Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

Revealed: The Ugly Truth Behind My Midlife Crisis

Call it what you want. The desert. The wilderness. A dry season. Sidelined. Hiddenness. Benched. Fruitless. Invisible. Void.  –Whatever you call it, it’s those periods of life when any semblance of significance appears to be only a distant memory or some desperate fantasy. I’ve been there. I live there.  For at least the past decade, this has been my dungeon.

I’m not one who enjoys bearing their soul. Yet, after reading Alicia Britt Chole’s Anonymous I felt like somebody had finally articulated my Anonymousstruggle. Reading it plunged me to a new depth of repulsive self-awareness. It’s been a couple of months since I completed the book and I have yet to get it out my mind. I’ve embraced it, debated it and challenged it. I’m anonymous and my prideful self doesn’t like it. I want to be somebody—a real (important) somebody.

It came to me osmosis-like. Without debate, I latched onto “Be all you can be.” I demanded and expected a purpose-driven life. I aimed high. I searched for significance. From the earliest stages of conscious desire I set in motion the pursuit of meaningful goals. I purposed to live a consequential life. I purposed to live a life that would achieve much. I had plans—mammoth plans. With seven years of higher education behind me I was ready to lead, impact, revolutionize and succeed. I would be somebody …for God, of course.

Well, at least I thought I would be somebody. Now, with every September comes an annual reminder of not measuring up to my potential. Turning 32 was tough; for by this age Jesus had become all He would be—certainly I would be well on my way by then too. But no. Therefore, my “arrival” was postponed. The goal changed: “When I get in my forties I will reach my prime!”  By forty I was a little smarter and could run a 10K, but significance was nowhere to be found.

I use to think “hell on earth” was hyperbole. I still do, yet it pretty well sums up my view of turning fifty and the recurring realizations of dashed dreams that have followed. Regrets abound: Failure in parenting. Failure in husbanding. Financial failure. Overweight and under-accomplished. This is a mid-life crises in overdrive. Continue reading