I plopped down on my therapists couch this past Monday, sighed in the most dramatic way possible, and asked, “What is a midlife crisis, Sara and how do you know if you’re having one?” She gave me one of her “puzzled but trying to not appear puzzled” looks and asked back, “Well, why do you ask?”
(If you stop for nothing, watch the video at the end…it’s pretty cool!)
(Note: I had a fractional second prior to asking my own question corrected myself from saying “quarter-life crisis.” Do I think I am some John Mayer song and this is 2002? Sometimes we ourselves need reminders, almost tangible or shocking in nature, to remind us what moment in time we are at in our own lives. And we’re living that life every single day. I digress.)
She already knew about all the things that matter in my life. This woman knows more about me than any other person on the face of this planet, bar none. She has listened to every up and every down, and listened to me explain things to her that I have never and may never share with another living soul. She’s done so for close to seven years.
For me, therapy is about having an objective life-coach observer who is able to look in and objectively highlight the things you may not otherwise connect. I can’t imagine how much more terrible a person I would be if it weren’t for the coaching I’ve received in this environment.
The reasons for my question were many, but not what some who know me might think. Yes, I did just buy an expensive sports car and I drive it like Adam Lambert does in The Original High. Yes, I am on my third (yes third) perm…yes, as in hair. Yes, I’m continuing my extremely quick progress through relationships. Yes, I’ve lost weight and look really good naked again. Yes, I spend too much money on clothes and shoes. And I also give thanks to others like I never have before in a way that makes me believe there’s just too much beauty in this world for our eyes to see…until we are ready to see it.
But these are not the things that caused me to ask the question. It is the burst of creativity that has also been somewhat disorienting and perhaps “midlife crisis” like. In the past month, I’ve installed a ceiling fan, completed a home automation project, bought a sewing machine, made a pillow, taken a photography class, learned video editing, and made it about 30% of the way through reupholstering two chairs that I love. And it just so happens there were four stickies which I felt covered this.
Sara finally responded to my question after nearly thirty minutes of me describing how I must be having a midlife crisis…(forgive me Sara for paraphrasing…)…
“Crisis is not what this is. And crisis you know how to deal with, so you wouldn’t be asking me about it if this were indeed a crisis. What is described as a “mid-life crisis” is often a struggle to learn about, identify with, and accept our changing identity. Our identities change…many many many times throughout our lives and in fact they never stop changing. Not if we’re lucky. What people often describe as crisis — when they go have affairs or buy a red sports car as the cliché makes you believe, is just a struggle letting go of who you were and embracing who you have become.”
We went on to discuss the conversation we have had many times about the death of one’s parent to some feeling like a “liberation.” The death of my father did and did not feel like that, but I can tell you that in a way, it has opened my eyes to see who I might become while having absolute compassion and appreciation for who I have been.
So here is my second video and the first one shot with my new GoPro — one that shows my drive to work and back…I promise it’s not boring. I may or may not have…broken the speed limit.
It’s a beautiful life.
My first driving video…:)
Songs I love mentioned in this post…