midlife, crisis

I’m almost forty and I’ve been going through a really strange shift in perspective. I don’t know but I feel like I’m second guessing everything I’ve been doing lately and I cannot seem to feel content with any of the choices I’ve made since the year started.

Is this what people call midlife crisis?

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a sigh of things to come

I used to joke when I was having similar emotional and spiritual turmoil back when I was twenty-five that I was suffering from midlife crisis because I was only going to live until I was fifty. It was funny at the time and then articles started coming out about the quarter life crisis and it was more appropriate to what I was going through.

I thought, by the time I had hit twenty-nine, that I wouldn’t suffer from a midlife crisis because I had already made the conscious decision that I wasn’t going to live my life by anyone else’s standards. I paved my own way and forced myself to go my own path. I stuck to what I knew and what I felt was right and guided myself accordingly to the opinions and thoughts of only people whose values I trusted. They were to be my guides in whether I was living out my true self.

I was living my best life throughout my thirties, I think. I wasn’t successful, by any normal person’s standards, but I felt I was successful in mine. I was doing everything that I wanted to do. I was writing movies. I was working and supporting myself as a professional writer. I was surrounded by good people. I had lots of fun and I wasn’t doing anyone harm.

Sure, I wasn’t rich or powerful or famous. But I was happy.

I had to start from scratch this year when I disappeared for one year to recover from kidney failure but now that I’m back, I really thought I would just pick up from where I left off but I didn’t. I thought I accepted it pretty early and realigned my priorities and expectations but after my speed bump in June, I feel like I’ve spun out of orbit and I’m just floating out in space.

I’m not as confident as I normally am and my guards are down. I’m getting irritable over the smallest little things that people do, things that never bothered me before, and I’m beginning to find people annoying or frustrating. I don’t have my usual drive unless it’s geared towards teaching.

And before, I used to be able to live in my fantasy world and still produce work but, now, I’m just in my head all the time.

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There’s a Shaira Luna photo for everything (Photo by Shaira Luna, taken in April 2017)

When I reached my thirties, I was able to truly be happy for people who succeeded in things that I wanted to be a part of too. I was genuinely happy for them and I was able to tell myself, ‘You’re time will come too, Wanggo. Just work hard and be patient.’ But now, the jealousy is just as strong as the happiness I feel for them.

Is this what they call a midlife crisis? Acting irresponsibly and acting out of character as a means of fighting back against the idea that you haven’t grown up to be the person you imagined yourself to be.

If I’m going to be honest to myself, I’m not a waste of space. I still have so much to offer and I’m actually not that badly off. I can stand on my two feet and be proud of what I’ve accomplished at this point and hold my head up high. And I do. But it feels like a faking it.

I want to do more, be more. And I can but I don’t have the drive.

It’s this inability to understand that it’s still as hard as it was ten or fifteen years ago. It hasn’t gotten easier. All I can hope is that it hasn’t gotten easier because I’m on another level now and the rewards are bigger than they were. But I know they aren’t. I’m still on the same playing field as I used to be when I first started and I can’t help but feel that I failed somewhere along the way.

This is midlife crisis, isn’t it? If I had the money, I’d probably be buying a sports car right now just like every other midlife crisis cliche in every movie we’ve ever seen.

Thank goodness I’m poor and can’t indulge in that sort of craziness.

Accept. Understand. Push back. Push back hard.

That’s all I can do now.

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