Friday, August 27, 2010

Remembering 12 & A Giveaway!

You know that one of my favorite questions to ask people who say they don't know their bliss is: "What did you love when you were 12? Why has that changed?"

It changes, of course, for 1 million reasons and for no reason at all, as I like to say about the depression that almost stole my life and with which I battled tooth and nail until it coughed up my Dancing Soul.

It changes because we hit puberty and something happens to us...something inside starts to feel so precarious that outside forces start to have way too much power.

Instead of being protected from those outside forces by the women around us, a lot of those women offer us up to them.

Then we are lost, and if we are very persistent and very determined and do not harden our hearts, we find our way back, eventually, to ourselves.  Often this happens at around the age of 40.

(Marcy and I will be both writing more about this phenomenon in the near future, because we are both experiencing it in profound ways.)

Here is step one on this Quest: Remembering Twelve.

Who were you before the hormones washed over you?  Who were you before the cultural expectations grew dangerous claws and swiped at you every chance they had?

What did you love when you were twelve and what happened to it?  Where is it now?  What are you willing to do to get it back?

Answer those questions in the comments and you could be one of two people to get a sampler box (30 mixed packets) of this great, natural electrolyte drink that practically saved me from collapse when I had to teach in unbearable freaking heat this summer!

Ultima Replinisher asked me to try their product and I told them, sure, but no promises, because I only ever tell you guys about things I really truly like.  And I think in over two and half years of blogging, this might be only the second (third, max) time that I have done this.

I like this stuff.  A lot.

My dancing self loves it.

My students appreciated the fact that I could last through a class even when it was over 100 degrees (with humidity) and we were working in a studio with no air.

Enough said.  Leave a comment about those twelve year old related questions and you'll be entered in a drawing.


Rachel @ Suburban Yogini said...

My big thing at 12 was the same as my big thing now. And it stuck through puberty too. I guess I'm lucky. I guess if you find yoga early enough it sticks? Who knows.

Ultima Replinisher's good isn't it? Don't put me in the giveaway though as I still have half a box at home :)

Megan Matthieson said...

Interesting! At 12 my life was about boys, budding sexuality, and music. This is all pretty much my life right now- I've fully reverted to my 12 year old self. woohooooooooo.

Jackie said...

For sure I know something happens at 40 that sends you into an upheaval and a search for self .I know we have talked about this before but I don't really remember what I loved but I indulge myself in the search now . I think school peers influence our younger selves alot and I am not sure I was authentic at that age . Kids are under so much pressure it's hard for them to find any authenticity . At 40 though and soon 41 I know how important this is . It is the seed of our soul .

svasti said...

Sadly, by 12 I didn't have much to recommend in my life. Life already sucked in many ways by then.

BUT... I loved books, writing and acting. That's about all... guess I still do love those things.

Wait, is this a give-away? Ohhh, no need to include me either :D

Raine-Lee said...

At 12, my big thing was singing and entertaining people. When I hit puberty I still enjoyed it but I also gained some weight during that time and was made to feel unattractive by many people. Things like who wants to see a fat singer? Also, my family told me I should grow up and focus on a "real career" goal, like being a doctor or lawyer and making tons of many because that's the most important thing in life according to them. I'm not really sure if I have any talent for singing because I never explored it publicly after puberty. I'm not overweight anymore and I don't listen that much to my family anymore so if I work up enough courage and inner strength, I could maybe explore singing again.

Christine Claire Reed said...

By about two and then most definitely by about 8, my life pretty much sucked, BUT...

I had these parts of me that I totally protected from all the violence outside of me and those are the parts that I am talking about for all of us. We have them. Sometimes the result of hiding them from others is that we eventually can't see them ourselves.

The age of twelve, though, even for those of us who hadn't had a hard time before that, is when other things go "wrong," and we definitely get thrown off track no matter our home lives.

Hope that all makes sense...

Trish said...

Hey, I live in Texas right outside Houston-I think I should win just because of my location. ;) Very interesting and something I've thought about myself. I think because I have daughters and want the best for them and have wondered where did I get off track? But, for me, I have to start earlier. hormones kicked in-lucky me-at 11. Why I'm so petite. 1st one in my class to have her period. Lucky me.

But, when I was 9 and accepted that God made me a girl. I was a major tomboy. I thought the boys got to have all the fun. I was no girly girl-sorry mom-I is what I is or was...whatever...I think I wanted to be a commentator or a speaker of some sort. Giving people advice and helping them. I had no idea how to become this and then hormones set in and anxiety flourished blah blah. Got a degree in Psychology. But, followed the advise of others and went to law school. Got through 1.5 years and got knocked up/felt I had to marry the father.Of course, longggg story.

Bottom line-Help people and be a speaker or writer.

Thanks for making it through my comment.

Jaliya said...

Twelve! -- That was an in-between year for me. I was still a kid, body-wise, and ran around that summer of 1971 in a yellow-and-black bathing suit. I adored the trampoline and began training in the sport that year. Nothing like bouncing so high you can graze the tops of trees (I *really* got into it)! ... I adored my books (always) ... I was discovering rock & roll that year -- Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Cat Stevens. Boys didn't interest me except as playmates ... My little brother (aged 7) and I used wardrobe boxes from a recent move to make a fort where we cut out windows and stuffed our faces with homemade chocolate-chip cookies. I went to a new summer camp (which I loved) that year, and to a new school that fall (which I despised). One of my best friends was a horse named Jughead -- I met him at camp and promptly fell in love. Jughead was a little "off", just like I was, so we were a perfect match :-)

Thanks, Christine, for the hop down Memory Lane ... All told, Twelve was a pretty good year, at least until I had to enter that new school. The predominant image is of me running around in that bathing suit, feeling none of the pubescent angst that began to seep through me the following year. I was still pretty much a wild and innocent little animal, bursting through the green world :-)

Silver said...

The big difference between me now and me at twelve isn't what we loved — we love mostly the same things: stories and clothing and nature and learning, although she loved math and I've been ruined by an unfortunate run of teachers who DIDN'T love it enough — but what we believed. She believed she had a future, and freedom, and she believed in herself and her problem-solving skills. And she cared more about herself than about other people (though other people weren't TOTALLY unimportant ;)); I care about select other people to a point where I will sacrifice what I love to give them hope of attaining what they love.

You can see where I'm going with that, right? ;)

I hope I don't wait until I'm 40 to be me again, though. That's a long way from here!

Anonymous said...

At the age of 12 my whole life changed. Now that I am in my 40's my memories returned. I refuse to ever feel sorry or blame the past for anything that occurs in my life now. The only regret I have was I was never able to express my past because of the type of personality I have. I tried therapy but lost faith in the whole system because I felt I was abandon by my therapist. At the age 12 I was separated from my family for reasons to protect my whole family. I am truly blessed to have a loving husband and son. Though one thing I live with each day knowing I didn't have a normal life like many teenagers. It is very hard for me to allow people to love me or for me to love others. I know I have hurt many people because I won't allow people to really know me. I know I am a beautiful person and have a lot to offer but I have "Flight Mechanism". When I feel a person getting close to me I have to escape. A lot of this stems back to the age of 12-? when my identity changed and I wasn't able to share who I really was. What did I love before 12? My family, the love they had for all of us. The togetherness of being one. What am I willing to do to get it back? Impossible, but what I would love to do is to allow people besides my husband and son to love me.

miss miss said...

Oh, god, TWELVE. Like many readers here (and you, too, BlissChick), I pretty much had been & was still in the midst of some awful things (I too recently was diagnosed with PTSD, though not complex). Outside of that stuff, I was saved my drawing & art, read & writing, & actually I loved riding my bike. I have had off-&-on affairs since then, with bikes. Living in TX now, & having the health probs I've had, it has been HARD to get on a bike again. Now that the health is getting way better, I bought a new seat & used frame & I'm working on handlebars. I want 2 bikes. A Functional & a Fun (read: I want it all, as usual). It will cool off soon (last couple days have been GREAT, but it gets better in October here). I want to learn to ride again - around my neighborhood & eventually to work & such. Its been a long time - about 6 yrs - since I rode because I had to.

Art is not here so much right now, but I'm trying to recognize it in the little things I take in & do. Same with writing. Reading, though, I never stop that!

As for the drawing, I've only tried electrolyte water & Emergen-C...Ultima looks interesting. Definitely enter me! XO

Love, Britt

Deborah Carr said...

My 12 year old self was discovering writing...I loved stories and playing with poetry. My 38 year old searching self finally found my way back, quitting a good paying job, and becoming a 'real writer'. Now at 'almost 50', with over a decade of as a freelance writer, and with my first book about to be released, I can honestly say it's been an amazing ride back to my inner child...the one who really knew who she was and who she wanted to be.

The phrase that really strikes me in your post is: "Instead of being protected from those outside forces by the women around us, a lot of those women offer us up to them."

How very true...the women in our lives urged us to conform instead of create.

I'm so glad I found this blog...I'm posting you on my blogroll so you don't get lost in the wild world of words.

christine said...

I wanted to sing and very badly.....and when I started to hit puberty....the boys came. I think I lost what I loved because somewhere someone told me I wasn't good enough....beautiful enough....and I believed them.

LittleSister said...

My puberty happened at 9! Not a convenient age or situation. I didn't really reacquaint myself until after 50 due to some of those traumas.

What I didn't enjoy at the time was being quite so different from the very few others who were my own age. Plus those first PMS cramps are just no fun at 115 degrees in East Africa, far from the common (U.S.) remedies.

But I was smart enough to appreciate my "teen age" body when we went through Europe on our return to the U.S. My mother wasn't quite so happy about a 10-year-old who looked 16!

Music was my refuge those years of "growing up". Plus, when I travel, I can whomever I want to be. Time to discover how much fun to be ME!