I have been living as a pretty mature, responsible, grown-up adult now for about the past six or so years. I got married and had a couple of awesome kids via well-behaved pregnancies. I tried (and hated) the breastfeeding thing (and I’m not ashamed to say it), I got up for night-time feedings, I bought age-appropriate toys and tried to teach kids sign-language and make my own baby food. I did a pretty decent job of balancing the working mom thing. I’ve been a pretty sweet wife and friend and have kept our social life from going in the crapper. I’ve managed to keep working out and teaching my classes. Hell, I even started a blog to keep my writing fresh in case Rolling Stone ever comes a knockin’ (ha).

I’m proud of all these things. It’s just that, okay now the kids are getting older and a tiny bit self-sufficient and I feel like the stage for REALLY, TRULY screwing them up beyond all therapy has just about passed. So suddenly the old me has been knocking on the inside of my brain. “Hello!?” it says, “Remember me? Won’t you let me out to play?”

I tell that voice to, “Shhhhhhhh be quiet! Don’t you know we’re responsible now!?” Apparently it doesn’t. It just keeps knocking. “Heeeelloooooo! Hey, I have an idea: Why don’t you take the kids to grandma’s and rustle up some old friends to party the night and/or weekend away?”

I keep telling it no, what if the kids need me and I’m too drunk to drive home?

Repress it as I might, I still can’t shake the feeling I need to do something. To that end, I’ve been toying with the idea of a new tattoo for about the past year or so. I think I know what I want–and no, it’s not my kids’ names or some Chinese symbol for mother or some other bullshit like that. And I’ve settled on my right wrist/forearm for placement. I did make the mistake of Googling what I want, which unfortunately just kind of cheapened it a bit (for instance, did you know that Victoria Beckham had the same idea…ugh). It’s just that I’m not sure I can go through with it.

I’ve never been some super crazy rebel. But I do lean more to the left than most. The analogy I use for my life is this: I make the team, but I sit the bench. I’ve found this to be true in almost all things. I earned good grades but not straight A’s, I’d stay out till the wee hours of the morning but always come home, I went away to school but not too far, dated sketchy but good-hearted guys in college. I have two tattoos already but not where you can see them. I have had my belly button pierced but would never pierce my face. I’ve been on a little probation maybe but not jail.

Well, you get the picture.

I’m just not sure what to do. The repressed me inside of me just won’t shut up. I kind of feel as though the best strategy would be to release her just a bit at a time before she explodes, like the cap of a dropped two liter. Like maybe I should start with a long weekend away from the kids with Jay before I completely lose my shit and jet off to the South of France with an ounce of blow and my Visa black card.

Maybe I feel like acting like my younger self because as my 35th birthday draws near, I realize I’ve never felt so old. The other birthdays just didn’t really bother me but suddenly 35 is just looming out there like some superfluous gynecological exam.

So what do you think? Am I already too old to do new things? I will have to think this through, but I’ll let you know what alt-Elizabeth decides. Just please don’t tell my dad!

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