Perspective and Other Mythical Constructs.

Midlife Crisitunity

Photo by Jon Tyson / Unsplash

In some ways (many ways) I am acting out the script for a privileged cis white guy with a wife and kid in a way that would invite criticism were it written into a movie. A little too on the nose, the reviewers would say. Did he really need to buy a motorcycle, start working out, getting tattoos, and meditating? It's all a bit much...

But I am not living my life in a way designed to appease critics. And some things are cliches for a reason. I fully recognize the nature of the changes I've been going through and how they fit the model, but I also come by them honestly. Each step on the midlife crisis journey has been an authentic reaction to what I was (am) feeling at the time. I can't say I am proud of being just like everyone else, but I'm not going to run from it either. My plan is to steer in to the skid; to own the midlife crisis and use it as an opportunity for positive change. The feelings of lack of fulfillment and ennui are spurs that drive me to forge a better version of myself.

That's my trick, the one thing that leaves some shred of pride: my midlife crisis is different. (But then, I suppose everyone thinks that.) Most of the changes have been positive: my diet is better, I (mostly) stopped drinking, I spend my time reading, journalling, and studying instead of staying up all night playing Destiny 2 and drinking craft beers. I go to bed early and get up early, and I exercise almost every day. I even started talking to a therapist. None of this changes the fact that I am going through a midlife crisis, but it does, I hope, allow me to place my stamp on it and make it my own.

Plus, a midlife crisis can also be a label that people apply to men who have reached a point in their lives where they have the time, disposable income, and self-assurance to do all the things they have been wanting to do since they were teenagers. Hence the motorcycles, boats, sports cars, etc. That's why all the new and random hobbies. That's why the career changes and the new wardrobe. I have avoided most of these pitfalls, but I deeply understand the reasoning behind them.

For now, I will keep on the path but be forgiving of my self when I make silly mistakers that everyone else my age and disposition seem to make. There are universal themes of human experience, and the midlife crisis is one of them. I just need to keep using it as an opportunity; a crisitunity.

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Jamie Larson