My 44th birthday seems to be approaching with unrelenting speed. And while I don't think I'm suffering from mid-life crisis, perse, I'm definitely suffering from mid-life hyper-awareness with a side of singleitis. Because nothing in my life right now is the way I thought it would be at this age. Since my divorce at age 38, I've experienced an unparalleled emotional and spiritual journey which has been a weary yet rewarding transformation. But my outer world for some reason hasn't quite caught up with my newly evolved inner world; to the extent that my lifestyle, career and relationships don't feel like a true reflection of who I am. Therein lies the crisis (err, hyper-awareness). And when I add the double-fours to the mix, everything feels so time sensitive. Like, now or never. Do or die.
First of all, I assumed that I'd still be happily married to my EX. In fact, this would've been the twelfth year into our journey toward happily ever after. The reality is, I've now been divorced (and single) as long as I was married. I'm totally cool with the divorced part. I think it's exactly what I needed to jump start my life and get back on purpose. But the chronically single part? Not so much. It feels completely incongruous with my deepest desires. And, yes, until Mr. Weird Science and I put our emotional cards on the table and admit that what we have is more than just hooking up and hanging out, I consider myself unclaimed goods. Because what I want is so much more than a friends-with-benefits situation. What really appeals to me is the grounding nature of a strong partnership. Nothing beats the deep love, companionship, emotional support, and physical intimacy of a committed relationship. Plus, my spirit thrives when incubating and manifesting life goals and visions with someone I love, admire and respect.
Just as hard as shifting from married life to single life is transitioning out of my twenty year career as a professional dancer/aerialist and into something else that I might be able to wrap my soul around as passionately. Dance has always been my soul's greatest lover. Sadly, my age and aging body have become a source of bitter contention between us. In an industry that deifies youth and all its perks, I've been feeling as rejected by my dance career as I did by my EX. And just like my marriage, I never anticipated the end of my career. I'm still struggling to heal from that loss and make peace with the fact that an era is over. The days of getting paid to live out my artistic fantasies amongst the extraordinary talent and support of my peers are done. Now it's all just memories of rehearsing, performing and after-parties... creating, collaborating and discovering deeper levels of self-expression and story telling... entertaining and effecting people's lives through that gift. It's over. So now I'm bowing out as gracefully as my ego will allow; reluctantly passing the torch to a younger generation while feeling genuinely grateful for such a long and successful run.
In the midst of all this transition from married life to single life and professional dancer to a career still yet to be established, I also went from being a settled homeowner to an apartment dweller, moving three times in the past six years. Oh, and I'm back to roommate living which feels humbly reminiscent of my early 20s as a starving artist when I first moved to NYC to live the dream. It's like my life is in rewind.
So is it really too much to ask at age 44 to have a fulfilling new career, a loving life partner and a comfortable home that reflects who I am now?
Because I'm basically living proof of this undeniable truth:
"In New York, you're always looking for a job, a boyfriend or an apartment." - Carrie Bradshaw, Sex & the City