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Plot Twists...

I feel like I am in one.  I mean, life continues to march forward but I feel completely and totally confused about what is going on...I feel like a character in a novel who sees the threads of all the ongoing story lines and I think I know where this is all headed but then things happen that make me question everything.  

It stands to reason that any main character would be a little confused when they reach mid life.  I mean, most of us have at least one failed marriage at this point.  We have likely tried dating and failed at that repeatedly.  We are in our chosen careers, if we haven’t bailed yet, and are wondering why the fuck we ever thought this path was even in the running for careers.  Our kids are grown or about to move out.  Our parents are ailing and failing and there is little to nothing we can do about it.  Oh, and our bodies are being subjected to gravity’s depravity with a speed not unlike a Cheetah chasing down prey.  And I won’t even give voice to what is happening with the whole cognitive decline.

And this is all happening at the very same time as 25 year olds are really attractive, like more attractive than they were when you were actually 25.  And they become like some sort of forbidden fruit that will totally ruin your life if you taste it.  And you have resources you didn’t have when you were younger, but your career and family  responsibilities still tie you down in ways that you can’t really use your resources the way you want.  You wake up every single day wanting to take off to parts unknown and have an adventure.  A grand memoir worthy adventure that becomes a best seller because that is just how epic your midlife crisis becomes.

So we go to the gym to try to preserve what we have left.  We still color our hair because we can’t bear the thought of dating and looking any older than we actually do.  We dream of days that are carefree and full of sex and fun and escape.  If we are unpartnered, we still cling to the hope that someone we can live with exists out there that doesn’t drive us completely fucking nuts.  And that one day, we will be able to cash in and then cash out and not have to do our stupid jobs anymore.

Fuck the mortgage, fuck child rearing, fuck doing the daily grind, fuck it all, and really dedicate ourselves to living, some sort of middle age hedonism that doesn’t keep us out past 9 pm.

Aren’t we all kind of praying for a plot twist?

And the plot twists will come, that is for damn sure, but they are more likely to come in the form of death (our own or others we love), cancer (our own or others we love), injury (our own or others we love) and financial worries (our own or others we love) until we just accept that on the backside of life, things are grimier, and harder and so we spend a great deal of our lives and time fantasizing about all the things that are not currently happening in our lives.

Of course there are plot twists that don’t suck, but generally speaking, the older you get the more the plot twists are mired in the suckage...  That is just how the end of life goes...unfortunately.  None of us can escape old age, sickness and death. They are like three totally downer party guests that seem to infect everyone else, one person at a time until there is just this pall that falls over the party and then everyone just goes home at 7 pm.

I know, total downer today.  Sorry about that...I just have to admit that I feel stuck in this pointlessness right now.  Nothing is wrong but nothing is really right either.  I do not know how I am going to do without kids in my home.  This thing that I dreamed of is almost a reality and it doesn’t seem nearly as fun as I thought it was going to be, to be kidless and not have to parent.  My parents are close by but our interests are so divergent that spending time together is increasingly hard, they don’t want to go anywhere, and can’t do a lot of the things I want to do, and sitting around watching them do their daily living tasks is kind of like watching paint dry.  We still love to spend time together but our overlap of interests in shrinking.  Work is a fucking drag every day.  I know I am lucky to have a job and to be able to work from home and that I shouldn’t complain but I would be lying if I didn’t own that I would make a stellar retired person...for reals.

I can feel an epic plot twist coming...and I am not sure I ready for it and I cannot wait for it to get here.  This really describes my feelings about life the whole of my life.  I feel like I have spent the majority of living waiting for some new storyline, some plot twist that finally, once and for all, meets my expectation.  So far, not so good. My imagination tends to write script way better than life has so far.  And I have lived a pretty damn good life, but nothing can ever compare to the imaginary one I created in my head that now brings dissatisfaction to my every day.

And as I wait for whatever storyline is born out of my old life, I feel this increased anxiety building.  I hear the clock ticking and tocking every single day, and this universal whisper that builds to a scream, “YOU ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!”

Everyday I am somewhere between selling everything I own and taking off for parts unknown and getting 20 more cats and never leaving my house except to hike the mountains where I contemplate my own demise and how much time I have wasted on things that really didn’t matter.  Everything matters more when you feel the time crunch.  You don’t have the energy or the wherewithal to hang for things that fail to deliver, time is actually, in fact, running out, so you better fucking get busy.

I think the plot twist is actually one of those slow burning ones, more like a plot turn rather than a whole twist.  It is happening every day incrementally so that you don’t even notice that it is happening.  The main character lost in narrative and subplot.  So many activities in the daily living regime that you fail to pay attention to what is actually transpiring.

Sometimes I feel the cadence of my life mirrors that of some super highway in Germany and other times, a long country road that no one ever travels down.  And while this blog reeks of self pity and lack of gratitude for the life I have, what I am really trying to say is that it takes a lot of guts to grow older.  It is hard to look at your life and have worked so hard all your life to now be at a place where you have no idea exactly what you were working for, having fallen into a trap of your own making.

I want to be the person that unhinges all of it and takes off for parts unknown.  I want to be the one that takes life by the horns and spends the rest of her days in places that matter, with the people that matter, that are full of beauty and life affirming vistas.  And while I wish and pine for a life that is not currently mine, I do recognize that all this pining is causing me to miss the life I actually have which is actually quite lovely.

And so it occurs to me that perhaps the plot twist is learning to house and share and live with my own dissatisfactions.  Perhaps there is nothing else to do in middle age than to look at all the ways you failed to live because you were too concerned with leveling up.  And perhaps all my current conundrums and issues are really just that manifesting as something different when it really is all the same.  Perhaps the lesson I have been missing is that life is here in this moment, and no other moments are guaranteed.  So what I do today matters a great deal.  How I show up and how I do this life I have today matters incongruent with an ever burgeoning haste that can and will consume me if I am not careful.

Perhaps the plot twist I seek, is already happening, but I am so consumed by other things I fail to notice.  My head buried so far back in the past, and then in the future that I miss all the flashing warning signs that something interesting is being signaled by the great author in the sky. And if there is anything I have learned thus far in life, is that it will never be dull and boring unless that is where the lessons are.  Sometimes life’s lessons come in the form of fast paced change, and sometimes it is a slow evolution that feels like a kind of death...I absolutely believe one can be bored to death...when your life takes on a pace and tenor where every day looks the same and you have caused all the new and interesting to be bled out of it, isn’t that a kind of death in and of itself?

So I am ready for a plot twist, at least that is what I think.  Of course, when I say that, I am only thinking of the good ones, the ones that everyone posts about on social media:  the new job, the new love, the disconnected freedom available only to the very young, or the rapidly aging.  But that is perhaps the biggest delusion I have ever held onto, is that there is a time for everything in this life, and that must be adhered to, followed and supplicated to.  And as I grow older by the day and hour, I am coming to realize that the plot twists aren’t something that happens all of a sudden, no they are things that begin to build long before they come to fruition.  And with that thought, I relax back into myself and my life. Knowing that the plot twist is coming...the only uknown is whether I am going to like it or hate it.  I mean, none of us really get to choose.  Life flies at us and renders us helpless to the varied storylines of others and sometimes our plot twist is only because of our proximity to the disaster befalling our loved ones.

In truth, I don’t know how this goes.  But what I do know and what I want to honor here is that I can feel the building, I am in the gradual rising of the storyline, watching the characters fall into place, watching my own interest wax and wane.  What I know with absolute certainty is that I can feel the rising tide of change, lapping at my heels as I get on with the business of my every day life.  And while I do not know whether what is coming is good or bad, or sad or happy, or life altering or life ending, I know that I absolutely feel the twisting...again, still.

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