All my life I have admired those who had an affinity for the arts; people who are free about expressing themselves in unique and colorful ways. I have also been very envious of the successful ones, far and few between, however very possible. “Starving artist” comes to mind and the story of Van Gogh rings through my heart as well as every single person who has wished to be a writer, a painter, a dancer, a singer, a musician - anything beyond the 9-5er tugs on my first instincts, or perhaps my mom’s voice in my head saying, “You can’t make money doing that.” Do we have to settle for less in order to pursue our passions later? Will it be too late once we acquire the means in order to fulfill our true dreams? You can’t say that to many people in this economy and it’s very difficult if someone who has a fair paying job to just quit and start ‘finding themselves’ or start pursuing their passions without a nest egg or two or three. Even with those “successful” artists or even celebrities (actors & actresses) all have little to enormous lulls in between jobs because it’s usually not an ongoing job. Most are contracted. They’re waiting for their next gig.
What happens when we get older - when society deems us as “grown ups” and we take the 9-5er instead of persistently heading toward our real dreams? Do we keep our passions as a hobby, or do we just put them on a shelf hoping that one day, we’ll be able to bring it back onto the table again? And when life gets in the way, (a baby, life’s circumstances, illness, etc.), when do adults get to play? Vacations and a nice night out to our favorite restaurants are always nice, but sometimes it gets lost somewhere - somewhere on that very same shelf. So, our passions, our old dreams, our playtime, travel, and everything that spells out “freedom” gets stuck on this ‘waiting shelf’ if you will, until further notice. I’ve also noticed that sometimes, it takes a significant happening in our lives in order for those passion trinkets to come falling back onto the table, for instance a divorce, a realization that life is becoming shorter through illness, retirement, and so on. No one has time anymore for anything that really excites them. And more so I have seen way too many people getting “too tired” to do anything. Not enough vacation time, not enough time for themselves if they have kids, not enough time because they don’t feel well, and the list goes on.
In my own personal opinion, the best thing that can happen to someone is a mid-life crisis. Why? Because they have finally untangled their wings. It’s like they’ve woken up and realized there’s so much more than ‘this’. They have gone out and grabbed what they wanted - be it a new car, a new hair style, and perhaps, a new love life. Everything is exciting and new! Why can’t it be that way now? Why can’t we see that we don’t need to have a mid-life crisis and find everything exciting now? Most people have criticized those going through a mid-life crisis, and in my opinion, out of envy due to their own stifled life perhaps. Why not make old things new and new things a chance to learn about something different? Even if you’re married and feel like the relationship is in a slump - try rekindling it - try making it new again. And if all else fails, if the relationship is just a means so that you won’t be alone when you’re old and gray, then make changes. It’s what makes YOU happy - and not to be confused with selfishness - but a healthy balance between what you love to do, and what we all have to do in life. Too much of anything isn’t good, but we can try to at least tip the seesaw to a level where we can see both sides.
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