The constant pressure of having to cope up with middle-aged crisis, the “Oh you’re approaching mid thirties, how has life treated you?” from a supposedly younger by age friend, the “Madam, the anti-aging rack is on the far left” by the sales woman in Health and Glow, the “If not now, then when?” question regarding marriage from the parents. The “Women lose all the good eggs by 30, you must plan a baby” from a mother of two. The “You’re becoming old, you need to think about buying a house” from a colleague who is spending 70% of his salary in EMI and the rest in trying to live a life, the “What are you doing in life? You need to aim that AVP position by next year” from a cousin sitting in a far away land trying to cope up with dollars and pounds.
All of the above sounds familiar no? Probably you’ve been put through much worse. This Mid-life crisis suddenly looks too scary. The term that sounded all swag and cool to approach has now become phobic. Whenever you need to tell people “I’m in my thirties” sounds more like sixties. From nowhere, you see too many young people around you. People who you think are far cooler and livelier than you. You try so hard to fit in every way. You enter a clothing store and the young brands do not attract you anymore. Mind drags you to the long kurtas and midnight PJ’s but the heart keeps mumbling “try that ginger outfit” “Fuchsia is your color. Go for it”
The uncontrollable need to look young is more than ever. Even more than when you thought you was young. The times during you mid twenties when you thought its cooler to say you’re thirty and now with thirty looking like a long lost friend who dropped you years ago, you are left up in the air like a hot air balloon wandering without a sense of direction. You are expected to dress in a certain way, talk in a certain way and behave in a certain way. A way that would make you look and feel like the older person in a group or family. “You should be the responsible one. Your sister looks up to you” the mother says. “You should have a check on your cholesterol and BP. Go for regular checkups” says the colleague who did all of that with the free master checkup from work when he turned 35.
The times when you comb your hair in front of the mirror and more worried about finding a silver or two than worrying in getting the fishtail right. The times when we restlessly surf for anti wrinkle creams just to be sure that we do not reach to a point of being suggested the use of one. The times when we are supposed to be the responsible adult by advising the younger gen on being well mannered and career oriented. The times when we have to get our act together and look poised as a mother to the well behaved child. The times when having to reach forty becomes the biggest hindrance in getting to forty one. Times when you need to try so hard to not look who you are. The times when our favourite formal brand trousers do not fit our greedy hip anymore and we are in a dilemma whether to buy the next size or to go back home and start running for life.
In between all this, we also need to take time once a while to check if we are doing okay. If life is supposed to be this way. If we are traveling in the same path that we devised for ourselves a decade ago. Wondering where we lost all of it. Looking at the long gone crush and thinking if life would have been the same if he/she was around. If the marriage is going as planned. Should I continue being married. If the kids are doing good. If being single is going to be okay and not considered that you aren’t worthy for a relationship. If the promotion will happen this year. If buying a house is going to help in reducing my tax numbers. If having an alone lunch is creepy. If having lesser people to deal with makes you non-socializable. If saying NO will be considered rude. If you are still a desirable catch for a twenty something guy. If having an affair will make you feel low on yourself. If being aimless at this age would be considered a loser.
So much pressure from the society to “live it”, Right? So much pressure to accept the fact that we are aging. Enough said on this on advertisements, media, blogs, and what more? So much said that, it feels like we are aging faster than the normal rate at which it should be heading at. The younger ones telling us that “you the older gen. Trends are changing” and the older ones telling us “You are the next gen and our lives were different” making you hang somewhere in the middle and wondering which ‘gen’ are we really in. It’s the neither here nor there sort of a thing.
But what is it that ‘we’, the mid-life crisis actually go through? Ever wondered? Between the chaotic next gen that is trying so hard to just there and the over analyzing older gen that is pulling us faster than a magnet, where do we belong? Or should we really belong anywhere? When the ‘trending now’ does not seem to resonate with what is trending in our mind. When the mid forties seem like the last level of temple run, we want to get there but then we are struggling so hard to survive the current level. The need for finding our foot in the one square foot mad mad world.
Be known this, if mid thirties is mid life than we are happy about having another thirty five to go. The fact that we are only half there is exciting and the adrenaline rush that there is another half that is waiting for us is even more exciting. We are finding our way. We aren’t there quite yet. No we aren’t. To those twenty something reading this, please don’t believe when people say mid-life crisis is scary. It is not. It sounds old. Throw it away through the window. When we say ‘we have been there’ we literally mean it.
We have grown in and out of relationships, its okay if you’re struggling hard to pay your bills, but please know that we are on the same page. The bills never change, the struggle never changes. It’s only the amount on the bill that is different. When you get where I’m now, I’ll leave notes for you to know that your journey will be different. You may handle this better than what I did or you may fall into pieces like I did. Either way, we have been there. Our view points on many things will differ from you, but it does not make us old, it only makes us slightly more experienced and bruised.
We still like vodka with chilly. We still party until four am. We still wear faded jeans. We still love showing off the new clothes. We still love all that you love. But, we like bigger things in life. We know what’s needed and what’s wanted and we know the difference between the both. We know all men ultimately want sex and women want it more. We know that there are some silvers peeping in to say hi but we will choose to show it off coz’ baby that’s the in thing at our age. We know we aren’t trending as much as you are, but we will watch what you are going to do.
We will watch you with hope and love.
We will watch you grow into being who we are.
We will watch you like a freshly seeded plant finding its roots to stay grounded.