Inside: Rediscovering yourself when you’ve hit midlife and realize you’ve been lost.
Last week I spent two hours trying to clean the kitchen and organize the mess that Christmas left.
Norah Jones, Dido, and the urge to dance in the kitchen kept distracting me.
Suddenly, I was facing my twenty-something self. She had some things to say.
So, this is midlife. How the hell did I get here?
Do you ever feel like you should be rediscovering yourself?
You see, singing along that day with Norah Jones and Dido took me back to a different time in my life.
Back to when I listened to what moved me and when I did more of what made me happy.
Back when I was more….me.
The “Me” I Used to Be
Memories flooded my mind. I thought of the first house I owned.
The little hard-wood floored house, in a neighborhood that could be considered a little scary. Painstakingly decorated on a tight budget, it was eclectic and cozy.
I loved that house. It represented my independence. It symbolized me making it on my own.
That little house stood for so much. It was where I really bloomed. I spent three years discovering myself in that house.
It’s where I found:
The decor I loved.
A new job.
A new team.
A new world.
The path to confidence.
How to be alone.
How to deal with loneliness.
How to deal with loss.
Chinese Food for one.
Sex and the City. (I heart you, Carrie Bradshaw.)
It’s where I learned to dance to my own music. When did I stop listening to my own music? Or stop dancing around the house?
When did I stop listening to myself? I’ll tell you:
When I merged my life with someone else’s life.
When “I” became a “we.”
I love my life now. I love my little family and what we have built.
And I also love that other time in my life. When I was just me. The thing is, I love it more now than I did back then.
Back then, I was biding my time. I didn’t know enough about life to love it as I SHOULD HAVE.
Back then, I was waiting for life to start. Because I thought life as a “we” would be better than life as just “me.”
Is Youth Wasted on the Young?
They say that youth is wasted on the young. It’s true. Little did I know that the life I was living in my 20’s WAS the life I was SUPPOSED to be living.
That was a really good life, and I wish I would have just calmed down and LIVED it instead of worrying that I would never find someone.
I thought I needed someone to come along to make life better. The thing is, I wasted a lot of time thinking life on my own wasn’t quite enough.
I really wish that I had not had the mistaken mindset that I HAD to find someone. Because that’s just not true.
I wish I could tell my twenty-something self to chill out.
But I have something to tell my forty-something self, too:
This is a Time for Rediscovering Yourself Again
So this is midlife, and I realized I’ve lost a part of myself. It’s different than I expected.
It seems that I have let go of the girl that listened to Norah Jones and Dido and other music that moves me. I stopped finding new artists and new outlets.
I stopped being creative and stopped spending time with myself.
It’s funny. I spent all of those years waiting for what I have now. Now that I have what I spent those years wanting, I’m asking myself,
How did I get here, anyway?
I have what I wanted, yet in getting here, I have lost a very important part of me. And that’s my fault.
I surrendered to being what I thought I should be, not what I wanted to be.
I succumbed to getting by and just getting through what life threw at me, instead of creating my own life.
Yes, so this is midlife. It’s a good place to be, but I have work to do. That’s all changing, though. Norah and Dido lit that spark that’s been buried deep down inside.
I’m going to find that girl, my former self, and dust her off and bring her with me into midlife.
I have a lot to teach her, and she has a lot she needs to do.