Midlife presents a logical time for self-reflection. After all, we’ve reached the halfway mark. It is the point where we reflect on what we have accomplished . . . or not. Are we happy? Have we fulfilled our dreams? Do our dreams of today match our dreams of our youth?
The answers to these questions may lead to a throat-constricting “now-or-never” moment – the instant when we realize that if we are going to alter our destiny, change better happen pronto. Rising up against this inspirational force is an equally powerful giant – reality. Obligations can encircle us in shadows so thick that the brightness of our dreams becomes obliterated. Concepts like mortgages, college tuition, health insurance, and peer expectations may loom so large that chasing dreams suddenly appears less an idealistic shift and more a landmine certain to lead to personal and professional demise.
But what if in spite of the nefarious obstacles posed by our position in life, the glimmer of our dreams was strong enough to pierce through the haze? What if we found ourselves on the other side of the dilemma? What if we landed on the side where not pursuing our dreams would prove to be our downfall rather than our salvation? Should we risk all that we have worked to achieve and the security it provides for a shot at happiness?
In contrast to what is portrayed in pop culture, a true mid-life crisis is not about shiny red convertibles or radical plastic surgery. It is not about defying youth. Nor is it really a crisis. It is a period of revelation and self-discovery. For some of us, it is a period of intense re-evaluation of who we are. Deciding whether the cost of chasing one’s dreams is worth the risk of possible failure is a choice every person must make on their own. There is no right or wrong course of action. But the consequences will last a lifetime.
A Dream Chaser