Man. I’m such a cliche.
Here I am, 41 years old, and, yes, I’m having a mid-life crisis. Of course, that’s assuming I even make it to 82. For all I know I could die next week in some horrific, farm-machinery accident. Not likely, but possible. And if that’s the case, what I’m going through is actually a really-really-late-in-life crisis. Then again, what if I live to the ripe old age of 120? I mean, with all the advances in medical science and all, who’s to say I won’t? If so, this is just a 0ne-third-life-crisis.
Semantics aside, the point is right now, at this moment, I’m in a some type of crisis.
It’s not a terrible crisis, as crises go. Obviously things could be a lot worse. It’s not like I’m shipwrecked on some deserted island with nothing to eat or drink and no wi-fi. No, my crisis is more of a realization—the realization that the best years of my life, at least physically, are behind me now, and that things are only going to get worse. I’m falling apart over here! Exhibit A: I’ve had a corn on my toe for almost three weeks now. A corn! What’s next? Bursitis? Consumption?
I’ve also realized that, more than likely, who I am today — a freelance writer making just barely enough to afford $8 dollar wine — is probably who I’m going to be well into the foreseeable future, i.e., until I die. Maybe choosing English Lit over Engineering wasn’t the best of choices after all.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not feeling sorry for myself or anything. I’m the only person responsible for getting where I am right now, which is at my desk writing this depressing post, while other people are out at their real jobs making real money. I’m just trying to come to terms with what’s become of my life and then figure out where I should go from here. All I know is for some reason I have this strange, compelling urge to go out and purchase a convertible Corvette, preferably a 1980s-era Stingray, and cruise around town blasting early Motley Crüe. Fortunately, at this point I can’t even afford a convertible Chevette.
I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions lately: Is this really all there is to life? Where should I go from here? Why are all these new hairs sprouting from just about every part of my body? Ah, but many are the mysteries of the universe.
I’ve also been spending a lot of time thinking about how to get through this nonsense. I’ve even thought about maybe going off on an adventure, like maybe to the American Southwest, where I could get a job as a ranch hand, and then spend a few weeks herding steer out on the open prairie. But then I realized I was just thinking about that Billy Crystal movie, “City Slickers.” Man, I’m old.
Now before you get all preachy on me and tell me that I’m not really that old and how lucky I am to have a beautiful wife, and two beautiful, healthy kids; a cozy, charming home in a safe town; and the type of job that gives me the freedom to work out of my home and drink coffee all day while typing nonsense like this…stop. I realize all of this, of course. And I’m truly grateful for all of it. Then again, by this point I was either supposed to be an astronaut or the lead singer of a heavy metal band.
Boy, life is cruel.
Don’t worry about me. I’m sure this is all just a phase that I’ll eventually work my way through. Until then, if I seem a little down or out of sorts the next time you see me, you’ll understand why.
I probably just came from shaving my ear hairs.~
Copyright © 2016 Valentine J. Brkich
Ha! I’m 59 and life’s not bad. Beats the alternative. As for the Corvette, they might look fancy but in the end what you get is an old Chevy!
Ear hairs…then you know you are getting old. To me life is what I make it. Never gave much thought to age or income or such. I planned to be living in Montana by my 40s knowing I’d never be wealthy, but living in a very beautiful place. I ended up in Florida. Now after living here in a hot humid boring place I started thinking of the what-ifs and how to get out this trap. Then I think Mrs. love it here, I have a great job, and the summer months get wasted worse than any winter month when I lived in PA. Here when the weather is nice to be outside after work the days are waaaayyyyy to short.
Having gone through my crisis early, I can tell you what’s on the other side, and it’s good. I promise.
Of course the bodies are the first betrayals, but hell! We’ve put ours to athletic use all our lives and our bodies remember that we treated them kindly, (aka took care of them), returning small favors that you must really pay attention to see. (Namely, that they work better than some folks even half our age).
The worst is when you have a teenager and you’re going through this at the same time parenting someone who really just wants your car, so luckily your small people are small and therefore more generous; there is nothing worse than having an argument with your teen moments before you realize your hair is thinning but not coming back. Ever.
I drink more now, but I have more fun doing it, if that makes sense.
And over all of this, I really fretted and then one day I just came round that corner and didn’t give it much thought after, and the same will happen for you. Joy is the fountain of youth – independent joy, not dependent on any external factor, and as your joy comes through your pages, I have every faith you’ll round your corner beautifully.
Thanks for the kind words, Aimee! I know I’ll get over this silliness soon enough. I really don’t mind getting older. I just wish I knew what I want to be when I grow up. ; ) Again, thanks. It’s much appreciated.
C’mon Val… You and I both know that your career path was meant to be. You are one of the most talented writers I have been privileged to work with. Although I don’t always reply, I always read what you have to say and it makes my day. The family anecdotes that you share prove that you are on the right track.
Now, since you didn’t want anyone to worry about you, here’s my advice. Thinking about investing in your future? Buy those expensive ear and nose hair trimmers you’ve been looking at. You know the ones. Nobody wants to see those paint brushes growing out of anyone’s orifice. For heavens sake, have some dignity! Feel better? 🙂
Ha! Thanks, Linda. I’ll have to put some gasoline-powered nose-hair clippers on my Christmas list. And thanks for the kind words. I’m grateful that I make people smile or chuckle every now and again. Just wish I could figure out how to make money from it, too. ; )