I was reading a book by Joan Anderson last night "A Walk on the Beach" which is written about about her friendship with Joan Erikson (wife of Dr. Erik Erikson).
She talks about her identity crisis (or mid-life crisis) and it really hit a cord with me, which I may go on to write about.
Has anyone here gone through an identity crisis & how did you manage through it?
I don't think I have . . . but how do you know when you are at midlife if you don't know how long you will live?
A mid-life crisis is all about a review of one's life, up to the point, in which they sit and contemplate, the course their life has traveled and have issues with it. This only usually happens in people older than 40 years of age.
An identity crisis is all about not understanding or the inability to discern truth about self and struggles with it.
@Rochelle, a midlife crisis is or when it happens is based on the life expectancy of male and females.
I was a stay-at-home/home-school mom, in my mid thirties when I had my first identity crisis. With eight kids, I couldn't do it anymore, so enrolled my kids in public school (Gasp!!Horrors!!How could you do this to your family!!shock!!Outrage!!)Not only was I abandoned by my "christian friends" and my "home-school-mom" friends, I no longer knew how to define myself.
As I worked through that, I found the strength to leave a twenty year abusive marriage, which led to my second identity crisis, at 40. Through therapy, and through a lot of self help reading, I have realized that who I am has nothing to do with body type, husband, kids, friends, education.....etc, but it has to do with ME. Being the best person I can, and sharing the message of peace with those whom I meet.
Good luck with your hub.
And, since I plan to live to 111, I won't be having a mid-life crisis anytime soon.
Yes. When I began to realize there were fewer days left than I had lived my mortality began to sink in. It changed my priorities and lessened the importance of my career.
Among other things - gravity sets in, self image diminishes and I find I'm less patient than ever.
I think deeply about where I am and where I'm going just about every year.
I find that I'm very happy being single and away from all the problems that come with being around family.
That might sound cold, but I'm very happy with myself and look forward to doing as much fun things as I can before I die. To each his/her own.
I realized about ten yeas ago that I was missing most of my children's childhood. Working six days a week over twelve hours a day left little time with the family.
I quit and headed in a new direction, I started taking weeks and months at a time off to be with my family. Luckily I am in a career where a job is available at the next store, if the first one refused to take me back. Which never happened.
I lived and continue to live my life on my terms and refuse to become a worker drone waiting for retirement. I started to live my life while I was still young enough to enjoy it.
Less money but more happiness.
Good grief I seem to have one of those each year I always look at my life to see if I'm doing what I like to be doing and so far so good. That doesn't mean there haven't been challenges but I'm good right now.
Yeah, I've had one...............
Good thing I got through it without ruining my life. Just one of those things that hit me at 51. Fortunately, with therapy & long talks, I'm through it. Thank God.
I will have one when I am 50. Right now, let me cherish every minute till then
Well, I am not yet 40, though heading that way..I'm not sure if you would call it a mid-life crises, but I have increasingly nagging feelings these days reminding me about the things I always thought I would do yet haven't yet done (mostly personal achievements).
When I was younger I never worried, always assuming that one day these goals would be reached, yet now I sometimes wonder if they ever will..
When I should have been going through a mid-life crisis my life was pretty much too much of a "horror show" to be able to worry about things like my age. I've never had any identity crisis. I'm pretty "ingrained" in my identity. My problem, though, has been fighting not to lose that "identity" amidst all that "horror show". (I probably shouldn't posted here. My situation has been too bizarre for it to be compared with anyone else's, I think ).
One thing, though... I do notice that people I know who are a few years older than I am seem to be going through a mid-life crisis, so I'm wondering if mid-life crises actually come much later theses days (like 60) (which would mean mine is yet to come )
lol..the older people I know though, such as my own mum who is in her late sixties, seem to be really content and mellow, always out and about with friends and really enjoying the simple things in life, so i think there's hope!
I think with the people I know, it's more a matter that they have to get used to being 60. Maybe after they get through most of their sixties people have found a way to adjust and get used to it. I know I won't be thrilled to see sixty roll around (and I know I don't like how close it's getting).
What the people I know have said is that they don't mind the number. What they mind is that younger people see that number as older than it really is. I know one woman who won't ever tell anyone her exact age for that reason. She says, "Let them guess. They know I'm not 30, but if I say my age all of a sudden they'll see me and treat me differently; and I don't want people seeing me as being/feeling older than I do."
(and here's where someone will always say, "age is only a number" or "you're only as old as you feel". Well, no matter how old you are you're still that number; and as long that's your number you're going to have everyone younger than you thinking you're a lot older than you really are. )
I know what you're saying - you can't change your age - and I must say that I am not particularly looking forward to being 40 either, which probably sounds silly, but I think maybe it is that initial reaching of a new milestone that can come as a shock, then you get used to it..well, hopefully!
The women in my family, on my mum's side especially, have lived to their mid-nineties, so personally I really do think of 60 as quite young. And I must tell you, I was in Turkey in 1995, backpacking - it was my first holiday with my partner. We were at a bus stop one day, where there was also a bar, and got talking to this woman. She was backpacking alone and said, 'Well,I'm sixty, I'm divorced and my children are grown up so now I'm going to see the world.' I have always remembered her, and at the time I thought, 'Good on you!'
This is very good. Yes, Don't you remember when you were in Jr high school and thinking that a lot of teachers (who were not yet 40) were very old?
One of my favorite life experiences was working with blind children as a sub teacher. I was 50--but because I sat on the floor with them and enjoyed jokes and riddles, they insisted --by consensus,that I was about 35. Best joke of the day, but much appreciated.
I remember being in seventh grade and thinking sixteen-year-olds were "on the old side" I knew they weren't old, but I actually saw them as "plenty grown up" and pretty much "equal in age" to any "other adults" who didn't have gray hair.
That is sooo cool, and totally you. Great story.
Mid-life crisis? Oh dear. A professional analysed my emotional maturity as that of a 15-year-old boy.
So when people think I'm having a mid-life crisis by going back to school, little do they know I'm just going through adolescence.
Oh wow! I'd love to be a 15 year old boy again-- but what do the analysts know know if they have never encountered someone who is outside of their cumulative experience?
I did write about the blind class experience in a couple of hubs...one on on being 50, the other on.. uh ..working in blind class or something.
As an art history major, and a visual learner, I have to say that the blind children taught me a great deal.
I thought I was having one but realized my underwear was too tight.
I'd say I've been going through it for a very long time and hope to complete the transaction soon.
Mid-life and identity crisis, I think, run along the same course. I think I'm dead in the middle of one. Late 40's, tired of doing what I do and wondering who I want to be. I think I'm surround with labels "wife", "mom", "cook", "cleaner", etc. and I don't (not be be mean) want those labels so much any more.
Jane, my mom went through the same thing when she was about your age--she ended up leaving my dad, and their marriage of 27 years...
I can tell you that she realized a few years later that she'd messed up, badly. But it was too late by then--my dad had finally managed to move on with his life.
I'm not saying that that is what you're thinking, but it was like deja vu with me, reading what you wrote...I hope so much you're able to work through these feelings, and not let them make you do something you may regret later, like my mother did...
I mean this in the sincerest way possible--I hope you understand...
No, I'm not leaving. But in truth I'd love to run away I've read all of Joan Anderson's books and others like her who finally took time to examine their own lives. I think when we are stuck in the mommy & wife role, we put ourselves on the back burner. I'm tired of the back burner; I've been simmering for quite some time. I think a lot of this has come about since we've moved and I no longer have my daughter around and am living with two boys (yes my hubby is a boy too). Their interest are so far from mine - so I get stuck. Living with the two of them has been a big eye opener.
Jane, I'm not talking specifically about you because this is personal business for most women, but in general, women get to where they're running into those age-related "chemical" changes; and even the otherwise happiest woman in the world can start having thinking influenced by their own chemistry. The stress of moving probably hasn't helped.
This isn't a magic cure, but sometimes (if you don't already do this) it can help just to do a few little things for yourself - take yourself out for a nice lunch where, maybe, there are outdoor tables; buy yourself some music you really love, etc. It doesn't have to be big, but I think it has to be regularly.
Doing it right now. Left old job, old life, family and country to set a small holding in Brittany. Doing the whole back to nature, re-evaluating what's important, yep, it's a crisis all right.
How is your project coming along? I remember reading about it some time back and it seems that it was daunting.
Are your children and grandchildren in France also?
Hi Rochelle, the restoration work on the house is going great, we've almost finished an entire room! Animals are brilliant and veg patches coming up trumps and I'm bottling and pickling like crazy. Making friends in the community too. Thanks for asking. Sadly, the children and grandchildren are back in the UK and I miss them a great deal. I will be going back to the UK to support my daughter when her fella goes back to work. Can't wait to get my mits on baby William!
I've had so many crisis around me that I couldn't possibly name them all. I was too busy handling those to have the mid-life one.
How Little we would grow if never faced with the need to deal with a crisis or two!
Imagine how difficult it would be to gain those much needed wisdom lines across those bodily parts that avoided the stress tests
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