A Curious Blessing by Natalie Weaver

A few years back, I turned forty years old. On the cusp of this landmark birthday, I wrote about the stigma of so-called midlife crises.  I resisted the idea that changes associated with midlife should be mocked, when indeed many of those changes actually represent something like birth itself.  I have come to think, however, that I was perhaps naïve in my wild embrace of midlife self-birthing.  I still believe what I said before, basically, which was that midlife occasions opportunity for self-knowledge in a way that is largely inaccessible to babies, children, adolescents, and novice adults.  What I could not have known a few years back is how much it costs to answer the waking self’s summons.

In the years since I first started thinking about myself as a person in midlife, I have experienced a trifecta of sweeping changes in work, family, and health.  My sense of self has been destabilized, and, even more, what I value has changed.  In ways, I do not recognize myself, while in others, I do not recognize the girl in the photographs around my house.  It seems like she was always hiding beneath her Mona Lisa smile the woman that would show up in a few decades.  All these disillusionments!  All these decisions!  All this stuff in my kitchen and basement! Continue reading “A Curious Blessing by Natalie Weaver”

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