Last Wednesday night I was walking down Queen Street in the middle of Auckland city at 10 o’clock. And no, I wasn’t in a mini and fishnets, trying to supplement my income. I was walking up to Aotea Square with my Raglan Co-op Reusable Bag of groceries.
This was pretty unusual for me. Not the reusable bag, but the fact that I was still awake at 10pm. And in the city. Be that as it may, what was not unusual was the assortment of homeless people either curled up against shop windows or wandering aimlessly. One such man approached me and started telling me how great God is. He didn’t ask for money; he just put his hand on my shoulder and kept repeating, through the gap in his mouth where his front teeth once were, that God does great things for us.
I wished him equal blessings and made my way further up the street to the little Japanese hole-in-the-wall that sells matcha cupcakes. I handed over a $5 note and declined a bag for the sweet treat I was going to devour immediately. When I turned around, my blessing friend was not far from me so I took the few steps to him and gave him my $1.30 change. I then offered him half the cupcake. He told me he didn’t want half, ‘jutht a thmall piethe.’
As I was breaking off a bit, a young man stopped next to us and his eyes lit up. Naturally, I though the also wanted some of the cake. Instead, he asked, ‘Is that marijuana?’ I answered, ‘No, sweetheart, it’s a healthy cupcake.’ He looked fairly disenchanted. I thought it was funny.
What is not so funny, but equally as unexpected, is my mid-life crisis. It’s not that I thought I could go through life in some Polyanna-like unreality. It’s just that I didn’t realise the crisis would last for four years.
I want to be the glass half full person. The friend who hosts dinners and BBQs. The Energiser bunny who leaps out of bed in the morning because there is so much living to do. I was this person. Then I turned 50.
Now I have this pervading sense of dissatisfaction with my life. I’m restless, listless. Very aware that time is running out. I know that if I’m going to make any life changes – new school, new city, new country – it has to be now. Very aware that time is running out. I don’t know how to stop my churning mind or itching feet, how to get back to finding the joy in the everyday, how to be satisfied with the amazing life I have. How to be at peace.
And I’m spending so much time second-guessing, double-bluffing and self-assessing that I’m driving myself crazy and feeling exhausted. In the amusement park that is our life, I’m still on the carousel but I’ve fallen off the horse.