I used to keep an anonymous blog. It was the place I used to deal with all that was going on with me before I could say it aloud. I was reading back over some of those posts today and found this one from August 2008. I thought it was worth sharing. These thoughts are the reason my blog is called Midlife Natalie.
I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about mid-life. I am 39. Of course I have no idea what part of my life I am currently living. I could be in the latter years of my life. I could be in the middle. I might live to be 100 which would give me a few more years before the actual middle of my life. I guess I’ve been thinking mostly about the crazy things people do when they are in mid-life. The things others label crises. In recent months I’ve done some of those things that people might tag with the crisis label. I got a tattoo. I have a new hobby. I am questioning those things I’ve always believed. I must be having a mid-life crisis. But I wonder. How come crisis is a bad word? When I looked it up I actually liked the definition. The first definition said, “a time of intense difficulty, trouble or danger.” I wasn’t so crazy about that definition. There were others though. “A time when a difficult or important decision must be made.” “The turning point of a disease when an important change takes place, indicating either recovery or death.” “The point in a play or story when a crucial conflict takes place, determining the outcome of the plot.” I am happy with all of those definitions. I feel that I am in that exact spot. It is time to make an important decision. One that will determine the outcome of my life story. And I don’t feel like I am in crisis mode. I am quite calm actually. I think that there are many reasons that people experience mid-life crises. I don’t think that most of them are because they are falling apart, or scared to get old, or wishing they were young again. I think for most of us mid-life gives us cause for reflection. When we were young we lived our lives differently than we are living them now. We were invincible. Naive. Crowd followers. People pleasers. Or maybe I am just describing myself. I lived the life I thought I was supposed to live. A life I chose to live. One I was perfectly happy living. I followed in my parents footsteps. I did what was expected of me and was content. I was practical and reasonable. Now I look back on those choices and wonder. Oh, there is no way I would change them now. I got married one month after I finished college. I had a baby 2 years later. Then another one. And another one. And one more. I chose to do all of those things. I’m glad I did. I do think I was lost for awhile during that time. I was willing to sacrifice myself for the sake of those kids. I still am. But now I wonder why I did not do anything for me. I’ve always wanted to take a dance class. I did in high school. I did some in college. Once I got married I guess I forgot to take care of me. I couldn’t take a dance class. I was married and had babies. When was there time to dance? And paint. I’ve always been interested in taking a painting class. But I couldn’t just go off and take a painting class. Now that I am 39 and my kids are all in school I can do those things. I didn’t when they first went to school, because I felt like it was too late. But now I am rethinking my stance on that. It is never to late to learn something new. I want to take a dance class. I want to learn how to paint. I got a tattoo. I might even do something else that people would consider crazy. But it is not because I am having a crisis. It is because I have discovered something. It is never too late to change your mind. It is never too late to start a new hobby. I am not in crisis mode. I am in discovery mode. I am having a mid-life discovery. And why the hell not!