I recently sat down at my laptop to catch up on an episode of the hit television show This Is Us. The episode portrayed some of the main characters (“The Big Three”) and what happened in their lives while living in their twenties. As a woman living in the same timeframe as they were, I strangely found myself relating to those characters in a way that I never had before. As the episode closed, there was one line that stuck with me: “Life has a middle too. And middles can be the hardest, because that’s when you can get really lost. But middles can be a beginning sometimes.”
It’s an interesting concept to ponder. I’ve been living a life where lately I find myself somewhat stuck. I feel stuck about not knowing what I’m going to do when I graduate college in a few short months. I feel stuck about how my love life is virtually non-existent at the moment. I feel stuck about losing a sense of urgency and creativity that I found myself having a few months ago. It’s all really confusing to me and I actually started to wonder whether I was going through what has been deemed the “quarter-life crisis” a few years too early.
But the aforementioned quote started to put things in perspective for me. This isn’t a quarter-life crisis that I’m currently going through — it’s simply a “life middle.”
Being in a life middle means that you’re going to have all these feelings stir up inside you in a way you haven’t experienced before, confusing you beyond belief. Being in a life middle makes you want to pull your hair out or throw your favorite mug against the wall of your dorm room in frustration. Being in a life middle makes you want to curl up in bed with the intention of watching Netflix and never leaving your bed for the rest of your life. Being in a life middle means that you’re going to want to drink enough alcohol to make yourself not stand up straight and make the decision that will inevitably follow you. Being in a life middle means that you’re going to be really angry when the people you don’t like get the things that you worked so hard for and just can’t seem to achieve. There are a myriad of other things that coincide with being in a life middle that I can go on and on about, but you get the point.
I think we put upon ourselves this idea that the symptoms (if you can call it that) I listed above are going to always haunt us. No matter what we do, these feelings will be deep within our bones and we will never be able to shake them off. Believe me when I say that the thought crosses my mind pretty often, usually following with the desperate need to cry. But in the midst of all these wrongs, I have a feeling deep within me that it’s not going to stick forever.
It’s not easy to tell yourself that things will eventually change or that you can pick yourself back up after what feels like the millionth fall. It’s not easy to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful — both inside and out. It’s not easy to block out all the noise from the haters when all you’re trying to do is find yourself in this crazy world. But it really is going to get better. This “life middle” will go away eventually. Things truly will get better. As long as you believe in yourself, you’ll soon realize that this is just the beginning to the rest of your life — and that’s no middle.
And if you ever get this feeling once again, just remember — there’s nothing wrong with being in the middle. It means there’s always room for change and discovering who you are truly are…
Is that really such a bad thing?