Its very trendy to speak about midlife crisis now days. Many people mostly at the end of their 20s until mid 40s feel lost, quit everything and try to find their place in life, what they like to do in the future, etc. There are several studies and articles how it is being expressed, what people feel or lack to feel.
However I would like to speak here about the reasons and also how different societies react to those.
Humans start to be more conscious about their preferences starting teenage years. Since then we start to collect information, gain experience and develop habits. However within two decades something which was favorite a while ago doesn’t please anymore as we change and the environment surrounding us changes too. Our bodies grow old and we can’t support the same routine as before. Nature forces us to change lifestyle but we don’t have knowledge about the new requirements yet, we don’t have knowledge how to be in the new environment and we are not used to those new “habits”. This pushes us into depression or crisis as we call it.
For instance growing up in a religious family, attending church every Sunday and making sure your partner has the same vision and values, disappears after a while. You might dreamed about nursing job, helping people in need and got it. After a while working 12-14 hours a day you realize that it is YOU who needs help and there is no one around for you.
What to do? Of course people react different ways, changing profession, separating from their partners, traveling the world, getting new hobbies, etc. We just need to accept this transition periods until we get used to the new lifestyle. This transformation can happen few times once around end of 20s util mid 30s and similar can be at the end of 40s up to mid 50s as our bodies get older and and we change our visions about life.
Oh, this sounds so “dramatic”, such a “hardship”. However, there is another side of the coin too.
Being from Armenia and living in Cambodia for last two years I never met a local of those countries who could think of midlife crisis. Maybe just for teasing you could ask if they are in their middle age “crisis”.
Nietzsche mentions that the will is an action between dissatisfaction to satisfaction. In fact it makes a person to take action when s/he realizes that something needs to be changed.
Dissatisfaction…this is the key word here – condition, situation which follows and accompanies them throughout life. Countries where daily and lifelong struggles are the basics and the essentials of the life. They don’t have the period when they are satisfied and now need actions to change their life for better….
There is a greater crisis here, the LIFE itself, the daily bread/rice to provide for your family. Environment changes here slower than you can imagine, greater achievement is to move from a pedestrian to an owner of transportation. To afford education for your children, next level is to be able to buy a cellphone for your son or daughter as all of their classmates have. That’s when you lose yourself but not in the field of freedom where you can quit and wander but you forget about yourself, you stop existing, that’s the crisis.
Oh, please, we don’t speak about exceptions here, well, exceptions itself proof the existence of general rules.
We must confess that this transformation periods happening in the free world where people have options to choose their profession, partners, hobbies, etc. In developing countries where people don’t have many job options or no matter what you do it hardly pays bills, where societies are so conservative that breaking up a relationship or divorce seen as tragedy people don’t have options to take off and figure out what they like to do. You know what do they do? They decide to have a baby, they “sacrifice” a human hoping s/he will bring happiness in their family. Mostly it doesnt and those kids grow up in a family seeing their parents just putting up with each other.
These two years I met many travelers who were lost, confused in their ideas and plans. They hit the road to discover the world and the mean time to recognizing themselves. To discover where their piece of puzzle fits in. And.. they travel to Cambodia, throughout their “hardest” times they spend more money in two days than the entire monthly budget of a local family. This is where you encounter the paradox of the worlds.
Please people, let’s call it LUXURY, lets call it UPGRADE of life once you CAN afford to wander through your thoughts, “struggle” to find out what is more likely you want to do.
Enjoy your “CRISIS”