I’ve been seeing this article, The New Midlife Crisis For Women, circulate in the last few days and I want to share what was my vulnerable and uncanny reaction to it.
The article describes in detail the ways our current society is set up to fail and torment women of the age bracket I’m about to enter into. Between a failing economy and failing relationship culture, both of which are rife with both sexism and ageism, prospects for women facing midlife are nightmarishly bleak. This article depicts an outcome that I’ve only imagined during the worst of bad hallucinogenic trips, like a Ghost of Christmas Future come to shock me into listening to my heart and being kind to people.
Mostly, I looked at it, shrugged, and thought, “That’s not the reality I’m creating.”
It was tempting for me to give in to the pull of the weight of the accurate unfairness the author described. Yes, so much is stacked against us. Yes, capitalism is a huge problem. Yes, sexism is a thousand-headed hydra that shows up in every facet of our lives. Yes, I express anger about these things almost every day, I work for us to be heard so things can change.
But… I don’t know… I’m certain I’m privileged in many ways, but I read this and thought, “That’s not going to be me. I may have a lot of work ahead of me, but my hope is stronger than my fear.”
I don’t know, you guys – the older I get, the better my life gets. The more shit I hack, the more I understand, the more I wake up, the more I reclaim the power that was my birthright. I was thinking today how convenient it was that in my youth I spent time in youth-valuing circles (eg, NYC nightlife, modeling) and now that I’m getting older – even when I’m happier with my looks than I’ve ever been (ohmygod I have cheekbones! and how is maintaining my weight more effortless now than it was when I was 21 and walking everywhere in NY? and how is my VOICE better than it was on my last record, which was better than the one before that?) – I’ve organically ended up in circles where older women are valued more greatly than they are in the median of society (spirituality, sex ed, traditional magick practices). How did I know to seek places I’d find comfort? What inner guidance caused me to shift paradigms in ways that would serve my happiness?
I’m going through a bit of a midlife crisis now, you could say, but it’s more of a midlife transformation – it’s only a crisis if I fight the change. Life showed up last year with a serious message of “cut the bullshit and get to work,” but I don’t have much doubt that I’ll succeed, even if I’m at times exhausted and even if I can’t quite see the end yet. Why? Well, I’ve gotten this far ok. The worst is over. I turned inward and found X marks the spot, and now I just have to keep digging.
I felt so much fear reading this piece. But the fear was “wow, SHOULD I be afraid?” And the voice in me said, “No, that’s not what you’re choosing.”
I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a jackass, sincerely. For what it’s worth, I went through enough awfulness in the first half of my life that maybe I just got it all out of the way.
But also for what it’s worth, to me, avoiding a fempocalypse like the one described here strikes me as a process of embodiment – of learning to mindfully inhabit your body so that you can achieve the intuitive emotional mastery that will give you the power of discernment, that is, the ability of choose between what feels good and what doesn’t feel good. And at the risk of sounding like I only have a hammer so everything looks like a nail, that means that this is about trauma healing. That means that creating your future is about healing your core wound.
For example, consider that perhaps my relationship with my body is better because since moving to LA to resensitize I can now taste what I’m eating, sense when I’m nourished, and feel when my body needs to move. Consider that my voice and my music are better because my hearing is better, because maybe it wasn’t actually my hearing that was damaged but my auditory sensitivity, in having dissociated from so much verbal abuse. Consider that I set an intention to heal, and now I… feel better. Which would make sense as a result of healing. Consider that some divine guidance caused me to set out to do all this just before that time that I’m supposed to start panicking.
Are the odds fair? Fuck no. Is society setting us up to succeed? Hahahahaha. Are there myriad inequities in society that intersect in ways that make this process easier for some than for others? Fuck yes there are. I’m not denying any of that.
But I think this isn’t a death sentence. I think this is avoidable. I’m navigating it right now and you guys all know I’ll share with you how I did it so you can try it my way too if you want. I’m really good at figuring shit out, and I may have a fuckton of it on my plate right now but I don’t see any reason I can’t do it.