The World According to Renee

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Mid-Life Crisis

A few years ago, 6 to be exact, I went through a life crisis. Around the same time, I saw a segment on Oprah featuring people in their 20’s going through a similar crisis. She called it “Quarter Life Crisis”. It was around the time I got home internet, did some “research” (or internet stalking), and discovered that most of my classmates were married, had kids and had some glamourous career. At the time, I was doing casual work at Subway, had a boyfriend, didn’t want to get married or have kids, and no degree to show how smart I am.

Today my sister and I were talking. She’s almost 28, and going through the same thing. Hers was triggered by an invitation to her high school reunion. The organisers tracked her down through facebook. Looking through the guest list, she discovered a bunch of married people posting pics of their “cute little” babies. Feeling she has nothing in common with them, she declined going to the reunion (that, and she didn’t actually like any of these people at school…).

We started chatting about the opportunities we were given as children, and how we are affected by those choices today. She feels she’s missed out on a lot, is scared to try new things, and that we had a below average childhood. While our parents weren’t exactly poor, we weren’t rich either. Both parents worked full-time, we were a two car family, and we had a holiday house in central NSW. My parents also paid off their marital home when I was about 12. Don’t get me wrong, we were allowed to do things if we asked (like the time we decided we wanted to learn ballet), but we were never forced into activities. Dad suggested we do Little Athletics, but neither my sister or I are sport-inclined in any way, shape or form. We were never encouraged to do karate or piano or anything else that our friends did. Neither did we ever go on holidays.

Ah, holidays. This means that we had never been overseas (we once went interstate; my boyfriend’s family took us to the Gold Coast when I was 15) or travelled anywhere other than school camps. Simply, we had no life experience. Sadly, this has now caught up with us and we wish we were different. We wish we’d been somewhere, done something, learned something. Our parents want us to be happy and to do well; but did they give us the foundations for that?

After my recent post about getting out of deli work, I received a message from a friend. She said that her parents taught her to be grateful for what she has, take what she’s given, and scared to take risks. This meant that she had little respect for herself, leading to destructive relationships and jobs. It was only after she started demanding respect from others that her life changed. She got a degree in something scientifically medicinal, landed a fantastic husband and now has two beautiful children. She’s a role model and a great friend.

In similar news, today I saw an interview with Deepak Chopra about his new book. He was saying that changing your environment (including diet, music, TV shows and movies you watch) have an impact on your mood. While this is hardly new, it got me thinking about my brain chemicals, thoughts and patterns recently. Although my job was very physical, I wasn’t losing any weight. I was eating salads for lunch and vegies for dinner, cutting out sugar and generally getting a lot of sleep. But why was my waistline still resembling a spare tyre? My mood, of course. It’s a cycle: be happy and lose weight, lose weight and be happy… but it’s the being happy that at the moment is the hardest part.


October 28, 2009 - Posted by | Thoughts & Reflections

1 Comment »

  1. I wouldn’t say our childhool was “below average” but – dude – where were the holidays? I’m asking dad when I see him next.

    Comment by Stacey | November 3, 2009 | Reply

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