My Midlife Story
Middle age is something that happens to many of us at some point during our lives. It usually occurs approximately between the ages 40 and 60 (35 and 60 in my case). It is a natural process which all of us undergo. It happens as we “mature”. A product of several factors, physiological, mental and social, it may pose problems for us if not dealt with properly.
Some people, upon reaching middle age tend to be scared and sad; resigned to the fact that they are at the end of their life. Midlife is misunderstood. This is wrong. Like adolescence, we undergo a crisis at this stage: midlife crisis. This is the second transition. It may not be easy for some as they tend to resist it; others think it is the time to recapture lost youth, while for some it is time to give up who they think they are to become who they are meant to be. As they always say, “Life begins at forty”.
While midlife gives the opportunity to enliven life and provide an opening to a whole new perspective, we either must suffer the loss, the changes, or just happily let go of the baggage we have brought into midlife and face new challenges knowing that this will result to a “new you” but still not losing the sense of who you really are. We cannot escape midlife. Resisting or even denying will only result to despair. The opportunities that come to you will just pass you by without noticing it and this will affect your future. Problems will come and go; and since you are wallowing in the pit of your misery, you will not see the positive side of things. Problems will just be problems for you, not realizing that facing them will make you stronger. We should grab hold of the fact that it is a process of becoming whole.
Midlife started early for me. It was after my grandmother died. The one who raised me as her youngest daughter since my mother (her eldest daughter) died six days after I was born. I was then thirty-seven and suddenly felt really old. Her passing brought a change in me. My age suddenly became a big issue. And then all the baggage that I have been carrying and trying hard to hide all my life resurfaced. I was angry, I was scared. For almost two years I was living a double life. I was happy on the outside, angry, scared and bitter inside. The unfathomable grief that envelops me every time her passing crosses my mind choking me, leaving me breathless, brought out a change in me; a crossover perhaps. And every time problems and disappointments beset my family, whether financial, physical l or social, the not so likeable me coming out and manifesting; in comes impatience, insecurity, sensitivity and anger; curtains down for the likeable me, Ms. Jekyll on center stage. This went on for several years. And then I realized I am losing grip of the happiness and bliss of married life. I was on the losing end here. It was time to get hold of myself.
I since have learned to use the baggage to my advantage. All that I have gone through from childhood to pre-middle age I was strong enough to face and survive. Why not now? What difference does age make? Then I accepted the fact that I am in my middle age, though not gracefully I must say, but with a little grumbling as I feel slight pain on my joints; as I feel the need for reading glasses, the forgetfulness and the need to rest more frequently than before.
Thinking about it, I have gone through mystifying mood swings, a rollercoaster of emotions, physical and mental pain yet here I am now unscathed and happy. It is really mind blowing how a human being can go through all these and come out, though reeling from their effects, empowered, cleansed and confident.
Yes, I am now proud to admit that I am forty-two. A very happy and contented forty-two year old wife and mother.