What is a Mid-Life Crisis?

A tale of a 52 year old man-child

According to the all-seeing, all-knowing Google a mid-life crisis is an emotional crisis of identity and self-confidence that can occur in early middle age. Well, that’s what I’m going to talk about today.

At the time of this post (2022-03-09), I am currently 51 years old. I have been married since 1992 and I have (up until 2016) been driving a reasonably priced car. I’ve had no extraordinarily extreme vices to speak of. Of course, that would change.

Where to start? Well, I’ve started collecting firearms for about five years or so as of now. Why? Just decided that I was an adult and could do so. As of 2019, I also started driving a 2014 Mustang GT as my daily driver. I’m not hunting for pussy or anything, I just wanted a performance car.

The big thing now, I guess, is trying to reconcile my feeling toward myself. I am a man with a lot of insecurities. Well, I say I’m a man, but I still see myself as a man-child. Why? Well, I still enjoy comic-books (manga) and I still like to watch cartoons (anime) and I have trouble realizing that I am an adult capable of living my life outside of the expectations that have been laid in front of me as if set in Latin on a cobblestone walkway that is supposed to be the path of my life. But I’m not that person that my ancestors expect me to be and it weighs me down more that Jacob Marley’s chains.

I feel like I’m a fledgling. Slowly bursting from my shell after being dominated for most of my formative years. I’ve only recently come to terms with my rejection of religion. Looking back at my formative years, it served only as a yardstick against which I would never measure up to. I always felt like garbage when viewed through the lens of a certain religious cult or a sect thereof. I began to actually listen to history documentaries and factual documentation (something I would never have done when I was younger). I began to see religion as it was utilized in the past (and present) and realized: All religions are fundamentally the same: “Believe what we say and do what we say or you go to the bad place.” I began to really see all of it as a cult. Christianity has an especially seductive explanation of why it is even necessary: “For all have sinned as come short of the glory of God.” Which basically translates as: You were born bad. Do what we say or you’ll go to hell! Religion has really screwed me up, but there’s other baggage in my life weighing me down that I’m not going to go into here.

So what do I find joy in?

  • Friends that I’ve kept up with
  • Working for a company that values my skills and my experience
  • Being able to expand my horizons professionally

What do I have trouble with?

  • Accepting myself.
  • Feeling like I’m worth investing time and resources into improvement.

That’s pretty much it.

I’ve been trained to believe that my worth is tied to my job. Everything else is secondary. I really learned that from both of my parents. I guess it’s primarily involved with the fact that they were pretty shit with money management. There were shit role models in regards to relationships as well. (This may be a topic for later.) This has poisoned a lot of relationships including my marriage.d

I guess, from my point of view, what a “mid-life crisis” is. Trying to fill a perceived void in your life with something other than what you really need. From my point-of-view, the substitution is something easy that can be bought with money. But I assume for others, it involves status or sex or … who knows?

I’m just glad that, for all of my many faults, I still value my close friends. These are people who know my faults and still choose to associate with me. They are more precious to me than any status or money. I have learned their value the hard way (via internal and external struggles). I value my friendship with them because they know me and choose to associate with me and I believe I am a better person because of them.

This applies to my wife, as well. But the struggles there are more personal and painful.

I’m learning about myself. I’ve really only started at age 51. Seems silly, but it’s true. I just know that toys and (the desire for) tits is only superficial. It sucks that this seems maudlin or cliche, but friends and family (IE: loved ones) are the real riches of life. I hope anyone reading this will come to understand this before it’s too late.

Regardless of any material wealth, invest in the things that really matter: your loved ones. If you are lacking that, please re-examine you life and seek help. It’s painful, but you’ll be better for it. It’s akin to a re-birth into an adult.

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