Close your eyes and imagine your 21 year-old self. Come on, humor me and take a minute to think back to that time. What were you doing? What did you want then? How did it feel? Scary, exciting or cool? Maybe you were graduating college or working a full-time job. You may have already had a baby or about to get married.
I can remember being in college and feeling unsure about what I wanted to do once I graduated. Living in Silicon Valley, graduation meant going into a corporate job. What else would I do, right?
Now fast forward to today. What does that picture look like?
The mid 30s, 40s and sometimes 50s can trigger what we all know as a mid-life crisis. Looking back at the shoulda, coulda, woulda is not exactly the healthiest thing for the psychie. We can’t change the past, but we can learn so much from it. I used to see silver-haired men driving around in fancy cars and think that guy must be having a mid-life crisis.
Sometimes an executive throws in the towel and shifts gears to a completely different job path. I’ve seen it happen. Or, a working mom changes careers to spend more time with her child. It’s not necessarily the mid-life crisis we are so used to tossing around.
I’ve come to realize recently it’s a mid-life consciousness.
It’s the time in life when your experience leads you to a point that you realize you want to do something different and make a change. It’s that time when you know what you wanted at the age of 21 is a far cry from what you desire at 30 or 40-something. It probably doesn’t happen to everyone, but you know when it is happening to you. It’s a good thing!
Making a change is scary. Doing something different from what others think you should do is taxing. It may be others don’t understand the meaning it has in your life or they want a change as well, but afraid to go for it themselves. Who knows.
Creating something that is in line with your mid-life consciousness and passion is exciting, isn’t it?
When I think back to the college years, I remember telling the career counselor how hard it was picking a major. I remember asking, “How can I pick a major and career at eighteen when I have no idea what I want to be when I am 30?” Funny, now at 30-something, I understand even better what I already knew back then.
Our careers provide great opportunities and comforts we are so fortunate to have these days. It doesn’t mean we need to bury the passion. We have to explore, learn and accomplish different things. We can fit it in among the rest of the things that keep us busy, like the day job.
When you are passionate about something, you’ll make the time for it.