A Creative Article About Reaching Midlife...
This is a creative article exploring the journey one makes through midlife and the feelings that can be experienced. Midlife throws up many questions, as we evaluate where we stand; where we have been and where we want to go...
Musings on Midlife
All of a sudden, I am half way down this path I set off on. Ahead of me, the journey is not as long as it once was. Looking back, I can see how far I have come. The road is full of twists and turns; forks and obstacles. There are no sign-posts, nor even a map. Sometimes the ground under my feet is smooth and straight, like a freshly cut lawn. At other times, it has been rocky and rough.
So here I stand in the afternoon sun, and I wonder which way to go next. I used to think, when I reached this mid-way point, that my shoes would be comfy and my mind would be calm. I used to think that my dreams, which once flew all around me like butterflies, would be safely caught and tamed. Now I know that dreams, and butterflies, are hard to tame and that even toes in comfy shoes keep twitching.
The trouble with the path is that sometimes dreams become hidden by the overgrowth. It happens when you least expect it - aimlessly you wander, enjoying the warmth and the quiet, when you look back and realise that your dreams shot off when you were looking the other way. Where did they go? Did they take another route; ascend into the sky; evaporate into the ethers? Should you go back and search, or stick with the gentle still? The trouble with going back is that the path might not be as easy as it was before. The trouble with continuing ahead is that even the most pleasant paths can turn to painful monotony. And if you don't go back, you'll never find your dreams.
Only dreamers die, never dreams. Dreams live on forever, no matter whose mind they inhabit. Perhaps I will see my own, lived out in the world of someone else. Perhaps it will continue to nag me, out of reach and mocking - as I watch its seed; its growth; its bloom, from afar. I decide to turn back and take another route. If only I hadn't left it so long.
And so I try to tread, in places I should have stood long ago. These old feet don't run like they used to. Still, with every step I forge a new journey; stumble over another stone. As I walk, I realise that the signs were there after all, right from the beginning - it was just that I chose not to see them. I looked in all the wrong places - everywhere but the depths of my own heart. The music from a heart never stops singing - though you have to listen hard.
Comfort can be bittersweet. A clever deception, it makes you believe you have everything you need. Like a box of chocolates, there is a fine line between enough and excess. Comfort brings security; stability - but it doesn't bring back dreams. As I walk back along the path, further and further, I realise that had I turned back sooner, I wouldn't have so far to go. Still, I am on the way now - I even notice the bluebells sprouting at my feet and the beautiful gold of a sunflower. I keep going. The sky turns cloudy and the rain splats against my face. Soon the sun will be out again. I don't know how long this journey will be, or when I will find my dreams again, but at least I'm moving.
About This Hub
This hub explores the feelings of someone, mid-way through life, who has the sudden realisation that reality does not reflect their inner dreams and passions. When you are young it is so easy to imagine that you have plenty of time to achieve your dreams - but at a certain point in life it becomes less certain whether those dreams will ever become a reality. So many of us get caught up in other things, or plod along taking the easy route. As we get older, not as much time lies ahead of us and we can become tormented by a nagging doubt that we are not living the life we hoped. Do we carry on, in the life we have made, and forget about our dreams - or do we take a new path and make changes? It is a dilemma that most of us face at some point - and midlife is the time when it is most prevalent, hence the well-known term 'midlife crisis'.
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