I'm a Midlife Adolescent
It's only teenage wasteland
After an appointment with my Doctor last week, which culminated in a scare from a high triglyceride count on a lipid panel he ordered, I found myself in another spiraling internet rabbit hole. That evening, I perused Wikipedia, learning all I could about the fatty globs of stuff coursing through my veins. One of the worst traits I inherited from my mom was her uncontrollable inclination to WebMD the shit out of any passing observation that her doctor may have mentioned to her.
Somewhere in that journey, out of random passing curiosity, I pulled up Wikipedia's article on middle age. In its opening paragraph, it had me questioning the authority I have to write this very newsletter.
You see, Wikipedia's Middle Age article opens as follows:
Middle age is the period of a human's life beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age. The exact range is subject to academic debate, but commonly, the term is used to denote the age range from approximately 40–45 to approximately 60–65.
I'm 44, which places me firmly into the earliest stage of middle age. Hell, if you go strictly by their definition, there's a slight chance that I haven't even entered middle age until next year at 45.
It suddenly dawned on me that I was just a middle-aged adolescent. I'm in that weird, awkward stage where I may not even be a fully-fledged midlifer. Just like your mouthy-ass teenager thinks they know everything there is about being an adult, here I am in a similar transitional state, thinking I can start a newsletter to lecture those 10-15 years older than I am about this midlife journey that they're on and what they should be doing with their lives.
But shit, nothing is more middle age than high cholesterol and neck pain, and now I can proudly lay claim to both of those things, which should make the gatekeepers of midlife accept my membership with open arms and receding hairlines.
The physical quirks that have manifested themselves in my body over recent years, as well as the rapidly increasing hollowness of status objects like cars, clothes, salary, or job title, have certainly been signals that I am entering a different phase of my life. I am definitely not young anymore, but not yet at that stage where I'm surrendering myself to the end.
I'm somewhere in between, somewhere in mid... life.
Aw, the hell with definitions. The hell with trying to peg down where exactly midlife begins and ends. As cliche as it sounds, midlife is a state of mind, and you'll know when you're in it. It may creep in slowly or one day blindside you like a speeding 18-wheeler. But once you're there, you'll know.
And yes, I'm definitely still a rookie in this midlife game and far from any kind of authoritative voice. I still have the whole experience of middle age in front of me. And to be honest, it's all kind of exciting. I find the new existential perspectives that midlife brings with it more cosmically true than those raving, ego-distorting years of early adulthood.
So, no, this newsletter is not an advice column. I'm not standing on my little podium in this corner of the Substack-verse lecturing to anyone but myself. These are my thoughts as I attempt to navigate the murky waters of midlife. I mean, it's right there in the title...
These are just my MidThoughts.
Where do you see yourself in this journey through midlife? Or are you questioning whether you’ve even arrived yet? Sound off in the comments! Since MidThoughts is still in its infancy, your feedback is vital in growing this community and delivering compelling content that resonates with you.
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That’s all for now. Be sure to join me back here in a short couple of weeks for another issue of MidThoughts.