Mid-Life Crisis?

Thursday, July 12, 2012
For the past six months or so, life has been a little strange. Rob and I have been on a journey of sorts. With so much going on in our lives two things have remained the same. Strong. Worthy. Constant. That is, our faith in God, and our love for each other.

But the rest of our world has been mixed up, shaken up, tossed upside down and turned over and over. Do you know I have not picked up a stitch of sewing or done anything creative that I normally would do as my outlet for the craziness for 6 months. I haven't even felt my normal need to write here on my blog.

Some things that have happened in my past have reared up and given me cause to rethink everything in my life that happened to me from the age of 20 onwards. I've been going over old choices, old decisions and wondering what would have happened if I had taken the other path. Where would I be right now? What would I be doing?

Just because I've been thinking about that doesn't necessarily mean that I believe I've taken the wrong pathway, just that with new information that has come to my knowledge lately, it has made me reassess where I'm going in life.

I took this picture of me the other day. I looked at it and thought, "I'm 40. I'm still relatively young. I hopefully still have some of my best years ahead of me. What do I want to do with them?"

I have four amazing children, and I could spend the next 10-15 years just being their mother. Just making their lunches, cleaning up their messes, transporting them here, there and everywhere, making sure they do their homework and get their projects handed in on time. Arranging play dates with friends, having birthday parties etc, etc. I could quite easily fill my days up with all those things. And they are good things. Worthy things. But then, one by one, they will leave home and go out to find their own pathway in the world. And what then for me? What will I do? I will be in my mid 50's and while it wouldn't be too late to do anything else, I would have given up 15 years. Do I want that? My mother did it. My grandmothers did it. Lots of women have done it. But will I be happy with that? Is that where happiness lies for me?

And I'm afraid, that for me, I want something else out of life. I want to do something that pleases me. I want to write. I want to accomplish something because I challenged myself and my intellect. It is a revelation that has come to me because in the past I was successful because I was pretty. Doors opened for me because of my looks. That is what my crisis has shown me. It's true. It's terrible. And it's a sad fact that it happens everyday to thousands of girls all over the world.

All my life I have been a people-pleaser. I have been afraid of rejection. I have wanted people to like me. There's nothing wrong with that, but what would happen if I stopped worrying about what others thought of me? What would happen if my reputation as a good christian girl was destroyed and lying in ruins?

I believe that God gives everyone something that they're good at. A talent. I wish that God had given me the gift of art. Truly I do. I would like nothing better than to be able to sit down with canvas and paint and create a beautiful picture. But He didn't. As hard as I try I can't get past the elementary school art look. But I do believe He did give me the ability to write. Since I was 5 years old I have wanted to write. I don't actually particularly enjoy it, but there's something in me that must write. I got really mad at someone the other day (it wasn't my husband or any of my children). Like - really mad. And my only outlet was to write it out. I penned a scathing email to this person - I was so angry. I wrote down everything I thought about that person, everything I wanted them to know about themselves. And when it was done, I read it over and I deleted it. And I suddenly realised something. The anger was gone. Gone. I still wanted to be angry at this person. But I wasn't. Writing it out had cured me. That was my revelation that writing is part of me. I've read enough books and biographies to recognize that in other writers. It's an outlet. A passion. A need. I don't necessarily want it, but I've got it. And I'm going to pursue it. Perhaps I should have done it at 20. But I didn't. But I'm going to do it now, at 40.

I'm looking at my options and will hopefully be applying for a 3 year course in journalism. A course studied at home to suit my needs and the needs of my family. I can't go to the main journalism school anymore. My chance for that has passed. But thankfully, there is a school quite close to where I live that specialises in older students and I'm hoping to be accepted. If I don't get accepted for next year, I'll try again the following year.

I also want to learn to sail. The sea is in my blood. We are getting the children a little sailing dinghy for the summer, and I've roped in some of Rob's cousins to teach us how to do it. I learned when I was 14 years old at the famous Bucklands Beach Yacht Club, but all that is forgotten now, and I really, really want to relearn it. I want to know how to make a little ship do what you want on the ocean. I want to feel the wind on my face and hear the flapping of sail as I steer a boat through the sea. Rob loves boats too, and I can just see us as grandparents in 25-30 years taking little people out on our sailboat for a night's excursion around the Hauraki Gulf islands. Putting down anchor in a quiet, green little bay, listening to the lapping of the water around the belly of the boat. Mmmmmm. Love. My grandfather gave that love and that memory to me. How poetic it would be to pass that on to my grandchildren. I hope it happens like that. It's a nice dream anyway.

So is this a mid-life crisis? Maybe. But maybe I wouldn't have had it if those things in my past hadn't been brought to my attention again. Maybe this is my way of turning something bad into something good. All I know is that I want to live authentically. I want my life to count for something. I don't want to throw my talent back in God's face and say 'no thanks'. I want to put the past behind me. Deal with it. Learn from it. And then turn away from it. Turn away from the dark and turn towards the light. I want to lift my face towards the sun and embrace tomorrow.


Cottage Tails said...

It is very normal passage of growing up LOL (ok getting old)
I've been through it - Was wondering what I wanted to do when kids finish home schooling.

QUOTE "All my life I have been a people-pleaser. I have been afraid of rejection. I have wanted people to like me. There's nothing wrong with that, but what would happen if I stopped worrying about what others thought of me? What would happen if my reputation as a good christian girl was destroyed and lying in ruins?"

As you know I radically came out re my spirtual faith - People walked away - others stayed ((HUGS to YOU)) And honest it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The rewards of living my authentic path is awesome.

I've worked out what I want to do when the kids have finished school and no longer need me (not long to go now) - I'm doing the ground work and getting my ducks in rows for the next stage in my life.

It did take a few years to really work out what I wanted so ((HUGS)) to you and lots of encouragement as you begin the next journey of your life.

Love Leanne

Julia said...

It's really interesting you are thinking this have I! Which has led me to start a "bucket list" not that I'm going to kick the bucket any time soon...but more looking at things I hope to do or achieve over the next 5, 10, 15 etc years. It's actually given me new inspiration and revived my enthusiasm in life.

I'm very excited for you, is exciting! (I don't think I could have said THAT a few years ago!)

Last month I started a part-time Distant Delivery Art Course...partly for inner healing, but working towards the future for employment opportunities.

Roz said...

I'm so pleased you shared with us and delighted for you in deciding a new pathway - you have such talent for writing. Lots of hugs to you on this exciting journey of being more "you".

He Is Forever Faithful said...

I love that you're not afraid to say that you love your kids but also want to have some fun yourself. I see my mum putting dreams off for us kids and I almost wish she would just do something for herself without feeling like her responsibility is to spend every waking moment doing things for us. Even if it is a midlife crisis, make the most of it!! Do a course in Journalism!! Although the general consensus is that we should know what we want to study as soon as we leave high school, how often is that really the case??! If you have a passion, work with it! Your kids know you love them. Its not like your swapping your kids for your dream. Do both and have fun doing it!

Elizabeth Collins said...

Ha - I just found this through those 'You Might Like This...' things on the bottom of your most current post (can't for the life of me, remember what they're called though)!

Maybe it's an age thing - I'm 18 months of turning 40 and have really started to think about the same thing 'What have I done with my life... and who am I really'!!!! There is a post coming ;-)!

Finding out stuff from the past hurts, but it is also healing in so many ways... hope you have found some peace now, especially with your writing! I love it, I breathe it, I need it!!!!!

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