A very dear friend of mine came to stay with me for the weekend. It happened to be her 42nd Birthday but she was not at all happy, it wasn’t her birthday that bothered her, but how her life had turned out. She said to me that ultimately she just didn’t feel that ‘this’ is where her life was meant to take her. She then berated herself and said that clearly this was the bed that she had made and so she would just have to lie in it but she is intrinsically sad inside and it breaks my heart.
My friend has had a very challenging life and has managed to transcend it for the most part but the shadow of her experiences remain part of her and sometimes it just becomes overwhelming and she becomes sad. This impacts so detrimentally on the life that she has made for herself that at these times she appears to be trying to climb a rock face that keeps crumbling beneath her and forces her down again.
She is a talented chef, a mother to two very beautiful (inside and out) children, her husband is a good man and they love each other but still, it doesn’t seem enough for her, so she tells me. She imagined running her own business by now I think, and she has done so successfully in the past, but working for yourself can be tenuous and when kids became part of the plan she needed security and took a job working for someone else. After her children arrived she was made redundant from a job she loved and it became all about the financial struggle which,lets face it, never goes away. The anxiety of dealing with ‘life’ has stiffled her creative streak and she feels ’empty’, lonely and bored.
‘Get up, get dressed and go find your bliss’ you say? So much easier said than done. She suffers from depression, that is literally crippling at times. She wants to be happy, she yearns for it, she is thankful for her family but these things do not fulfill her. I have no sage words of wisdom to impart to her, she is my friend and I love her and when she wants me to be there then I am and when she wants time alone we have an honest enough relationship for her to say that she doesn’t wasn’t to see me, without me taking it personally.
I don’t believe that she is in the minority when it comes to feeling ‘is this where I am meant to be?’, after all isn’t this what mid life crises are made of? But my friend isn’t a statistic and she certainly can’t go out and re live her youth. I want her to be happy, I want her to see the woods for the trees but right now she can’t and its hard for her but whatever she asks of me I shall do because I think she is experiencing one of the most frightening things possible as an adult, not being in control of her own life, her destiny. Aren’t we told from an early age that we are responsible for our own achievements and future and that if we are good and work hard then we shall be bestowed with financial security and happiness? well, what about when you work hard and do your best and it just doesn’t work out? how many chances are there to ‘do over’ again? And where do you find the strength to begin again?