There’s the woman pickle…and the purpose pickle…and the job pickle…and the housing pickle…and the cultural wasteland pickle. I love pickles – and I have to tell you I don’t want to eat any of these.
He’s hit that period in our lives where you take a look around and go “Huh. That’s not quite what I had in mind!” No matter where you are, no matter how successful you may be – the analysis takes place. I don’t know whether it’s hormonal, or systemic, or driven by the tides or the planets or whatever, but everyone I know that has hit their post-40’s gets into it.
I think this used to be called a mid-life crisis. But apparently, given that these folks are hardly in their 50’s (and we’re all going to live to be at least a 100 and be in great shape while doing so, yah?) perhaps this would be better termed a sub-mid-inflection-point redirect analysis. I am sure some psychologist somewhere will adopt this ridiculous term and make it their own – and more power to him or her.
But back to the Divine Mr. M. He’s sort of single; sort of not. He’s dashingly good looking in that tall, Nordic Alexander Skarsgard kind of way and has no problem crooking his finger, smiling mischievously and finding instantaneous company. But it’s not just the company that speaks to his heart any more. He wants to build a relationship. With a real woman. One that cares about him and what he cares about – and that he can connect with and play with and grow old with. And, God willing – have children with. Guys get away with that even in their fifties and sixties. It’s annoying.
Because he is the Divine Mr. M, of course there is more than one choice to be considered. The European ingénue with a full career a-blossom in her native land? The steadfast but somewhat dubious former love that isn’t quite satisfied to let things be as they are? Or is there someone entirely new on the horizon that hasn’t yet appeared on the scene but that fires on all cylinders? These are the ongoing debates that we all face in the world of love. How to find it, how to nurture it... how to feed and sustain and cherish it. Daily life does not make this task easy.
And he wants a career that embodies what he’s passionate about, which includes music and art and creativity on pretty much any front. And being a spokesperson about something that turns him on. And that isn’t going to kill him, either now or when he’s too old to carry all the accoutrements that are part of his current schtick. And that doesn’t involve heights. But what he is best known and respected for (and for good reason – he is genuinely talented in several domains) is the thing that he’d be willing to abandon in a heartbeat if the passion play were to present itself. Sound familiar?
Then there is the housing and cultural wasteland pickles. He lives where there is plentiful work in his industry – not where he would prefer to live. But in this segment of our economic history – that might well be considered smart, if not optimal. And its not a complete cultural wasteland, but is unfortunately heavily weighted in ways that do not serve to pique his interest. Kind of like living in the middle of Nashville when you’re into rap. And so he spends a lot of time with his TV, his books and in the Apple store. Where, as everyone knows, you can’t even breathe the air without spending $39 a visit. (I still wonder how they do that…)
Choice is one of those actions that you need to engage in and own. You can choose to be a victim to your own inaction, but I’ve had enough experience now to to know that a lot of this does end up boiling down to timing. And preparedness. And opportunity. And stomach for risk. It’s not all choice; it’s a meld of many different elements, all of which rotate in and out of prominence at any given point.
I work for a company that believes that baby steps can take you where you want to go, even if it is going to take a long time. But in my recent conversations with the Divine Mr. M – it is clear that under certain circumstances, it can be hard to find your feet let alone tell them where to go.
We’re working on it. I send encouraging texts from the cell phone carrier cloud. He sends me pithy, and sometimes amusingly insightful tidbits back. ‘Things are looking up”, says he. “I’m on a dolly about 75’ in the air”. My stomach drops when I read this as I know he doesn’t like heights – at which point, I realize that I can I choose to believe him, and that in all likelihood, from that height it is better to look up than down. I find it hard to watch my friend’s struggle; it pains my heart – especially when you can’t physically be there to offer a shoulder or a hand.
But everyone’s pathway is their own – and owning the portion that isn’t working is just as important as celebrating the portions that are. So I applaud his distress in a certain way, and know that he’ll make those choices, find that girl, get an evangelist gig and move back where he belongs soon enough. Hopefully with a little one or two in tow. I’m looking forward to it. I miss you, my friend.