What you want, what you need

In the late 1980’s, I was painfully, horribly, and terribly enamoured of a rock star. Okay, of several rock stars. My parents gave me a cassette tape player for my tenth birthday, which began my now 30+ year obsession with music and the lovely men that make it. (Women, I listen to with enjoyment but, face it, I am all about the dudes.) By 1987, when INXS really made it big with their album, Kick, I was totally hooked on their lead singer, Michael Hutchence.

What was not to like? Scruffy, magnetic, and seductive. Basically my thirteen-year-old’s heart’s desire . . . and knowing, now, the tragic ending that he would have, I can see that some of that brokenness in his lyrics was guaranteed to appeal to lonely teenaged girls. The Byronic air that he gave off was irresistible.

One of INXS’s previous hits was the song “What you Need.” It wasn’t my favorite song– in late 1987 and early ’88, my fav was definitely “Need You Tonight“– but it both definitely held a promise of things that, at 13, I hadn’t even seen secondhand: passion, romance, true love, desire, and really good hair.

And now I’m 41, four years older than poor Michael ever lived to be, and it’s not my turn anymore to be yearning after those things. I get to watch my children live through it now, and it’s even more painful to watch them longing and floundering through those first attempts at love than it ever was to be that awkward teen.

But what do *I* need now? I’m not dead yet, and I possibly have another couple decades of life ahead of me. What do I really want to do with those years? I’ve accomplished some of the things I always dreamed of– I’ve had the children I wanted (plus a couple extras), I’ve owned horses (bad ones), I’ve written a book or two (unpublished, sure, but written), I made it through college and got a nursing license, and I’ve burned through lots of money along the way, pursuing the various tangible rewards life offers.

But what next?

My family likes to ponder what I’d be doing if I hadn’t had the surprise (blessed and lucky beyond belief) of having the Adorable Baby last year. I know that my emotional life would be very different– the Adorable Baby has been, without reservation, the best thing that’s happened to me in the past five years. My physical life would be different, too– I was scheduled for a thyroidectomy the week after I found out I was pregnant. I cancelled that and, bad woman that I am, haven’t rescheduled it. My lumps are, apparently, not growing very quickly, so I’m not in a hurry to get my neck sliced open anytime soon.

I looked it up this week and airfare to Spain for the pilgrimage I want to make would cost $7000 roundtrip just for me, hubs, and the three smallest boys. Seven grand, sheesh.

Guess it’s time for me to get my career back on track so I can afford to do the things I really want to do with my life.


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