Aren’t you supposed to wait until, like, a lot later to do this?

I’ll admit, I’m not as young or energetic as I once was. 

I’m not made of magic and rubber any more, that’s for sure. 

I’m also not as cool as I thought I was. (Ouch.)

I’m hitting all the telltale signs of a midlife crisis. 

I realised that little fact at the end of summer when I was lying in the sofa, face down and with three pillows under my hips, nursing a screaming tail bone. 

I’d watched my 6-yo daughter learn to skate on her quads since the beginning of the summer.

She took to it like a fish to water. How hard could it be?

Well, I found out just hard when I, for the very first time, strapped on my own quads and stood up with what I can only call hubris.

It was comical.

The skates slid right out from under me (getting onto skates for the first time is like having the floor become a conveyor belt) and I landed smack-dab on my ass, legs stretched out in front like I’d sat down.

I hadn’t even made it out the door yet!

I hissed in pain and laughed through the tears as I got up, soldiered on to the parking lot and skated around for about 10 minutes.

When I came home the one thought playing over and over in my mind was, “I quit. I quit. I quit. I quit.”

Lying on the sofa, I was thinking I should have spent the money on stocks instead of roller-skates. At least, then I could have sat looking at the increase in my stock portfolio with a glass of wine in my hand. 

Now that sounded like a much better option.

But there I was, watching TV with my ass in the air.

And too late, I realised Alice (what I call the universe) had been telling me all along not to do this. 

The website where I was buying the skates from didn’t work for weeks. In fact, it stopped working the day I was trying to buy them the first time around. 

But I ignored the signs and powered on. 

To hell with that niggling little feeling trying to get my attention somewhere in the back.

If I’m being honest, should have stopped at skateboarding which I tried some six-ish years ago.

Because after I fell off that, I found out I was pregnant. 

But, not having learned my lesson, here I am, crashing onto my tail bone on roller skates. 

I’m feeling this one in my bones. Literally.

And I realised that this was, in fact, a midlife crisis and not just another harebrained experiment (which I’m known for) when I snapped out of it.

I had this thought, “At least I didn’t blow my money on a Porsche!” 

That’s when lightning struck me. 

Eureka! I’ve just had my midlife crisis!

And now I feel old, embarrassed for how I tried to hold on to my youth, and chastised for having had the obvious slapped back in my face. 

Or, well, ass.

My prevailing sentiment is that I give up. 

I give up trying to be cooler than I am. 

I’m old and boring and that’s just fine with me. At least it hurts less. 

I actually like how I am, I like being boring. It’s comfortable and familiar. 

Which leads me to the next realisation: I don’t want to change. 

I don’t want to do new things.

I want to do the old things I already know I love. 

I have little interest in being polite and amiable. I’m an autistic adult and I suck at small talk.

I can’t stand it when people ask me, “How are you?”

It’s such a big question! Do you mean how am I right now? Or how am I in life? Because those are vastly different things.

I like skipping the small-talk and diving in at the deep end in any conversation.

Have something you wanna talk about? Go for it!

I’ll listen until I have something to say, and then I’ll jump in.

Rather than having conversations that go like a tennis match, I love having more chaotic conversations that are more like a game of dodge ball, where we fight over who gets to throw the ball.

I just want to do what I want to do, and stop listening to people telling me I gotta try new things.

I’m old. And I like things how they are. (I’m starting to sound like Seinfeld, and he’s got decades on me.)

I suppose this has something to do with me powering through things. 

But you have to understand, my period started at age 11 — eleven! — and it was heavy and excruciating. 

I went with undiagnosed iron deficiency anaemia due to menorrhagia until just a few years ago.

That’s 24 years of debilitating cramps, fainting on my period, always feeling fatigued and like normal life was just too exhausting.

I felt like I was always letting people down and being “lazy” so I made up the difference with sugar and caffeine. Bu that just made me “fat” and “lazy”. 

And through all these years, I learned how to suffer. 

I learned how to ignore my own signs of stress and pain. Ignore my own need for rest and healing. 

I’ve been powering through because that’s what women do. 

Anything you can do, I can do while bleeding. 

While creating new life and my body is literally being attacked by a hostile entity. 

While suffering through post-partum depression, brought on by a strong reaction to morphine family drugs which I needed because after 28 hours of labour on nothing but laughing gas and delivering a breech baby, a foot slipped out of my cervix and it turned into surgery. 

That, in turn, turned into a uterine infection and another week in hospital on the morphine family drugs that caused literal waking nightmares because guess what? Feet in your vagina = bad juju.

I’m tired. I’m so tired I just want to cry. 

I’ve been powering through and trying to live up to so many standards for so long — of what it is to be a woman, what it is to be a good daughter and granddaughter, what it is to be a good mother and just a human in modern society with a brain still stuck in a way of life 10,000 years old. 

I’m done.

I may be only 38 and (hopefully) still a way off from my actual middle of life, but the crisis is real.

I have huffed, and I have puffed, and I have tried with all my might to bring this house of patriarchy down, but all I want now is to be left alone. 

I want to be a weird cat lady. 

She might be ostracized but I bet you she’s happy. Cuz she doesn’t have to worry about how to live up to expectations. 

She does that every day just by being herself and living her best crazy cat lady life.

Can I be her instead?


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Originally published in Modern Women