“To no longer actively be dying kind of sucks,” I said to my sister recently. Which, I understand, sounds completely insane! But I knew she would understand, and I have a sneaking suspicion that some of you reading this right now will understand, too.
Is there a word for something that feels like a mid-life crisis, but it creeps in with the dawning realization that you might have more time on this earth than you ever imagined?
When, for the first time in the entirety of your existence, you can reasonably imagine yourself getting old? When you realize that you’ve completely failed to plan for retirement and old age? When you take inventory of your life and ask yourself, “What have I been doing all this time?”
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve lived a beautiful life. But for so long, my most significant endeavor in life was, well… simply staying alive.
When every day feels like a battle against time and each breath represents another little victory, the far away future doesn’t often factor into the equation. Getting through that day, that moment, that breath is what matters most.
Over the last couple years, I’ve been thinking about the future a heck of a lot more. CF is still a huge part of my daily life and will never go away (I’m typing this with shaky hands and a nebulizer lazily hanging out of my mouth while I do my morning treatment).
But the future now seems full of possibility rather than inevitable doom.
What do I want to accomplish? Why haven’t I done more with my life? How do I begin planning for things I truly never thought I’d need to? Does everyone panic when thinking about things like IRAs and 401Ks? Why does opportunity feel so heavy sometimes? Do people really live their lives feeling like they have this many choices at any given time?
What I want you (or maybe me?) to understand is that I am so incredibly grateful, and to not be actively dying is actually the coolest thing in the whole world! I honestly can’t imagine something more hopeful, happy, and delightful.
But it’s also really weird and confusing and stressful sometimes.
So, like, is there a word for that?