I'm 37. Is that too young for a mid-life crisis? I'm not sure, but I think that I may be in the midst of one.
I am feeling dissatisfied. I am feeling unsure. I'm starting to contemplate"finding myself." Feel free to gag. I don't know just what fueled all of this, but now that it's been ignited, I'm burning up with angst. What am I doing? Where is my passion? What do I want? WHO AM I? Damn it, it sounds like I am 17. The cliche of our thirties is that everyone is so freaking happy. I constantly hear about women who finally are "comfortable in their own skin." But I feel lost. I feel completely uncomfortable.
Who the hell am I? Yoga-pant wearing soccer mom, planning play dates and making nice with the PTA? Hipster-wanna-be, drinking Bud Light and watching reality TV? Working Girl, balancing career/parenthood and a busy social calendar?
Honestly, I bounce back and forth, still trying to figure it all out. Over the past several years, everything has changed. I moved far from what was "home", I got pregnant and had another baby miles from my family. I became a stay-at-home-mom. I started working, quit working, and starting working *part-time* again.
So now, I am attempting to discover exactly who the heck I am. I have decided to invest more time and effort into really living life, rather than going through the day to day motions. I joined a book club and I continue to write this blog. I auditioned to read an essay in a local show and failed. I have started to pay more attention to my appearance. I have stepped up my wardrobe and sometimes even (gasp) wear eye makeup, in an attempt to feel more like a woman, and less like a "mom." I'm jogging, something I gave up almost two years ago, but that was always part of my identity and self esteem. I have contemplated dating my husband again. My marriage is easy, and perhaps it shouldn't be. Maybe my relationships require more investment and work to be meaningful. If this doesn't sound like a true midlife crisis to you, it's because I have restraint. There is a part of me who would like to run away to a place where nobody knows me, become a waitress, get a tummy tuck, and learn to ride a motorcycle. But if there is one thing that I do know about me, it is that I would never do that. I love my family. I love my husband and I have a good life. I have too much at stake, too much to leave behind.
And so because I cannot completely reinvent myself, I have to find a way to discover and create myself with reason and maturity, which is hard to do when so much of me just cries out with selfish want.
I am certain that I am not the only person to go through this, and thus the invention of the term "midlife crisis." Yet it's hard not to feel confused and alone. I don't want to be old. I don't want to be just a mom and wife. I want to figure out me. I want to have a sense of who I am. I want to have my own interests and to actually be... interesting.
This isn't an essay with a tidy ending, because really, all of this is just a begining. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm moving, I am trying, and that is finally...something.