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A Creative Article About Reaching Midlife...

Updated on July 17, 2013
Photo Source: Author's Own Work
Photo Source: Author's Own Work

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.

Source

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.

Photo Source:  Author's Own Work
Photo Source: Author's Own Work

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.

Source

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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    • Polly C profile imageAUTHOR

      Polly C 

      6 years ago from UK

      Thank you, doctorselby, for your great comments :)

    • doctorselby profile image

      Brian Selby, Ph.D. 

      6 years ago from Maine

      Polly- Wonderful writing. Mid-life is such a sweet sorrow. I think you capture the angst and beauty of what it is to be halfway done with life. Thanks.

    • Polly C profile imageAUTHOR

      Polly C 

      6 years ago from UK

      Hi htodd, thank you for stopping by, I'm glad you liked it - and rainbows are always great, aren't they?

    • htodd profile image

      htodd 

      6 years ago from United States

      The rainbow pic is really great ..Nice hub

    • Polly C profile imageAUTHOR

      Polly C 

      7 years ago from UK

      Hi Ercolano, thank you, life can indeed be compared to the path of nature with its changing terrain and choice of direction. One moment it is cold, dull and raining, the next, beautiful sun shining down. Different routes; different choices; different passions; different phases of life that come and go. That is just the picture I had in mind when I wrote it. Thanks for stopping by :)

    • Ercolano profile image

      Sam Walker 

      7 years ago

      Yes nature is such a lovely analogy for writing about life's journey, spring summer etc; the terrains we cross and the inclemency and otherwise of life in general. Nice introspective piece.

    • Polly C profile imageAUTHOR

      Polly C 

      7 years ago from UK

      Hi Beata, we're on the path together then! Thank you for stopping by and reading, nice to meet you here :)

    • Polly C profile imageAUTHOR

      Polly C 

      7 years ago from UK

      @ carcro - yes, it is never too late to change direction and follow a dream. I was inspired to write this after realising that there are certain things I really believed I would have accomplished by this point in my life, but I have not. It's a nagging feeling, reminding me that I've got to get on with it if I ever want to, whereas in the past I thought I had all the time in the world. But, as you say, life is far shorter than we ever think it is when we are young. Of course, perspective can change as we grow older, but sometimes dreams just keep on niggling. Thank you for appreciating this hub, I'm so pleased you enjoyed it. :)

    • Polly C profile imageAUTHOR

      Polly C 

      7 years ago from UK

      @ leaderofmany - absolutely, we are on an ever-changing path with many directions and we should always have our dreams somewhere in sight. Thank you for reading :)

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 

      7 years ago from Western Australia

      I am on your path too...dear Polly...great hub, voted up:)

    • Polly C profile imageAUTHOR

      Polly C 

      7 years ago from UK

      @ jtyler, thank you for reading and for your compliments, much appreciated :)

    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 

      7 years ago from Winnipeg

      Great hub, you have to be there to really appreciate this hub, and I do. Its amazing how different your life can be with a few simple choices, but its never too late to change directions if you really want to. Life is too short not to fulfill your dreams but you have to know where you want to go. Thanks for sharing this, Voted a big Up!

    • Leaderofmany profile image

      Leaderofmany 

      7 years ago from Back Home in Indiana

      I believe that life is always changing and no matter the age we chase that dream. Life is a series of changing dreams.

    • jtyler profile image

      jtyler 

      7 years ago

      This really is a thought-provoking hub. Good job. Nice images, by the way.

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