Midlife Crisis or Heroine’s Journey?

My 9-year old son is obsessed with Marvel characters.  Last summer, he watched all 10 million movies in 3 months so he could see Infinity Wars in the theatre and never miss a beat.  I certainly didn’t get it.

This summer, he decided I needed a “project” (he gets that from his mama), and memorizing Marvel character storylines and traits while he quizzed me was my assignment.  It’s been interesting.

As I’ve given superheroes more attention, I’ve related to the broad appeal.  Impossible underdogs rise to the occasion.  Power and humanity collide.  Stuff blows up, and just when you think all is lost, the hero has a moment of clarity to save the day.  It’s typically simple:

Be compassionate.

Connect with your friends. 

Believe in yourself.

All the stuff we tell our kiddos.

At 41, I’ve accomplished a lot, and to say I’m grateful is an understatement.  Statistically, I should have been a teen mom with a drug habit.  Instead, my Hubby and I are breaking the mold and fighting for a new generation.

Then why am I so blue?

I assumed I must be having a midlife crisis.  I’ve been questioning my life choices, and I beat myself up over every mistake.  I count the years until my kids move out and agonize over wasted time.  I work my butt off in corporate America, just to realize I love something that will never truly love me back. 

These are telltale midlife crisis symptoms, right?  Minus the sports car and boyfriend.

But as I’ve been studying these superheroes, I’ve given myself a lot more grace.  There’s not one single character who didn’t massively screw something up before ultimate victory.  There has been disappointment, narcissism, betrayal, and even death required to pivot from tragic flaws to heroism.

The Key is Clarity. 

And since us mamas are superheroes, I’ve decided their lessons are the best examples for pushing through the drama to overcome every circumstance.

  1. Anyone can be a Hero: Shazam went from being a foster kid to (arguably) more powerful than Superman.  His unlikely rise also made it more fun.  When you realize your power, enjoy it.

 

  1. Be Confident in being Unique: We are all specifically created to be ourselves.  A lot of these superheroes are mutants just trying to find a place in this human world.  Sound familiar?  PS…. most of social media represents mutants pretending to be perfect.

 

  1. Your flaws can be your greatest qualities: I’m just saying, when I turn into the Hulk, stuff gets done.

 

  1. You are not alone: Sometimes this life beats us down, and we feel the need to retreat.  But you are part of a larger community of mothers who understand and will lift you up.  Just say you need it.  Teamwork makes the dream work.  Avengers Assemble.

 

  1. Build a Lair: Create a space away from the world that lets you connect with something bigger than yourself.  No kids allowed.

 

It’s hard to admit to the struggle (see point #2), but one benefit of this life stage is caring less about what people think and more about life purpose.  It’s not about recovering lost youth, it’s about maximizing your light in this world full of shadows. 

So, let’s leave the midlife crisis to the balding billionaires.

This is my Heroine’s Journey.  Let your light shine.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”  – Kahlil Gibran

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