As we get older, as our lives become more complicated and layered with friends, family, children, work, homes, it becomes easier and easier to stop telling the truth. Many of us turn to blogging in order to find and express our true selves in a way we are too afraid to venture in real life. The smiles and weather-discussing and mama-shop-talk are no substitute for deeper relating, even with our spouses, those we are supposed to be closest to in the whole world.
And that’s the crux of the issue: As we grow older, as I’ve gotten older, my list of ways I’m supposed to be seem farther and farther away from what I truly am. This disconnect, between the inner and outer person grows into a dead zone, a covering up of the passionate heart, the filming over of dreams and zest for life. Is this what a midlife crisis feels like?
For some, the moment of truth – the realization that one’s life is becoming an out-of-body experience – comes during the 23rd hour of work on the 7th day of the week. For others, when they realize their family is not their family after all, but a poor substitute… something less than they deserve. Still others, fight the inner fight truly and deeply and face inexplicable sorrows along the way.
When other bloggers are honest about their struggles and self-doubts, it always strikes me as so beautiful, so courageous, so heartening. But isn’t it funny how we can pour out love on others and leave only a small pittance for ourselves? Deep breath. Here goes:
1. I focus on my children so that I don’t have to focus on my faltering marriage and on my less than super-mental health.
2. I sometimes drink too much in order to vault myself to another space — one less rife with self-doubts and haunting questions about love and fidelity.
3. I neglect self-care in order to make sure I work hard enough so that my children will have what they need. I’m an outspoken advocate for my women friends getting what they need, but often do absolutely nothing to care for myself.
5. I am loved deeply and needed by many people, but I do not have a significant relationship in which I feel truly understood and in which I feel free to speak my mind.
6. I dream of having a happier lust-filled primary relationship and I’m petrified I might not be able to get there from here.
If buying a camaro, growing a mullet, and getting a young girlfriend is a male version of a midlife crisis (cartoonish but still), what is a woman’s version? Angst and 1pm glasses of wine? Seems like a rip-off to me. I’m going to have to do something about that…