A proper midlife crisis requires drastic change. That’s what I intend to do this year.
Life has a way of just — happening. It moves on, carrying you along. After awhile, a rut begins to form. Too long in one place, doing one thing, living one way, and the rut cuts deeper, gets more comfortable, makes it harder to change course.
When I use to play Texas Holdem, we had a saying. I’d eye my opponent, set my cards down and say, “Sometimes you just gotta say fuck it,” before pushing all my chips in the pile.
That’s this year. Fuck it. Permission granted to shake things up.
It’s terrifying. Deep inside we all have these dreams, this vision of how we see ourselves. Not as we are — no, not that — but as the way we want to be, the way we’ve always seen ourselves, the versions that will sneak up as the world melts away and all the troubles and worries of the day fade into darkness. The quiet comes, and if you listen closely the truth emerges, same as it’s always been, and all that’s left as the old day fades is tomorrow and, damnit, it’s gonna be different. This time your going to make that change.
It’s terrifying, because what if you never get there, that spot where you tuck away all your hopes and dreams, that future you dream of? What if that version, that calling you’ve had for so long, remains buried, always a few steps beyond your grasp?
Or worse, what if you get there? What if you become your dream and all your left with is yourself, nowhere else to turn?
I always imagined living by the ocean. I feel the wind blowing gently off the warm water, carrying with it the taste of salt, and blowing sand getting caught between my flip flops as I nurse a drink, sitting at a table in the corner and quietly pounding away at the keys, writing an essay or a story or a novel. Or I imagine living downtown, the city moving beneath me as I work, the window on my cramped studio apartment a window into my mad little world during the day, and at night, as the sun sets, I’d descend into the world below, visiting the corner bar as the live band plays on the stage and the after work crowd shuffles in and loosens their ties, and for a few hours every night, we all enjoy the same things: good music, good drink, good company. I imagine hopping on my bike, no longer tied down by a 9-5 job, a houseful of possessions, waking up each morning and pouring over a map in the morning, asking myself, “Where should I spend the next week, next month, next year of my life?” and then leaving the map behind and just driving, going where the world takes me, guided only by a desire to see new things and new people and live.
It’s rare one gets the opportunity to live anywhere they want. I had a dream this year of living out of the three bags on my motorcycle, traveling to a new state each week, working from the road and living in 48 different states this year.
I didn’t. But it’s getting time to move. Working from home, suddenly the world is open. I can go anywhere I want.
The only question now — where do I go?