There is a lot of shame involved in reaching midlife and feeling like there are important aspects of yourself you don’t really know. A change of pace as big as quitting a job of two decades which cradled me with routines, a steady paycheck and expectations I could easily identify, brought with it storms which shake me to the core on most days.
I don’t know if I expected to simply fall into a new career path that would fit like a glove but I for sure behaved like it until recently. Signed up for projects that sang familiar tunes and wondered why they brought similar feelings – exhaustion, frustration and no fulfillment.
At 45 it is a huge blow to my self esteem to say I am wrong, this isn’t what I want to do, but … this is in fact the truth, I am still not sure what it is that I want so I get into this situation often. At this age, when many settle into positions they have sought for many years, I seem to, once again, be doing things backwards: I thought I was settled into a job that I was lucky to get at 24 but fell out of love with it to the point of no return and here I am looking for something to bring me back to (professional) life. What an exhausting repeat of my love life: married at 22, fell inlove at 35, undid everything I had built on sand to start again, on firm ground.
I wish I could relish in the originality of this path and brag about how out of the box I am. Maybe, from the outside looking in it seems like me doing me and not caring about standards or what other people think. In reality, these are changes I made when the only other option was the death of my spirit and, in taking these leaps, lived through fear, panic even, shame, constant wondering, sometimes losing sight of any beacon and daily rollercoastering from yes, this is it, to nope, this isn’t it either.
It is a constant wonder these days: how can I know so little about myself at 45? Isn’t it too late to start again? Is this indecision and self discovery ok for my family to put up with? When I am certain of something one day and I wake up the next day despising it, how do I recognize the right path? When the storm that I have become inside unravels everything, how do I recognize the voice of truth from the voices of paradigms I want to break through? Life seems to be a cruel but really professional therapist: only throwing at us tough questions we are supposed to find the answers to ourselves, the hard way.
I am tired of therapy, I am ready for some resolutions.