This is How I Midlife Crisis

I’ve been… funky lately.

I don’t know how to explain it exactly. It all started a few months ago when I was approached by a recruiter for an AMAZING company– likely one you’ve heard of and very likely use everyday. They are huge in the space I work in. If it had been two years ago, I would have peed my pants. As it was, I was like… meh.

I went through the motions and did a few interviews, but after the second one it was pretty clear that I was not the droid they were looking for. No big deal.

But it bothered me. Because “meh” isn’t my usual response to anything. And this overall meh-ness seems to have stuck with my like a little grey cloud for the past several months. It’s not raining. But it sure as shit isn’t sunshine either.

I can’t figure it out. Since I can’t figure out what it is, I can certainly tell you what it is not.

  1. Chick. Yes, he is a handful, but I adore him– even when he pulls baby dramatics. Parenting a tiny human is hard, but on the balance I’ve found a groove that works.
  2. My job. I really love my job. I love my team. 
  3. My running. I’ve been able to get that back into my life which is amazing. It’s not like it used to be- I now squeeze it in during lunch or between meetings. But my practice is back and that means everything.
  4. My family. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but they have largely been okay. Yes, my dad has his moments, but we seem to be riding out the rough patches nicely. Any drama doesn’t involve me and is often happening hundreds of miles away.

Here are some contenders for what it might be.

  1. My home. I rent a two bedroom apartment. It works… for now. But since Chick was born, I am having a downright primal urge to “settle down.” The trouble is I don’t want to settle down where I am.  I don’t see a future here… my city is changing a lot. It’s no where for middle class people to live. Conversely, the ‘burbs are so expensive, not to mention devoid of any kind of diversity. Think lots of wealthy white people with advanced degrees. Oy.
  2. Mr. O’s family. Mr. O comes from a fairly large family, so there are family-events almost every weekend. We are obliged to go, are peppered with comments about our baby/parenting/plans to have more, and I go home to complain for the next two hours about how intrusive and weird everyone is. There is more– indeed, I could write a post on this very subject. But in summary, both Mr. O and I are interested in getting far, far away.
  3. The Northeast. I’m actually having a hard time coming to terms with this one. See I grew up in the South, but never felt at home there. I went up North for college, and felt almost instantly lighter. But now… I’m tired of the winters. I’m tired of all the people almost literally piled on top of one another. I’m tired of the strange hyper-competitiveness over “success” and want everyone to just go away.  
  4. My job. Yes, I know… I love my job. I’m also thinking I may have gone as far as I can here. I’m still waiting on an official promotion, but once I get that… What next? Also through some complete accident, I work in tech. It’s tough being a woman working in the tech industry, even when you’re not explicitly in engineering. It’s very young, white, and male… and lo! I do not identify as any of those things. They just aren’t my tribe– my people are teachers, writers, non-profit fundraisers… Tech, however, pays me a livable wage, and I am the breadwinner.

I am, by nature, a problem solver. I see the problem, and for the first time EVER I have no obvious solution. And so I embrace the thrash, hoping that one of these days my path forward becomes clear. Sorta like a magic 8 ball.



  1. My Perfect Breakdown · May 18, 2016

    I am completely confident that you will overcome this and you will figure out your next steps! 😊

  2. labmonkeyftw · May 18, 2016

    Ah the nagging discontent. It is insidious, and hard to address. I like that you made lists. Three of your four unhappy reasons are location oriented – where would you like to put down roots? Would that have options for your field or a lateral-for-vertical move within a different tech company? It is good that the big things are mostly not what is bothering you – it means you can take time to choose the next move in a thoughtful way.

    • thecommonostrich · May 19, 2016

      Have you considered being a life coach? Because you totally nailed it. Thank you, as always, for profoundly cutting through the bullshit.

  3. Pingback: I Am the Accountant | the ostrich

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