Is it a midlife crisis when you reach a certain age and discover you want something completely different out of life than what you already have? I guess some people would call it that but I don't think it is. I think it's self discovery. Over the past year and a half to five years, so much about my life has changed and it continues to change. It's scary and exciting all at the same time.
Things started to move in a different direction when my dad got sick. I dedicated a year of my life to his care. Maybe that doesn't seem like a lot, maybe it does. To me it does. Because I continue to be the go to gal for my parents. They have come to depend on me a bit more than I care to admit. And I struggle with it. I struggle with my own feelings of wishing they were more independent. They can be, they chose not to be. And I try so hard to force the issue. But you cannot teach old dogs new tricks. They are dependent. And it will only get worse. To some degree I allow it I suppose, because they will not do things for themselves. They just refuse. So my feelings are, on the one hand, resentful. Resentful that I don't have the help with them I need or the the time to pursue my own dreams because they take up a lot of my time. On the other hand, I am thankful that I am able to do things for them that they need. I hear myself thinking, "when they are gone you'll be so happy you were able to be there for them." That's true, I will be. But at what cost to my own personal well being?
Through these years since dad's illness, I felt in the back of my mind that life was passing me by. That I had nothing for myself. That I needed something for me. I had my websites, and they kept me busy. And then, all that changed. It was time to move on from the main website, the one I have had since 1998. And on January 20, I did. And when I actually did it, I felt a weight lift from somewhere deep inside. Don't get me wrong, the site was very good to me. I met some wonderful people and had some once in a lifetime experiences. But it weighed me down. It blinded me to how empty I was feeling. It masked how I was feeling inside. And now that it's gone, I feel ready to pursue new challenges. I want to do more, see more, experience more. In my own mind it seems so strange. How could ending a website bring all these feelings out of me, especially since it was something I loved? I don't claim to understand it. I know that since ending it I have wanted so much more from my own life that I didn't know I wanted before.
Changes are coming. I'm actively pursuing work. I love my little business but it's not enough for me anymore. The work is sporadic and not fulfilling. On the one hand change is terrifying. Who would hire me after being out of the work force for over 10 years? I don't want to change who I am, I want to change what I'm doing. Is my purple hair going to be a problem? Probably, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. And what if I fail? What if things don't turn out how I think they will. But the thing is, I can what if myself to death. There will always be a scary "what if" lurking somewhere. I have a pretty amazing support system and I'm really excited about the future. There is something to be said about breaking out of your comfort zone.