It’s time. Time to tell my stories, my truth, my way. I’ve been listening to podcasts of some of the great storytellers of my generation – women who, like me, had something inside of them that they had to get out. I haven’t read all of their books, but I want to. Now that I know who they are and what they are about, I need to read their stories. I need to know what they know.
In August of 2008, I was a 39 year old blogger. I was married to my college sweetheart and living in another country away from the bubble I had been raised in. I blogged about my family and life overseas. It wasn’t the beginning of my journey exactly, but it was when I started writing it all down. Here’s how I started.
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. And I’ve mentioned my regret in a previous post, but that is not what I am referring to here. I got married one month after I finished college. I had a 4 babies in the next 9 years. 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!
Some of you may have read that post way back when, and now it’s been almost 12 years. How did that happen? I am 50 years old, and so much has changed since that midlife discovery post. Things that have caused me great grief, lots of anxiety, but also big hope! Twelve years ago, I was a fish out of water, flapping around on the beach unable to breathe right. I was uncomfortable and scared and changing. It’s taken a long time, but I’ve slowly evolved and grown lungs and legs and am still learning how to use them. So I dub this new part of my life as a time of midlife curiosity! I can’t wait to see where I will go from here!