The truth is, I’m going through a 1/3 life crisis. I don’t know if it’s knowing 35 is a year away or realizing that 40 is just 6 years away, but I have lots of feelings these days about age. On Tuesday I turned 34 and while I’m overjoyed to celebrate another year of life, I find myself caught between the memories of the past and the possibilities of the future.
We hear the term “mid-life crisis” all the time. We picture the 50 year old who buys themselves a motorcycle or quits their job to start their dream business or to begin traveling. There’s a spirit of adventure when I think of a mid-life crisis, but at the core is a person who is overwhelmed by the reality that at least half of their life has come and gone.
I may not be 50, but as I turn 34 I am filled with similar emotions. My thoughts range from “What the hell am I doing with my life?” to “How the heck am I already in my mid-30’s?”. I have much to be thankful for, so much to be proud of, and yet, I am overcome by thoughts and questions as I look towards my future.
This past year was particularly difficult for me. I settled further into my role as a professional working mom with 2 kids, dealt with far too many home emergencies (hello new roof, unfixable AC, and interior flooding), and realized just how lonely life can be when you’re stuck in a overambitious routine. I truly lost myself taking care of others last year, and although I realized that months ago, I’ve remained stuck in this cycle of feeling taken advantage of and under-appreciated. It’s not a fun place to be in, but I truly believe we hold the key to our happiness and outcomes.
Birthdays are always invigorating for me. They remind me of what is important and force me to evaluate where I am and where I want to be. As I sit here today, I’m not happy with where I am at. I’m so proud of what I’ve accomplished, but I end most days feeling overwhelmed, lonely, anxious, or tired. I don’t want that anymore. I don’t want to wish away the days. I don’t want to dread what lies before more. I don’t want to miss out on these cherished moments with my kids. I don’t want to feel as though my husband and I are ships passing in the night. I don’t want to turn 40, 50, or 60 and feel as I do today. I don’t want to ask myself, “What the hell am I doing with my life”? I want to be joyful, content, motivated, appreciated, and living a purpose driven life.
What I know is that something needs to give. I am hopeful I can make small changes and see big results, but much like the person who buys a motorcycle when they turn 50, I might need to make some bigger moves in order to see bigger change. The days are flying by and truth be told, I’m a little sad to already be 34. It’s hard to believe my daughter is 4 and my son is 1. Where do the days go?
This next chapter has to be different. While it might sound extreme, there were too many days this past year where I was dying inside. Where I felt as though I had lost myself but was having to check all the boxes because of what I was responsible for. Moving forward, I know I have to stand up for myself. I know I have to do the things I love, the things I’m good at, and the things that make an impact. An impact on my own life, on my kid’s lives, and on the lives of the people I see day after day.
Life is too short, and I’m reminded of that every day, but I want to make the most of what we are given. I don’t have a crystal clear plan, but I do have goals for this next year that will take shape with each decision. Sharing my experience is something that brings joy to my life, which is one of the many reasons I absolutely love writing here on Balancing Today. I hope that my story helps others and that those experiencing a 1/3 life crisis know that they are not alone!
More to come!