I thought only men went through midlife crises? Apparently, that's not the case. I'm hearing from more and more women that their lives are in turmoil too. Many of them are attributing this to their own midlife crisis. Some of these women are as young as their thirties and some are well into their sixties.
I'm going to ramble about midlife crises today. Not that I have any experience with any such thing. In case you've forgotten, I'm only twenty four.
Who's to say when "midlife" occurs these days?
Are men aware that women go through this too?
Something odd is happening in the last few months. People are coming to me with their stories. People I know, and people I've never met, are opening up their hearts and sharing tales about their lives with me.
I have, unintentionally, become a collector of poignant life stories.
In turn, I am sharing some of their narratives (when given permission) here with you.
Hearing so many heartfelt stories has caused me to think a lot more about many life issues than I most likely would on my own.
I've heard heartbreaking and inspiring stories about deep, forever-lasting, love since I wrote about the man with One Love. I've also had readers confess to me about illicit affairs, childhood and domestic abuse, falling out of love with their spouses, and on and on. I'm fascinated by these stories. I'm grateful to those who feel comfortable sharing with me.
At times, it feels like a lot to carry around with me too. There is almost a physical weight that is passed to me along with the words of someone's life experience.
Lately, several women have shared with me their midlife discontent. Wives who live with their husbands out of duty instead of love. Women who want to begin a new career, or new adventure, they would not have considered earlier in their lives. One woman told me she wished she could take a "sabbatical" from her husband for a few years. She was convinced if she could just get away for a few years she'd eventually want to return to her current life.
Last Friday I watched, admittedly in horror, as a 70+ year old woman walked past me in very short denim shorts and a skin tight, tummy exposing, camisole. Her gray hair fell to her mid-back. She was thin. Her skin sagged inches below where you would expect to see it. She was dressed like a twenty year old, but she had the body of an old woman.
Why did she dress like that when it looked so terrible?
And yet, I know why. She's living in denial of her own age. Does she need to dress like an old woman? No. Would it be nice for everyone around her if she didn't expose quite as much skin? Yes.
It made me wonder why people don't accept themselves as they are. Why not embrace and own whatever life stage you happen to be at?
Celebrate it! Live it!
As I contemplated the old woman I assured myself I would never be like her. I intend to live each life stage embracing it.
That same evening I enjoyed a girl's night out. When I got home I uploaded a picture one of my friends took of me. Looking at it made me realize others might see me and say, "There goes a woman who is clearly having a mid-life crisis!"
What do you think? Am I a walking mid-life crisis of my very own?
How about you?
© Twenty Four At Heart