That’s right. I often wake up in dread: a grinding in my stomach, a whirring in my head. What’s the point, I ask myself, again and again. Of getting out of bed? Much less of making the morning coffee, going to the gym, eating breakfast, being a decent wife, mother, employee.
Yes, what’s the point, I continue to ask myself. Of trying. Of living?
I used to enjoy life—aspects of it anyway. I used to look forward to all the above-mentioned things and more: seeing a great movie, writing something great (or something passable anyway), spending a simple but magical afternoon with my son, kicking up fall leaves, “date night” with my husband.
But now? Sure, things have happened in my life that, over time, have upended my sense of well-being, of things being right in the world. My sense of happiness. (What is happiness by the way? I used to know, I guess.) Then, as they say, shit happened. But it’s not this shit alone—and all its complexities—that has gotten me to this point.
Mid-life crisis. That’s probably some of what I’m going through. I’m in my mid-40s. Life hasn’t turned out the way I thought it would. The future no longer seems wide open. The options now feel limited. During those early morning awakenings, I actually feel backed into a corner. That core of myself, that self that I always relied upon, has fragmented. Stripped away might be another way to put it, though stripped away implies that there is still a raw essence left. I’m not sure that essence, that radiant core, still exists. As I said, it feels like it has fragmented, scattered. Gone, as the book and movie say, with the wind.
Do women have mid-life crises? Sure, they do. But no one really writes or talks about it. But, sure, like men, they miss feeling young and full of hope. I don’t think they go out and buy a new sports car or start an affair. Maybe, they go to some developing country and adopt a child. Well, none of those options sound feasible or attractive to me.
I’ll just muddle through and endure. That’s what I must do. I suppose it’s what I want to do, because maybe there is still enough of that core of self left that will keep me going.