Do you ever think about your mid-life crisis?
I don’t mean the “mid-life crisis” you have when you’re about to turn 20 (guilty), or the “mid-life crisis” you have when you fail your first University assignment (guilty), or even the “mid-life crisis” you have when you’re 21 and all of sudden you have an Undergraduate degree and you have to face the reality that no one wants to hire or pay a highly-educated millennial (guilty. Every day.).
Those are all very valid reasons to freak out, especially when we’re a generation with a grip on reality and an understanding of the human existence that’s enough to turn anyone into a blubbering, anxious mess overnight.
No, I’m talking about the real mid-life crisis.
You know, the one that Baby-Boomers all claim they experienced? The one where you wake up and realize that you fucking hate the job that you’ve been in for the past 30 years that you got on no experience; but instead of leaving and giving someone else the chance while you find what makes you happy, you take your salary that is just a little too high for your position when there are still waitresses who don’t make minimum wage, and you buy a Ferrari? That mid-life crisis.
Or, if you actually decide to leave the job that’s making you unhappy, you go back to school and try something else out. Or maybe you have a friend-of-a-friend in this newer field that you’re dying to try out, so you switch careers and actually feel happy for the first time in your life. That mid-life crisis.
The mid-life crisis in which you realize that you no longer love your heterosexual lifemate, and so you go off to find a new heterosexual lifemate, who’s probably younger and prettier. Or, *gasp*, maybe you realize you no longer love your heterosexual lifemate because you fell in love with someone of your same gender (or a gender you didn’t even know existed until there was terminology provided for it), and then you have a huge “I’m gay” crisis, but more realistically you probably just fall into one of the many other sexualities that aren’t as black and white as straight and gay (or you’re just like really good at lying to yourself and everyone around your for the last 50 years. But probably you just need a google search to help you broaden your sexual vocabulary). That mid-life crisis.
Maybe you turn 50 and decide nothing’s worth it anymore.
Maybe you turn 50 the same year minion memes got popular and now that’s all you share on your Facebook feed.
Maybe you have a mid-life crisis like the ones we see in the movies.
Maybe your mid-life crisis is a weekend in Vegas that we’ll never speak of.
Maybe it’s the knowledge that you know exactly what will make you happy and you’re going to go out and get it, damnit.
Maybe your mid-life crisis is the decision to live for yourself and no one else.
There are so many different mid-life crises out there. I think we all need to go through them, and as much as I poke fun at the stereotypical ones, they’re stereotypes for a reason. Many people go through those. Many people turn 50 and suddenly their perception of the world shifts. That’s alright. Go grab life by the hand and apologize for ignoring its reality for so long.
Chase your dreams. Experiment. Find someone who makes you happier than you’ve ever been. Drive your kids around in your new Ferrari (or yell at them if they look at it too long). Go on the Europe trip with your high school bestie that you planned, but never got around to. Take a chance and try out that position at a start-up even though it’s super risky. Put all your eggs in one basket. Post those stupid minion memes (please don’t). Do whatever you want to make the next half of your life amazing!
I hope that I finally learn to scuba dive and stop being afraid of deep water. I hope I actually take up photography seriously and don’t make jokes about how bad I am in an attempt to cover up that I’m nervous about learning a new skill and being judged for the fact that I’m not a natural. I hope I combine those things and take beautiful underwater photos.
And maybe turn into a mermaid. That’d be cool.