I was asked the other day,” how’s midlife?” I replied,”it’s fucking lonely.”
I’ve hit a wall in my life, and not the kind of wall I can move, crawl over, or somehow tear down.
This wall is immense, scary as fuck and seems to be coming from my psyche. My psyche may be feeling the archetype of the wall from so much wall allegory and imagery in our world.
On this wall, is my entire life to this point. Pictures of my life.
Snippets of memories that are etched in my soul and heart, and those I’d rather burn to ashes that disappear with parts of my mind than remember them.
I am turning 49 this week.
Kind of, my birthday is leap year, so it’s a time traveler’s birthday. I could be 12 years old or 60, who knows?
This wall showed up three months ago. I’ve been staring at it ever since. All of the vital pieces of me, who I am, what I’ve done, who I’ve loved and who I’ve lost. It’s all on this wall.
But the last part of the wall is where my existential crisis exists.
The majority of my life to this point is loss.
The loss of my grandmother, mother, husband, child, and fur babies. They were all a part of my physical being, I’ve grieved them throughout this lifetime.
It’s the other losses that are the crisis and the feelings that I am walking through.
The losses of those who are still here, opportunities to connect, ideas that I didn’t share, pictures I didn’t take, vulnerabilities that I’ve hidden, the last part of this wall is my shame.
First third of my life. Care.Death.Grief. Care.Death.Grief. Repeat a few more times.
Second third of my life. Addiction to marriages. Addiction to eating. Addiction to spending. Addiction to people pleasing. Addiction to fear. Addiction to inauthenticity. Addiction to being an asshole. Life of fear and life of pain. Both intermingling to create what I felt at the time was love.
Last third of my life is unknown. But the first two-thirds scare the shit out of me.
What is the meaning anymore? What then, is the point? I’ve always loved the work of Viktor Frankl, to make meaning, that is our life. But for some reason, I can’t make meaning of my asshole nature and the outcomes to this point.
I have been an unabashed people pleaser in my life, so that I could fit-in, in order to find my tribe, to find those who would become family to me.
I make friends in that manner, I miss my family and seek friends to be family. This has not worked well this lifetime. I’ve needed to be more explicit about that. Fear would not allow it.
Right now though, I have no more fucks to give.
Today at work, in my office, I broke down. I was crying for about two hours. (Don’t worry, on Friday’s my work place is a mausoleum.)
I was crying while I looked at pictures on my Facebook. There were so many pictures of people who I no longer see or speak to me or those who have drifted away. I know and accept they have their reasons. I am not for everybody. I know that I am human and in my raw human state I can say and do things that just fuck everything apart.
I had said, “I love you” to each of them. I meant each of those words as I do now. Nothing has changed other than we no longer speak or connect.
I was suddenly and profoundly lonely.
I lost a friend of 33 years, that’s where it started, this crisis. I was not given a reason for the loss or the choices made. I was not worthy of the good bye, or the understanding of why that may happen.
I looked at my belly dance sisters (a term we called one another, that I find ironic today.)
I looked at my art friends, those who have created or taught me to create.
I looked at my writer friends and yoga friends, my church friends.
I looked at spiritual friends and magic friends.
I looked at me eating, laughing, sharing and for a moment belonging.
I see all of this love on the wall. I am staggered by it, all the love I’ve known and lost, all the love I’ve shared and received.
And yet, lonely, tired and letting go so that maybe a moment will reach in and create kindred again.
That is what this existential crisis is, a longing.
A longing in my life for belonging.
Not fitting in, but belonging.
The obtuse feelings of alone and yet not depressed, not sad. Just alone.
I have been questioning everything that is me, has shaped me and is what and who I thought I was and who I am. I am human, I am vulnerable and I am raw lately. I look at this wall and see EVERY.SINGLE. place where I fucked up. Where I didn’t know what to do or say. I didn’t know how to behave or react. I reacted poorly or well.
I am working to find meaning in my tears of joy and loss.
The tears of two thirds of my life and yet, I don’t know who I want to be when I grow up. The two thirds spent saying goodbye. And yet, longing for a hello.
I see the wall and it’s contents and yet don’t feel compelled to climb it, I believe at one point it will fall in a storm, when I am ready and when it is ready. For now, I live in the mean time. The mean time being the place of quiet and stillness, darkness and wet.
I see the light move through, but no longer chase it like I did.
I no longer gaze at the stars with wonder, but now seek to understand my meaning among them.
I reach for a child I don’t have and long to say so many words. To hold a creature that I created to belong to that human creature.
I reach for a book, I’ve already read. I throw it across the room.
I sit in the middle of my living room sobbing.
Staring at the wall, waiting for it to fall, seeking my meaning in longing.