For over two years now I’ve been having a fight with the 6th grade version of myself. Her name is Megan. She has a little toddler brother at home, volunteered to play tuba in band without knowing what a tuba is, and is running on the final fumes of her elementary school popularity. See her mom was a kindergarten teacher where she and all of her friends went, and everyone liked the mom so they liked the kid. But by middle school, that connection didn’t matter any more. What did matter was that Megan was a nerd, and an overweight nerd at that. She was a bit of a daydreamer as well which didn’t help in connecting with middle school drama drama drama.
Upon graduating high school, I spent a summer working at camp and called myself Meg for the first time. I liked the potential of the name; for some reason it just fit better even through nothing changed from the day before when Megan was packing up. But as years have gone by, Meg has become more independent, prouder of her nerdiness and daydreaming, and no longer living under the legacy of her mother or grandfather (who has a powerful one as well).
So why am I fighting with this memory of Megan so often now, over a decade later? Because Megan doesn’t understand my life. She expected to be a marine mammalologist after college, to be married, and to be living in Alaska. And she never expected me to pay $40 to get up at 6:45am on a Sunday to run for 6.2 miles. Every time my alarm clock goes off earlier than it has to, so I get in a short run before work, Megan gives me an eye roll or very mature “Whatever!” and wishes I was getting up to watch Saved by the Bell instead.
This morning, during the Bridge to Brew 10K, I found myself silent for once against my inner pre-teen. I recognized how completely crazy this notion of paying to run was. Heck, I didn’t even stick around for the two free beers and clam chowder. I haven’t quite figured out how to tell her that this summer we’ll have to begin training for a marathon in October (that just might give Megan her first panic attack).
For the rest of Megan’s expectations, I would love to swim with dolphins one day, I still hope for romance and marriage, and a trip to Alaska sounds great though my dream home would be overlooking the river Thames in London. I can’t win my arguments with Megan because we just don’t see eye to eye anymore. There is no way I can convince her that her gym teachers were right about exercise being fun sometimes, and that soda is not actually good for you. And there is no way she can convince me that neon stretch pants, sneaking half a pizza, or candy poker games during recess are good things.
Sorry Sweetie, gonna play the grown up card and say we’re doing what I want to do, because I said so.