The next birthday is still a little ways off, and while I’m not that uncomfortable with the number itself, I am a little with the lack of achievement thus far. I’ve been having a number of thoughts that really only lead to one conclusion…I must be in the midst of my midlife crisis.
No, I’m not compelled to buy a sports car or start something with a piece of eye candy half my age, although I’m not opposed to either, 😉 but I have been thinking a lot about spirituality, my purpose, and vainly, my legacy.
I also want to cut off all my hair and do something I’ve always been too afraid to do, I want to buy a house, stop hoarding boxes in anticipation of yet another move, paint the walls and make the space my own, and at the same time I want to run away and see the world because I’m not completely weighed down by responsibility.
Maybe some of this has to do with the fact that suddenly because I have insurance, my body had decided to fall apart. My eyesight is getting worse, I’m fairly certain I have rheumatoid arthritis, and I have tears in the plantar plates of my feet. I mean, c’mon.
Sorry, back to the topic at hand.
I’ve been watching Joseph Campbell’s mini-series, “The Power of Myth” on Netflix, which I highly recommend to any writer, for the purpose of continuing my education. I’ve been struggling with a mythologically infused screenplay’s third act for some time, and thought I might find inspiration by “taking a class” with the master. Campbell is known for his books, The Hero with a Thousand Faces and The Hero’s Journey, in which he discusses the history of storytelling and the evolution of myths in cultures around the world.
Some of his comments relate to various religions, and even before watching the series, I had been entertaining the idea of studying different theologies more in-depth to not only have a better understanding of them, but to also open my mind up to the possibilities. I write stories of fantasy; a genre that allows a writer to explore real world topics in an alternate setting, and knowing more of the world can only enhance one’s writing.
Which then led me to rethink my purpose. I want to be a writer. Let me rephrase that. I want to be a professional writer, and yet I have been doing very little to cultivate that goal. My day job is getting in the way, and slowly, as time is passing, I’ve found that I’m liking it less and less. Another sign I think I’m amidst the “mid-life”. I was fairly content, not that long ago, but I’ve been rethinking the hours, which are erratic, and what it is I’m doing with the bulk of my day. To sum it up, I help people party and ensure their celebration in our venue goes smoothly. What?! I don’t even like people.
These thoughts then led to my legacy, and what I would leave behind should my time run short. Yeah, I’ve been having those thoughts too. The Sis works for the Coroner’s office, so death is a common subject in our house. And then someone we both admired, someone, despite his advanced years, a person we hoped to meet, passed away. Stan Lee. Seeing the outpouring of affection for not just him, but the legacy he created, struck a chord in me. Vanity reared its head – I want to be remembered.
Is that so wrong?
I want to create characters that people will admire, and make fanvids about. I want people to ship my characters, and tattoo my symbols on their bodies. I want to create worlds that will long survive me and be studied in film classes for years to come.
It’s pure vanity, but I realized that with age comes the confidence to be honest. At least for me. I haven’t always had this, and often times I was afraid to say exactly what I wanted for fear of the reaction, but f*ck it. If I can’t be brave in my own post, where will I be?
Now, I’m not saying I want to be famous. Visit any social media site and you’ll find that I don’t use my own likeness for the profile picture, but the truth is, I want my life to have meaning, and for me that’s through my work, my writing.
I’m tired of telling people I’m a writer, then being asked if I’ve published anything, because how can I call myself a writer without some accolade, so I have to rephrase and tell them I’m a screenwriter, so publishing doesn’t work the same way, and so I get that pity look, like, you’re over 40 and you think you’re still going to achieve your dream?! which then makes me angry and productive for about a week because I’m going to show them, and then the momentum diminishes and here I am, over 40 and angry anew that I haven’t accomplished what I intended for myself.
No wonder I’ve been escaping into video games. I’d like to say it’s the measurable progress, but that’s not entirely true. There’s so much involved on a hero’s journey that is lacking in my own life, and so, during the last couple of weeks I’ve had an interesting internal dialogue.
I’ve been reevaluating all my writing, I’ve been creating a bucket list, and I’ve come to some conclusions. One being that maybe this whole “midlife crisis” thing doesn’t have to be a negative. If I’m feeling the impulse to make changes, move forward, and get off my ass to actually work towards my goal, I should embrace it. Like the picture says, it’s my midlife re-creation.
Watch out, world!