would I be letting everyone I know down if I decide to quit my current life, I would also be letting down my impoverished family tree.  Contemporary guilt is hard to handle, ancestral guilt is totally overwhelming.

Then there’s my husband, the plan is not to leave him, just send for him once Iv’e established a self sufficient utopian commune somewhere in the Lake District.

There’s a lot to consider before buggering off.

But despite all this I’ve decided that I’m pressing the ‘fuck it’ button. I’m slamming my hand down so hard that there will be no more fucks to give. They will pour forth and destroy my entire life in an act of glorious self sabotage.

So here I go…

I’ll go live in the woods, I’ll go off grid, I’ll buy one of those micro houses on a trailer and attach it to a rusty bike. I’ll forgo money, material possessions, mortgages, mobile phones and all the other insidious succubus beginning with M.

I’ll forage for truffles. I will run naked through valleys of poppies and frighten livestock. I’ll grow a long wild beard and fish from a stream with a rusty coat hanger. I’ll catch rainwater in old tin cans and fashion loin cloths from old Guardian supplements. I will be wild – I will be free.

And just as I’m at the top of that misty mountain, hand’s on hips, bits flapping in the wind, I will remember who I am.

I will remember how much I am loved and love my life. How fucking grateful I am for everyone and everything in it. Every first world problem, every pain in the fucking arse person, every brown envelope that slithers through my letterbox like an asp.

So I run. I run back to my life, my amazing husband who drives me fucking insane, my nutcase family who’m I adore, my 60 hour a week career, my iPad, my MacBook, my phone and my modern, rubbish life. I burst through the front door screaming “I’M BACK, IT’S ALL ALRIGHT WORLD, LOOK WHO’S BACK!”.

And my world just shrugs back, like it never even knew I was gone, mutters “dickhead” and turns back to the T.V…..