For the last few months, may be quite a few months, I am doing some impossibly passionate, over-enthusiastic and extremely crazy things; things that I would not have done otherwise; not even had thought of doing all my life. But, I am doing them now; why I do not know. Most of the time, I am not even aware of the aberrations, only to realize them later when I get a chance to brood over.
People who know me will vouch for it that I had never been the impulsive type. I have always taken lot of pain to keep remembering that the head rests above the heart. On several occasions the heart wanted to leap above the head traveling apparently through the throat. Writers describe these moments as the heart jumping into the throat. Instances when you get butterflies in the stomach. However, every time such a moment came, till a few months ago, the head eventually ruled.
So, off and on, it occurred to me that it was probably the mid-life crisis that has caught up with me. You know, a feeling like –“Essentials are taken care of, now what?” So, when I noticed a piece on mid-life crisis by Seema Goswami in the Hindustan Times Brunch a few weeks ago, it grabbed my immediate attention. It took me not even ten minutes to finish up the piece reading and I found it interesting.
Seema has a theory on mid-life crisis. She wrote, “it is no so much panic engendered by the thought of what you haven’t achieved (and are unlikely to) halfway through your life. It’s actually angst, kicked off by envy about all that your peers have managed to accomplish in the same period.” She says, midlife crisis is not about how you failed to live the dream you had when you were young, “its about how that joker from the back of the class seems to be living it on your behalf.” Seema’s theory says that the mid-life crisis is triggered by the single vice called envy. Nice generalization, but a generalization only, that is.
It is hard to believe there can be a theory on mid-life crisis, because in its profound prevalence and multitude of manifestation it defies the boundary of a theory. In fact, it cannot be even defined or classified. The awareness of our life begins by nurturing a dream. Some ultimately realizes that dream only to pick up another dream, and a majority of us nurtures the dream throughout our lives, never ever realizing it or not even coming closer to realizing it. The essential elements of these entire dreams are three – money, fame and power. I agree with Seema on that.
You wanted to be famous writer, a famous sports person, a famous somebody. That would have given you money, power and everything else you need. By midlife you realize, the dream slipping away. You suddenly realize you have not done anything worthwhile, noteworthy and you do not have much time left. It is already late to start again. Now you try to achieve an absurd goal, try to score. In your haste you start behaving like another human being. The only thought that preoccupies you is - What to now?
Nothing! The way your life will go on till the end has pretty much being decided already. You have already put a social value system in place, entangled sufficiently with your environment, have already chosen a philosophy of life and not much of these are going to change – may be a little modification will be there, but not drastic change. Yes, you can still have the dream. In fact, you can take up another. And live the rest of your life nurturing it. Who knows, one day you may realize it.