At what age is someone supposed to go through a mid life crisis and what exactly does this “crisis” entail? When does menopause ooze it’s hot-flash laden tentacles into a woman’s cauldron of already unstable hormones, slowly relinquishing control to the erratic whims of some kind of evil alien puppet master? Is it possible to wake up one bright cheery morning to the sweet song of hungry robin chicks and simply know to the very marrow of your bones that you’re an impostor? A pod person? Not who you thought you were at all?
I vividly remember as a brash and outspoken youth being a staunchly “that affects me how?” and “sucks to be you!” kind of girl. Daring, reckless, rebellious, I was the very definition of teenage angst and drama. I barged through life cloaked in a impenetrable illusion of self-confidence while secretly composing sappy poems exposing the lonely fear of my self-imposed emotional isolation. I existed with ease on the periphery of almost all but the most popular cliques while keeping only a handful of close friends in whom I was somehow never able to bring myself to confide completely and without reservation. I made life altering decisions on a whim and fell head over heels for speed, excitement and the tired anthem of sex, drugs and rock and roll. I could only see what was immediately in front of me and only if it somehow had the possibility of affecting the never ending party I had made of my life. I thought I knew everything about myself. As it turns out, you never really know what you don’t know, you know?
I’d like to think that I’ve matured a lot since those days and that’s the underlying reason that I’m now feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. I have, after all, done a lot of living in the last 20 years. I would have lost a considerable amount of money had I wagered back then on whether I would have ever done some of the things I now couldn’t imagine not experiencing. I’ve pursued a career as a pilot, married my soul mate, given birth to two amazing children, launched a new career as a business owner and entrepreneur, and shoved an almost paralyzing fear aside to start writing. But something is still not quite right. I’m having trouble reconciling the girl I used to be with the woman I’ve become.
If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m very much a Type A personality. I need a plan, a backup plan (or two), and only woe comes to those who do not follow the plan. Delegating is extrememly difficult for me and I think I’ve become even more of a control freak (a thought my husband would casually dismiss as impossible) than I’ve ever been in the past. Asking me to “let go” and “be in the moment” is like asking me to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. It may be possible, but the likelihood of it actually happening is probably about the same as Mesthosopholes opening up a ski resort featuring a world class slalom course in Hell.
But I think letting go and being present in the moment is exactly the balm for which my weary soul yearns. I’ve grown tired of schedules, plans, routines, checklists and keeping track of every little detail of my life. I’ve forgotten how to live. I long for the wild abandon of my youth before I began to care about things other than myself. Before work, family, responsibility, there was only me and my own selfish and childish pursuit of anything that made me feel alive. Now, I’ve become bogged down with possessions, responsibilities, social obligations, and countless other small burdens which threaten to drag me under like an extremely unlucky mobster’s cement shoes.
Yet, as I slowly saw through the ropes of the unnecessary sandbags keeping my balloon earthbound, I’ve realized that blogging has been and continues to be a priceless lifeline to the carefree existence of that girl I used to be. Not only have I been able to enjoy the freedom of expressing myself as I pleased, but I’ve also cast aside a small portion of the Teflon cloak in order to share thoughts, ideas and experiences that would have left that daring party girl of my youth hiding in the ladies’ room.
Things change. People change. It’s the journey that counts and although I may not know myself anymore, I think I’m going to enjoy getting to know me better. Maybe even as much as I enjoy getting to know you. Thank you for reading, commenting, sharing and allowing me my midlife crisis, though I may still have to get a motorcycle or an airplane. That’s part of the deal, right?