And yet, my life isn’t the same as it was in my 20’s or early 30’s. If I’m honest, I have to admit that I have met my goals to this point, or work is still happening and I see progress, even though it’s slower than I expected. So I’m definitely not a failure. That’s a false feeling that needs to be dismissed right now. I think, rather, that all things aren’t new anymore, and the excitement that used to fuel me has given way to a more routine work ethic with hope, goals, and a purpose. My emotions have leveled off, and sometimes I miss that youthful excitement that once inspired me. But then again, it seems I don’t need it anymore.
That’s the problem with defining a “crisis,” and where I hit the conflict with this article. Yes, I struggle with doubts and feelings of inadequacy, but is it accurate or justified? Or is it an entitlement struggle over not meeting worldly standards of success on worldly timelines, when we know they’re crap in the first place. When you hold yourself up to that, then of course you’ll fail because they’re set up to make failures of us all. Who can meet standards of perfection in an imperfect world? Life isn’t fair, all things aren’t equal, and circumstances beyond our control happen. And those feelings of doubt and inadequacy aren’t age specific – they can hit at any time. Just have a relationship fall apart, have somebody close to you pass away, or get passed up for a new job or promotion, and you’ll know what I mean. It doesn’t matter if you’re 25 or 45. It hurts, and it makes you question yourself and your worth.
I think it’s natural to get more introspective at certain times, like hitting a milestone birthday or going through a big life event. But then again, those become less rare in your 40’s. Nobody tells you in high school or college that the excitement of becoming an adult, of graduating school, going out on your own, getting jobs, getting married, having babies, etc. all fade into the humdrum of everyday by the time you hit your mid 30’s. All that stuff that was exciting when you framed you degree are “just life” now, and all that’s left is trying to get ahead and save for retirement until you’re ready to actually do it. Keep it moving, but even then, you can only go so far. The promotions stop. The doors close and opportunities become more rare, or different from what you expect. People get happy with the box you’re in, and breaking out is tougher. Do you invest in making a change, knowing that you’re halfway through your career, and doing such could force you into working longer than you hoped? Do you keep pushing ahead and tough it out for the second half? You know now that making a change isn’t easy, and usually requires more work than you anticipate. The question of “going for it” often begs other questions of whether you have it in you to do it one more time. Is it worth it? Who knows?
Only you do. And I think that key to overcoming these crises is to know yourself and be true to it. Yes, there are a lot of things you can’t control, but there are significant things you can control. You can control your attitude, your goals, and your work ethic, and if you take dominion over these things, then you’ll be amazed at how much better the other stuff can work out. I still want to be a writer. Fine, so I stay the course. I keep learning, keep writing, keep promotion, and keep looking for ways to reach readers. Progress takes time, and not knowing how this road goes means I’ll have to be patient, keep working, and have faith that this “new way” is leading to better things than I anticipated. They usually do, and it’ not over yet. If it were, then why are we still here? No, we aren’t stuck forever; we’re just in the middle sag. And nobody says that has to be no man’s land. We just need to get real, get right, and find new ways to be encouraged by enjoying the day of small things. That youthful zeal that once inspired us has given way to a stable contentment and joy and, while it’s lower in energy, it’s what we need to keep moving forward without burning out. Because face it, we couldn’t keep up that pace anymore. It’s exhausting. Eventually, we have to grow up and build life with a steady confidence in our self, faith for today, and hope for tomorrow.
Life is a journey. Your attitude, perseverance, and faith determine whether it’s a good one, or a wreck.
That’s all today. Take care. Have a Happy Friday and a wonderful weekend.