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Third Life Crisis

May 18, 2010

Walking down the path to an open crater at Poas during my 30th birthday trip to Costa Rica.

One of my dearest friends is moving from Atlanta. After 17 years in this city, she and her husband are moving to L.A. Her move got me thinking of all the change this year has brought, not just for her, but so many people in my life (including us).

Not just in 2010, but for some reason around August/September of last year, there was a huge shift in our life. And right now, several of my close friends (and family) are entering life-altering transition phases. I have more than one friend going through a divorce. One of my twin’s friends came out of the closet, two children and a marriage later. My brother and his family, who’ve always lived near my mother in the Kansas City area, are moving to Dallas. Not all of this is bad. Closing the door on one life, opening another.

Friends of mine, after about 5 years of trying for a baby, just had their son in December. And we, I think, are closer to what we want than we have been in years, and it took a layoff for us to figure out what that truly was.

Contemplating in Charleston, SC.

The only common link that I can hold onto is that we’re all in our thirties. In my twenties, I took so many distractions as signs; now, I’m smart enough to know the difference. Not everything means something. Is it that in our thirties we have a clearer idea of what we want and are more focused on how to get it?

Does this economy have something to do with it? That people are fed up and are making a conscious choice to weed through the self-proclaimed bull shite? To start companies, and take stock in their own desires? In my twenties the book that captured it all was Quarterlife Crisis. I read it feverishly just after college and related to it like no other. The notion of, “Awesome. I have a degree, a car payment and rent due, now what?”

Mid-life and quarterlife crises are over-reported and over-exposed. Are they just a hall pass to act like an asshole? Because, I’ve found, every age and stage has its challenges, as well as the hopefulness for the next year. But, in my life, for right now, the parallels of major shifts, bravery and grabbing onto that life you want, even if it’s some 2,000 miles away, that’s the real stuff that defines you.