In the last post, my blogging pal, Charlie, left a comment saying, “...I'm thinking that your mid-life crisis is just about over.”
Now there was a comment that got me thinking.
Mid-life crisis over? Surely not? I’ve been in some kind of existential crisis virtually my entire life; I just happen to be at the right age for it to be called mid-life. The only way it was going to pass was when it became an old-age crisis.
And yet… and yet…
There’s no doubt I’m feeling considerably better about myself these days. Of course the CFS is still a pain in the butt and shit still happens, but it’s just a part of life, rather than the defining part of life.
What caused the shift from posts like this or this, was never going to be one thing, but a combination.
To begin with, there’s no doubt sunshine helps: I’ve waited 3 years for summer and damn, it’s good.
The anti-depressants have helped somewhat too. The sudden and horrific mood drops I was getting a couple of years back were more crippling than the CFS. I’m now weaned down to only 1/3 of what I was on, but these were never a cure, only a way of giving me enough space to find ways to survive.
One of the major strands has been the sudden understanding, and gradual acceptance of a way of viewing the world that makes sense of it, as briefly mentioned here, here and here. In essence, the world we experience depends on the way we are filtering it: change our filter and we change our experience. First of all, however, we have to realise we are always filtering the world and never see it “as it is”, and secondly, virtually all our filters are created either knowingly or unknowingly by other people – but we don’t realise.
Understanding this has allowed me to begin to create my own filter. It’s not an overnight thing and requires constant building and maintenance, but the result is I am freer to truly become the person I want to be.
A combination of this kind of thinking with having little enough energy just to live my life, means I’ve managed to let go of the messiah complex that’s been there since childhood. Part of me always felt I was supposed to be out there saving mankind, while not having a clue where to begin, but just felt really guilty and bad for not doing it. The weight of responsibility of the world was on my shoulders. Now I am able to accept it’s not actually up to me. Barack Obama is here instead (and boy, do I feel sorry for the poor bastard).
The final strand, which has been drawn from all these others, is setting up in business as a photographer.
By building it around the patterns of my Fatigue, allowing myself to be creative (both with the camera and the computer) and indulging my love of interacting with people, I have managed to retake control of my life and shape it in a direction I can really enjoy.
Previous businesses I’ve built have primarily been about making money in order to enjoy life. Of course if you’re not making money, you can’t then enjoy anything. And if you are making money, you don’t know how long it’s going to last so you still don’t enjoy anything.
This way, however, they enjoyment is in what I do and any money is a side effect.
So is Charlie right? Is my mid-life crisis just about over?
Maybe it is.
At least until the sun stops shining anyway...