Over the years, I’ve written a lot about life events drove me to make changes in my life. As I discussed the changes I was implementing with friends, I noticed most of my friends were going through major changes as well. Though the reason for the “crisis” and the solution were different in every situation, I knew gobs of people who were reevaluating life and concluding their life wasn’t headed where they wanted it to go.
I started to think our generation was hitting a midlife crisis early and I was beginning to see this as a new trend in the US.
As my conversations continued, I realized it wasn’t just the jaded Gen-Xers that felt this way. Younger millennials just a couple of years out of school were struggling to find meaningful careers. Older millennials were adjusting to new familial structures. Younger boomers were struggling to find their place in the workforce. Older boomers were figuring out how to adjust to new, hard lifestyle changes. And those in the silent generation were losing their friends, their assets and their memories.
We weren’t all going through a “midlife crisis” but everyone was going through a crisis.
Was life evolving into one crisis after another?
That certainly sounds depressing.
The problem wasn’t a “midlife crisis” it was that all of us were struggling with how we deal with the inevitable problems in life.
My struggles were happening because my priorities were out of whack. I was putting too much emphasis on work and not enough time exploring the things that make me me. I wasn’t enjoying the hobbies I’d always loved and the new things I was exploring weren’t really the things I wanted to do. Instead of having a “midlife crisis” I was just coming to the realization that I was not as in-tune with myself as I thought I was.
Calling "life changes" a "midlife crisis" gave me an excuse to be dramatic, drunk and feel sorry for myself. While I certainly enjoyed those things, I found myself getting better when I started going to see music or when I shared books with my mom or when I had conversations with my husband about the TV shows we were watching or when my sister and I made plans to do things together. In other words, things started to get better when I quit stressing out about how much things were changing and I just started being me.
Going into "crisis mode" when you're dealing with bullshit problems is totally legit, but instead of reading articles like this (7 Signs You're About to Have a Midlife Crisis), I recommend you take some time to enjoy some of your neglected hobbies. Don’t think of this exploration as the solution to a "crisis," think of it as an opportunity to get to know yourself a little bit better.