Sunday, May 8, 2011

Is 34 Too Young For A Mid-Life Crisis?

Yesterday I asked some friends of mine if I was too young for a mid-life crisis.  They said, "No, of course not, you're too young."  But I haven't been feeling too good since my gall bladder tried to kill me.  I really do think I'm hitting my mid-life crisis.  So I went to the best doctor I know.  That of course is Wikipedia.  I went over the symptoms one by one.  First they listed causes, then characteristics, and finally behaviors.


Causes:

A midlife crisis could be caused by aging itself, or aging in combination with changes, problems, or regrets over:

1.  Work or career (or lack thereof.)

I have not been happy with my job.  A friend of mine said that over the road truck driving is the worst thing you can do to a person besides putting them in (rape you in the ass) prison.  I know that working for the criminals I work for is just a first step to getting a better job, but I am still making very little money compared to what I used to.  And I'm talking about working for them the first time around.  I really haven't worked this year due to a variety of circumstances, namely my illness and recovery.  But, I really don't want to go back to work. 

2.  Spousal relationships (or lack thereof.)

I know my former girlfriend Roxy will think I'm full of shit, but it hurt like Hell to break up with her.  We were supposed to get married.  I had it all planned out.  It was going to completely kick ass how I was going to propose to her.  We were supposed to have one child and adopt a Chinese girl.  Now all of that is trashed, and I don't feel one bit good about it.  I don't think I will ever get married or have any children.

3.  Maturation of children (or lack of children.)

Yeah, see above.

4.  Aging or death of parents.

I just wrote about how my last remaining Grandparent, my Grandmother, seemed old to me for the first time.  She was having trouble doing basic things, and was having a lot of trouble with her memory. 
My father retired last year, and my Mom will be retiring within a year.  I'm really realizing that my Dad is not 35 anymore. 

In the last few months I have lost two friends I went to high school with.  One was an amazing guitarist, and the other was my cello stand partner in orchestra.  I have always realized that musicians have a shorter lifespan.  Due to the gall bladder I almost joined my two friends as members of the below ground club.  It's kind of a weird phenomenon, but a lot of famous musicians have died at 27.  I have that beat by a few years, so I feel like I'm living on borrowed time.

5.  Physical changes associated with aging.

I have been getting my first gray hairs within the last few years.  In the last few months I have gotten my first gray hairs in my beard.  I hate having to look at them in the mirror every day. 
Of course, I think my gall bladder trying to kill me really set off my mid-life crisis.  I know if it were years ago, or I lived in a poorer country, I would have died.  Right now I have to face the fact that, yet again, I am living on borrowed time. 


Characteristics:

Individuals experiencing a midlife crisis have some of these feelings:

1.  Search of an undefined dream or goal.

It's funny that this is mentioned.  It reminds me of Hunter S. Thompson's failed search of the American dream in his novel, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."  Maybe I have watched too many movies.  Plots are supposed to have a beginning, middle, and an end.  My life has had none of those.  It just has kind of gone on and on.  I too have failed to find the American dream.

2.  A deep sense of remorse for goals not accomplished.

I have plenty of regrets.  Of course, I have a really good memory, so remembering the regrets come with the territory.  I look back and see so much more that I could have accomplished. 

3.  A fear of humiliation among more successful colleagues.

I do have to ask myself, why did this person become so successful, and I am struggling?  I knew two people who were pretty sucessful.  I had this secret hatred for them.  I'm not sure if it was because they didn't understand blue collar struggles, or because it seemed that life was so easy for them.  I'm not proud of myself for that.

4.  Desire to achieve a feeling of youthfulness.

I do want to do youthful things.  Play open mic nights.  Stay out late.  And a lot of other things I won't list here.  I also have to ask myself, "Why am I growing my hair out so long?"  It's not just kinda long.  It's getting out there pretty long.

5.  Need to spend more time alone or with certain peers.

I do spend a bit of time alone.  That is the life of a truck driver.  I only have a certain amount of close friends.  I had never thought about it, but I guess it's true.  But I have always been that way.  I have a small group of very close friends, and that's the way I have always liked it.


Behaviors:

1.  Abuse of alcohol.

This is one that I can say no to.  I may drink a lot of Coke Zero, but I don't touch alcohol.

2.  Acquisition of unusual or expensive items such as motorbikes, boats, clothing, sports cars, jewelry, gadgets, tattoos, piercings, etc.

Does having more guitars than I can really play count?  I mean this guitar is a little over the top:



I have been short of money due to all the guitars and guitar related stuff.  Otherwise, I totally would have gotten this:



For some reason, Honda Shadows in two-tone tend to talk to me. 

3.  Pretend acquisition of expensive items via non-authentic materials or automobile badge replacement.

I don't know what that means, but if I combine #3 with #2, I sure I will come up with me wanting a 1970 Dodge Challenger.



I guess that might also mean that I fake owning a big truck when I don't.  I only drive it for the slimey company I work for.



Look at the size of that.  I mean, it's 73 foot long.  If you think all those guys who drive big yuppie assault vehicles drive them because they have small penises, think about this:  If I drive that big a truck, how small must my penis be?


4.  Depression.

I've been taking meds for despression ever since I was 19.  I won't say that it has gotten worse, but I will say that it has changed in it's effects over time.
I also experienced a type of anxiety after the surgery.  I felt kind of naked all the time.  I didn't want to look at the scar, and I didn't want anyone else to look at the scar either.

5.  Blaming themselves for their failures.

I have always been hard on myself.  I just can't stop looking back at my life with regret.  I know hindsight is always 20/20, but man did I screw up hard.  I guess that's why may favorite saying is, "Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."  It's true.

6. Paying special attention to physical appearance such as covering baldness, wearing youthful designer clothes, etc.

I wear really cool shoes.  Does that count?  But really, I have at least 100 long sleeve, button up shirts.  I will say they are conservative, especially for todays fashions, but they are all good looking and classy.  While I may not spend a fortune on them, I do think I pay special attention to how I look.  Especially, when I wear the hat.

7.  Entering relationships with younger people (either/or sexual, professional, parental, etc.)

I don't really date much, but the last two women I have dated have been 9 years younger than me.  I never even thought about it, but it's true.

8.  Placing over importance (and possibly a psychologically damaging amount) on their children to excel in areas such as sports, arts, or academics.

Well, at least I don't have to worry about this one.  I don't have any kids.


Final analysis:

I am so ready for a mid-life crisis.  I have death, more death, a lack of money, a bad job, no female, no dog, and a hopelessness that I can't even descibe.  Man, I think I should become a country music singer.

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