Something occurred to me this week. I think it’s the thing I’ve been inching toward with this blog for a couple of years now, but I haven’t fully grasped it til now. Not for lack of trying. Every time I sit down to write, I strain for the courage to face the truth. I’ve inched up on it. I’ve sidled around it. Pressed up against reality and looked at it slant-eyed, hoping not to see what I’ve known all along was there. But I can’t avoid it any longer. And I don’t want to.
Here’s the thing: I am going to die.
Don’t freak out. It’s not imminent (as far as I know). I’m not sick (as far as I know). God willing, I could have a few more decades tucked away, filled with fun, love, excitement and – hopefully – grandchildren.
Maybe not, though.
Today might be all I get. Tomorrow. A year or 10 or 20 or 30, if I’m really lucky. But death will happen. And the kicker is: WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE?
You know, this whole “middleaged woman” (MAW) blog thing has been a way of saying, “Here’s what it’s like to be a woman in her middle years, having fun and struggling and loving and hurting and laughing.” And all along, I’ve joked that it was my way of coping with what I called my quiet mid-life crisis, as I struggled to answer the question of “what comes next?”
But, shit! Maybe a mid-life crisis isn’t about wondering what comes next. Maybe it’s about knowing what comes next — and realizing that what comes next (or at least eventually) is death.
I don’t mean this in a morbid way. I mean, fuck, you guys. I’ve got a pretty good life. But there’s a lot I’d like to change. A lot I’d like to do. And it just occurred to me in the last week or so that I better start changing and doing as soon as heavenly possible, because I don’t want to waste another goddamn minute.
You might think this has caused some anxiety. I suppose it has. But mostly, it’s causing an insane level of I-don’t-give-a-fuck.
I want to warn the people in my life to take a step back, grab for a handhold, and let go of all expectations. I’m changing. You don’t like it? Then get out of my way. In fact, you may want to don a pair of sunglasses because, who knows, I may shine brighter than the sun. I may kick some ass. I may leave my mark, or I may fuck up royally, or burn out quickly like a Fourth of July sparkler. But what I won’t do any longer is jog along mindlessly like some productive but clueless mule, unaware that life is flying by.
I’m done apologizing. I’m done sitting back and watching things happen. If this is what a midlife crisis really is, bring it on.