I think I’m having a midlife crisis.
As strange as it seems to put that out into the world, it’s a weight off my shoulders to get it out of my head and into the universe so I can work toward fixing it. While I don’t consider myself old by any stretch of the imagination, I am reaching the age where I’m experiencing severe “growing pains.” When you pair these normal age-induced hormonal shifts with 3 years of extreme change, trauma and unrest alongside the current state of “WTF IS GOING ON” we’re living in, I think my crisis is warranted and understandable.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my whole life has seemed like a giant game of 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Not victimizing myself at all, it’s still forward progress, but I’m just one of those unlucky people for whom nothing comes easy. We all know those folks who seem to have the best fortune; the ones who don’t even need the money and win thousands on scratchers at the gas station. Yeah, that’s not me. I’m the one who took my last $2 and didn’t even win a free ticket, so I gave up on gambling.
With this being the set circumstances of my existence, something was bound to go wrong when things were going so right. In walks corona virus and, poof, there goes my job. I was just starting to build confidence within my career field as well as within myself on a personal level, so it has been a crushing blow and really the catalyst of the aforementioned crisis. Not to mention I have worked since I was 16 years old with no lapse in employment, so to lose my job during a global shutdown and do nothing for the last 3 months has been crippling.
Now that we’ve established my worklife is in the crapper, let’s move on to my personal life! Fun! One of the hardest hits I’ve taken has been losing a lot of friendships since moving. There haven’t been many major fallouts or anything, sadly it’s just people growing on different paths and naturally drifting apart. There are people I used to talk to daily that I’ve not spoken to in months. I don’t harbor ill will, but especially being isolated during the lockdown as a single woman who now lives 5 hours away from all her family and friends, it was difficult. There were days I wouldn’t hear from a single soul except my parents. While things are finally opening back up and I’m able to get out and meet new people, I don’t yet have those deep connections I’m craving. The ones where you can belly-laugh with someone over something stupid, or to whom you can call crying when things are tough.
Finally, it probably goes without saying that my love life is non-existent. Even though this is by choice, it’s just another unfulfilling part of my life. I am so happily single it’s a little scary. I love my independence and never feel the desire to roll over and have someone in bed at night. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. But at the end of the day, I am a human animal and we all crave the need to give and receive affection from time to time. I am not an affectionate person by nature, so in my romantic relationships I love to dote on someone and invest all that energy into them. I guess I would just like to have someone to semi-regularly cook for and go see a movie with but never have to answer or commit to.
With all this being established, the crisis isn’t coming in the way that I want to rush out and buy a sports car and start sleeping with 20-year-old college guys. (And even if I wanted to, I have no job to afford a car payment so that’s depressing in and of itself.) I am simply rejecting any form of attachment or responsibility by running as fast as I can from it. After being burned so badly in my last 2 jobs, I have discovered that I currently have zero desire to tie myself down to another full-time gig and am leaning toward going back to bartending. To be honest, the idea of having a no-strings-attached job cracking open beer bottles, working half the time and making double the money seems pretty damned appealing right now. After devoting myself to two companies day in and day out for the last 3 years who ultimately made decisions that set my entire life on fire, I want to have something where I show up, make my money, leave and owe them nothing. Nashville is also a tourist town where you can actually make more money as a bartender than a CPA. This is not a smart long-term decision in regards to retirement funds and insurance, but at the moment, I honestly don’t care about any of that stuff. I could be killed in a car wreck tomorrow, never live to see that retirement and then what was all my unhappiness worth?
I also have realized in regards to relationship-building, it has become very difficult for me to let people in, even on a friendship level. It is far easier to lose people when you keep them in a very superficial space. No relationship is permanent, so go ahead and prepare yourself for the loss by keeping your walls up and never getting too deep. It also just seems at this age, my investment into friendships is better served as networking opportunities rather than searching for lasting connections. Obviously in terms of love, I no longer waste my time. I do not believe in “soulmates,” you cannot trust anyone and the idea of monogamy seems impossible in this day and age. I am so jaded with the idea of finding a partner that it has now become comedic entertainment. Don’t believe me, just check out some of the screenshots I post from my dating apps. Everyone is weird or crazy or narcissistic (or all of the above) and I’ve learned my lesson on “love”- the pleasure is never EVER worth the pain.
So this is the part where I have admitted I have a problem and can now solve it, right? Well, I don’t have an answer for that at the moment. My best guess is that I need to find my passion, that one thing that lights me up, and that is where I will find my happiness. I need to do some soul searching to figure out who this new me is and what she sees for herself down the road so I can take steps toward it. And I need to be shown that the world isn’t such a crummy place full of fake people and negativity. Otherwise this cynicism is going to turn terminal.
I hope you all are having a week with less turmoil than myself, and if you see me cruising around the Tri-Cities in a convertible with a guy who looks young enough to be my kid, at least now you’ll know why.