Paul's Internet Landfill/ 2015/ Midlife Crisis

Midlife Crisis

I will never admit this publicly, but it is clear that I am headed straight towards a mid-life crisis. This is weird and unsettling: I thought I already had my midlife crisis at age 17, but by that arithmetic I should have been dead five years ago. To everyone's disappointment I am still alive, so I guess my crisis at age 17 was just a regular crisis and not a midlife one.

There are several indicators that I am about to hit a wall, and I have whined about them many times before: I am both unhappy and stuck at my job; my physical and emotional health is declining; I have lost my funny and my words; most of my extracurricular activities are unsatisfying; I am tired of and scared about aging; I no longer know how to distinguish right from wrong; and I have little to look forward to in life. As R. Crumb put it, I'm too scared to die and too scared to live. It's all boring and cliched, but it adds up to something ugly.

I am obviously dissatisfied with how I have structured my life. In some sense I am at a local maximum; materially (and maybe even emotionally) things are stable. I have a job and some income. My days are busy enough. I have a safe place to sleep at night. I am loathe to shake things up; any change will cost me stability and energy that I am reluctant to commit to. But I am deeply, deeply unhappy.

I am afraid to wish for things now, because I know that every desire comes with consequences. But without goals or future achievements I have little to live for, and life seems more and more pointless. Those few wishes I do have I do not want to articulate; some of them are childish, some of them are impossible, and some of them are embarrassing.

I expect that my mid-life crisis will be triggered by losing my job. I expect that the crisis will be obvious to me in retrospect. I expect that I will be worse off materially, socially, and emotionally after the crisis than I was before. Beyond that, I do not know what will happen.