Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What if Doing the Hokey Pokey Really is What It's All About?

I have been through what I lovingly call a "mid-life crisis" (for lack of a better description) at least three times in my life (thus far) - the one in my 20's, the one in my 30's and the one this year.
And it's not as though these three occurances were all that relevant (although I have learned important things about myself from each one) as my "search" has truly been ongoing for a very long time. Sadly, whatever it is I am looking for continues to elude me. 

I am not unhappy - I have a wonderful husband, child and home. And yet, there is this niggling feeling that something is missing, that I am not fulfilling some aspect of who I am.
I followed the path of the "American Dream", or did the "Hokey Pokey", to a "T" - be a good daughter, get good grades, go to college, get a degree, get a good job, get married, have children, purchase a house, buy stuff, keep up with The Jones - put your whole self in, take your whole self out, shake yourself about and turn yourself around (and repeat). This "path" was supposed to result in happiness, contentment, a strong sense of God and country. And yet, something is missing.
I had a sort of epiphany during my most recent "mid-life crisis". I realized that while I was following the path of the "American Dream", it wasn't my dream. The "path" that I followed, like Dorothy on the Yellow Brick Road, was one that I had been told I should want, but not the path that led me to happiness, contentment and fulfillment. Like a cow to slaughter, I mindlessly followed the path of materialism, debt and corporatocracy, aka the "Great American Dream".
It's troubling that it took me this long to discover that I have been following the wrong path. But even more troubling is, how will I now change the path? It's the feeling of having walked so far down a certain road that you've passed the point of no return. How do you change direction after following the same path for more than 30 years?  And how do you explain to your loved ones that what you thought you wanted - stuff, the 8 to 5 existence -isn't what you want anymore?

For me, it will be one baby step at a time. And while there is a part of me that thinks that it's too late to start over, a bigger part of me knows that if I don't at least attempt to make some changes than I may as well just resign myself to living the status quo. And I now know, I just can't be that person anymore.

So, my journey begins... I've set my first three goals - get out of debt, downsize and de-clutter. And then there is my work. I have some ideas about that, too, and this blog is part of the plan. I know this journey comes with it's share of baggage to work through, but hopefully I am up for the challenge. And I hope that the Hokey Pokey is NOT really what it's all about!

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