Which is odd because when I had babies I pretty much knew their names from conception.
But with this post I started with the title. I had to. It has weighed on me. And weighed on me.
If I put the title into print, maybe it would take away some of its power.
It snuck up on me. That is for sure. This new burden that I carry.
A mid-life crisis wasn’t a real thing. It was something you saw in movies. When the middle-aged man was driving around in a red sports car.
Except it damn sure is real. And it hurts.
My twenties were all about me: working, playing, living. Carefree and ridiculously naive.
My thirties were about building my family. It was my life’s dream to have a family. That is exactly what I needed to complete me.
So now I am complete. And 41. But wait….there has to be more to this life thing.
Youth is delicious. It affords you so many things. You think you have eternity left to accomplish, live, grow, learn, love, teach, give, receive, seek, find.
Old people, they know it all. They have figured everything out. They came, they saw, they conquered.
What about that bridge in between though? No one prepares you for that.
Life is a long, slow dance. And you have to feel your way through, all the way through. Until the very end.
Every life is unique. And no one can live yours.
I am 41. The number itself didn’t scare me. Until I start thinking.
I still feel young. I am playful. I love to laugh. I love to make others laugh. I love to dance. I can be bold when I need to be. I can be soft. I am vibrant.
I walk into a room and you can almost see my brilliant colors.
But suddenly I feel a sense of urgency. But why? What is so urgent? What changed from yesterday?
What have I done with my life? What should I do? What is there left for me to accomplish? What is my purpose? What makes me happy? What will fill this new hole?
And just where are you people who have done this before, hiding all of the answers?
And why do I suddenly feel like I have to know all of this RIGHT NOW?
Like the very core of my existence must be interpreted and mapped out today.
I cannot waste a single minute. Life is too precious.
Hopefully I have years of life left. But suddenly I am focused on my decisions and choices. Suddenly my next steps are crucial and profound.
Except, they aren’t really.
I am a stay at home mother of four children. My youngest will start school this fall. I am sure that was a trigger.
I submerged myself into being a parent. I am goal oriented. An over achiever. If you are going to have kids, do it right. Have so many that it’s all you can focus on for an entire decade.
Except there will come a time when they won’t need me as much. Like say, right now. They slowly must grow into their own. It is life’s way.
So then I am forced to put the light back on myself.
If having a family was my goal. I did that. Bravo.
I know myself pretty well. I am a deep thinker. I will analyze a situation into the ground. So much so that it makes me a horrible decision maker. I want the perfect answer. And there is no perfect answer. Ever.
I have always lived in the black and white. It I do this, then that will happen. This is what is expected of me. This is my path.
My life should be this, this and this. As long as I do the right thing and stay on course then I will have a fulfilling life.
And I do have a pretty amazing life.
Except now I am learning that there are many other colors. Not only black and white. And there are many shades of every color. There are pinks and reds. There is a lot of gray.
I feel a new need to connect. With the world. With people. With purposes.
Maybe that is what middle age is about. Learning that it isn’t really about you.
Certainly I have always known that material things don’t matter. You can have everything that your heart desires and still be miserable.
You can possess nothing and still be content. It is about what is inside of you. You have to know who you are.
Maybe this post makes absolutely no sense to you. Maybe it doesn’t even make sense to me.
I write from the heart. I have learned that when I let my words and feelings flow that there is always someone who understands. Someone who feels the way I feel. Someone who needed me to put it into print.
So I refuse to feel silly. And if I am now vulnerable, then so be it.
I guess this post is a starting point. A proclamation to the world.
I am in the middle. I no longer have the excuses of youth. I don’t yet have the enlightenment of old age.
I am just here, standing on the bridge between the two. And I am ready.
I am ready for whatever comes next. I am ready to try to figure out exactly what that is.
I am open to love and light. I am open to learning and growing. I long for knowledge.
I look at every person in my life as someone who can teach me something.
I love my family and friends. You keep me real and sane. You are on this journey with me for a reason.
For the first time maybe in my life, I choose to be brave. I will not be afraid of a number.
And if I have to buy a red sports car, then so be it.