As a woman of a certain age (somewhere in my mid-thirties) I swore I would never have a mid-life crisis. With images of hysterical females shoving themselves into clothes they aged out of and watching salt & peppered-haired men driving gas-powered penis extensions, I wanted no part of it. The fear of aging we have been spoon-fed has prompted an entire industry of age-defying potions and tricks to stop a process of privilege.
The fact is not everyone gets to grow old.
Even more ironic, this same brand of magic would have gotten us all an early death throughout history.
So why do we continuously, cut on ourselves and cover ourselves with whatever they say will make us appear younger? And who decided that being younger is the ultimate goal?
I have no desire to be 25 again…it was hard enough the first time around and even with the knowledge I have today, 25 wouldn’t be as much fun as it was when that was my actual age.
As we approach “mid-life” I also ask, who the hell determined when “mid-life” actually takes place?
Is there a crystal ball somewhere or a game clock buzzing indicating half-time?
And if this is in fact the mid-point of my life, what is the point of trying to reduce myself to what I have already been?
Isn’t the point, growth? Change? Knowing better, so I can do better?
A couple of years before my 40th birthday, I made a promise to myself – absolutely no mid-life crisis! Instead, I began work on self-discovery. My thought was, “in 40 years I’ve bound to have learned a few things, so instead of seeking out youth, I want to uncover the lessons of aging.”
Great idea, right?
I thought I had tricked the system! ‘Okay society, you want me to long for my younger years, I’m going to celebrate the aging process!’ Haha!
Upon this brilliant journey, I completely lost my mind.
I uncovered so many pieces of myself that were hard to look at. I charted mistake, after mistake doing the same wrong things over & over expecting different results (aka insanity).
I found traumas I thought I had laid to rest, but in reality I just took a giant step over as I passed by, thinking that acknowledgment indicated acceptance.
While I did not dress like a 25-year-old or purchase a mobile penis, my behavior & mindset were in a full-blown crisis.
So there I was, broken.
Broken promises to myself.
Questioning all my life’s choices.
Berating myself for in fact having the mid-life crisis I promised I would not.
I wanted out of that feeling immediately!
The healing began.
Acknowledging my mistakes & traumas was step one. I had to figure out a way to heal.
Therapy. Meditation. Writing. Making amends (to others & myself).
This was not a weekend retreat & all was right in the world (btw…still in process).
This is accepting the lessons of life so far and actually implanting them in my life.
It’s being brave enough to own my shit and start something new.
This crisis became my crowning. My celebration that I get to move to the next round-I get to keep living & learning.
So I’m going to challenge society (or whoever reads this post), to change our mindset of mid-life crisis to mid-life crowning. We are privileged to experience this moment in time, so let’s embrace it rather than run from it. There are so many who do not get the opportunity.
Let’s aim for being grateful rather than grimaced.
Thriving instead of surviving is a much better place to function from so we might as well get a crown out of it instead.