This Ain’t No Crisis

Screw midlife crisis.

This isn’t a crisis. It’s the furthest thing from.

It’s enlightenment. A goddamn renaissance. A beautiful soul-opening, mind-bending, heart-stopping, knee-weakening, see-it-with-eyes-wide-open awakening that has rendered me off-guard and breathless. My solar plexus is in a constant state of quiver. I cannot control a single speck of it.
I didn’t see this grand illumination coming. I didn’t feel it coming. It blindsided me.

It began in the middle of the night, with dreams so vivid I woke in a sweat of desire and confusion, committing each detail to precise memory so as not to forget, to hang on for dear life. Sleeping now means a journal and a pencil tucked under my pillow so I can scribble furiously in the dark the direction in which my subconscious is guiding me. Tender, powerful visions invade my brain at the grocery store, of all places, and force me to stand still, gripping the shopping cart for balance while standing in the produce aisle, gently testing the avocados for a little give, sniffing the melon’s core for that heady scent that promises nirvana on my tongue, not giving up on finding the sweetest one, because I’ll accept nothing less now than the absolute honey. The enlightenment comes on the highway, tears streaming down my face, not even feeling them drench my cheeks because I’m not crying. There are no sniffles, no sobs, no heaves.

I’m releasing.

I’m releasing those years of fighting the breast cancer that made me so fearful for so long I almost forgot how to breathe, how to eat, how to live, every decision driven by the sword of Damocles that swung over my head at every turn.

I’m releasing a fury upon these bureaucracies that refuse to extinguish the sexism, ageism, and ignorance that permeate them. Now, these indignities are spit in our face, the expectorate sliding down our cheeks, our furious tears washing them away, only to be drenched again and again and again. It is the price we pay for the degradation of possessing a vagina, the core of our body that provides love and pleasure and life. From the moment we are born we are taught to fiercely protect this one precious organ that is so sacred, only to have it – and us, our essence – violated by those whose delusions of grandeur and entitlement prove to us again and again that there is evil in this world, evil that is fought at the expense of our very soul.

I’m releasing from the years of fighting for justice, for my daughters who couldn’t yet fight for themselves, against the same sexism, ageism, ignorance, and delusions of grandeur and entitlement by those who assumed they had control over their adolescent bodies and brains. What they didn’t know was that for every adolescent girl there is a mother who would burn heaven and earth to ashes if you so much as even harbor a hint of hurting her.

I’m releasing from the profound effects of emotional and physical exhaustion that smothers as you discover that the only way to claim justice is to go far, far outside of yourself, so far that you have no choice but to retreat from the world so that your spine can become straighter and stronger. There was no time to grow one, as it is said. I had no time, no choice but to take the one I had and build on it. Turns out, my spine was far stronger than I ever gave it credit.

The manufacture and secretion of estrogen and even a single drop of your own power means always and forever fighting for something. Against something. For everything.

Well.

The enlightenment is the gift that comes after fighting for the justice that came at steep prices, the effects of which I will never fully reconcile. They are with me for life.

The renaissance is the shedding of the old, the archaic ideas and beliefs and stale ways of giving and receiving life and love, the good-girl ideology that was ground into me by the expectations of others who held only their own personal dreams and desires at their core. I’ve demons yet to slay, but I’m no longer afraid. I welcome them now.

The awakening is the finding of myself after helping everyone find themselves.

It was never about me.

But it is now.

If you say to me, “you’re having a little crisis, that’s all,” you should know ahead of time that these are fighting words. I’ve more than earned this enlightenment, this renaissance, this awakening and I have every earthly intention of living them through with unbridled joy. Support me in them; otherwise, your opinion means nothing to me. And in time, you may mean nothing to me as well.

These nocturnal visions of mine are still coming to me, thank the Universe, because I know I will die a little inside if they stop. And I am overjoyed that they have turned into the most delicious diurnal dreams about people I’ve not yet met and events that have not yet happened. I hold fierce hope and desire that one day, all may be revealed to me. It’s as if they were there all along, locked up within the deepest recesses of my brain, my psyche, my soul. I don’t know what specific event has unleashed them and that matters not to me. These visions are a part of me now, and they have brought joy and wonder, lust and feeling back into my life.

What a gift indeed.

Photo Credit: -Jeffrey- Flickr via Compfight cc

Katherine Silke

Katherine Silke has been a writer and stay-at-home mother since 1996, working in local journalism on a part-time and freelance basis while raising her two daughters. Prior to having her children, she taught middle-school English at an alternative school in Spring, Texas. A resident of Florida for the past 20 years, Katherine is a breast cancer survivor who collaborates with her hometown hospital in educating women on breast health and self care. She has just completed her first novel and is working on her second, in addition to dipping her toes in poetry writing.

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