I hear you knocking; so eager to remind me that I’m halfway to the finish line. You’ve been patiently waiting at my front door since this year began; watching me come and go, smiling with every passing day, every new wrinkle and every new ache. Your smirks have not gone unnoticed. I believe it’s time we formally meet so “hello midlife crisis. Come on in. Welcome to my humble abode.”
As the months have grown nearer to that dreaded big 4-0 date, I have been wondering when and if you would say hello. I have thought about you and what method in which you may choose to make yourself known. I have wondered how I will react when the reality of your message finally hits me. Now you are here and not what I expected after all; not completely anyway.
In less than a month’s time, I should be reaching that halfway mark. I say should be because I know I could get hit by a bus tomorrow and never make it so I just try to keep that in perspective. In addition, even though 78 is the average life expectancy for women in the US now, there’s always a chance I could reach the finish line before or after that. Regardless, I’m just going to assume I’ll make it to 40 and that I’ll make it to at least 80. Fingers crossed!
So let’s get to it than shall we? I believe I figured you out and understand what you are all about now. You’re not here to tell me I need to run out and buy a motorcycle, turn my hair purple, get liposuction or get some new tattoos. You’re not here to lock me away in my room to forever be depressed or to pack up and move to a new country. You’re not even here to tell me that my life is over and all of my good days are behind me.
No, what I hear, or more precisely feel, you telling me is that this is the page in the middle of the center chapter of my story in which I need to pause, dog-ear, and take stock of my life.
It’s time to review the cliff notes of the first half of my existence. What have I done with my days so far? What have I accomplished? Have I reached any goals that I dreamed of as a child? Have I made a difference in the life of anyone else at all? Have I done enough? Have I become the person that I want to be yet?
If I died today, would I be happy with the version of me that my loved ones will remember?
I must be truthful to myself in answering these questions because the bottom line is I only have half of a life left to get it right if I’m not yet satisfied with the answers. It’s a harsh fact to face and I can definitely understand how it can sometimes push people over the edge.
It can either be a cruel slap in the face, a gentle reminder, or a small congratulatory pat on the back; depending on just how honest you are with your answers. What you discover can either break you down, motivate you, or even break you down and then motivate you, but in order to ensure that the second half of MY life is the best that it can be, I must understand and accept where it is that I am starting from.
I could choose to just skip this page all together. I could pretend that I never saw you peeping through my doorway, felt you whispering in my ear that you are here, or watched you glide through my dreams like an annoying ghost every night for the past few months. I could choose to pretend that my building anxiety is completely unrelated to you being near.
Honestly though, what good would that do me? At what point in history have I ever discovered that ignoring the truth has benefited me in any way? The answer is never, not even once.
So Mr. Crisis, I am pleased to inform you that I accept your challenge and I am happy to take you on with my head held high. Maybe you will break me, but I highly doubt it because you see, there’s one thing that I know that you don’t. As with every chapter of my story before now, I am the one in control of the pen and only I have the ability to write my next chapter.
Only I can finish this story and I say that the best is yet to come.