How did I get here? I’ve started to drift into my early 40’s and this question increasingly enters my focus. It seems like not so long ago I was pondering my choice for college and suddenly 20+ years later I’m living the life of a divorced father of two, in a mediocre home, with half my assets to my name with what feels like my greatest entrepreneurial successes behind me.
Yes, the term mid-life crisis does occur to me. Typically, that term has a negative connotation, at least here in America. Images of a balding man in his convertable corvette, trophy wife in the passenger seat come to mind. Carl Jung and others had a different outlook around this point of our lives. They seemed to think midlife was a natural place to question everything. It’s the point in our lives where we’ve lives enough years to build experience and perspective, yet we can now see the end of the road ahead and feel the ticking of the clock. We’re no longer young and invincible, free of cares and worries. By contrast we have built lives where others depend on us, families, lovers, co-workers and community members.
I often fantasize of going back in time to do it all over again, it’s a silly game to play, I know. It feels good sometimes to lament over poor choices, to entertain what if scenarios with the privledge of 20/20 hindsight. Spending too much time in this place will surely rob us of the here and now, I know because I’m guilty of endulging.
Our past experiences and stories are constructs we use to support our narratives where we derive meaning from our lives and connect with others. While not exclusive to entrepreneurs, I’ve seen these constructs used to build our futures upon, or become subverted to cage us from our own growth. I’d love to write that I am of the group that uses my stories as supportive constructs, but that would be a lie.
It seems I’m still searching for the keys to the cages I’ve built. If and when I unlock this cage I’ll grab myself a welding torch and reshape it into a supportive scaffold for my future.