Ok, a few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about,”Ya know, maybe I’m having a midlife crisis?” Now, I am sure I am. Holy crow! A new phase to go through!
I am really struggling with parenting right now, and I got SO desperate that I actually listened to a self-help audiobook about teenagers while I was driving back from the Adirondacks. There it is—>
Ok, my mind is open, even though I distrust therapists on this issue because I’ve never seen a parent/teen relationship where they went to therapy and then were like,”Oh Jiminy Christmas! We are CURED!”. Maybe this guy is different. What have I got to lose?
Dr Dan has an acronym describing what makes the teenage mind wonderful, and that acronym is ESSENCE. Here we go, from the book…
“ES: An Emotional Spark is revealed in the enhanced way emotion generated from sub-cortical areas washes over the cortical circuits of reasoning. The downsides are emotional storms and moodiness; the upside is a powerful passion to live life fully, to capture life being on fire.
SE: Social Engagement emerges as teens turn more toward peers than parents, the downside being falling prey to peer pressure simply to gain membership in a group, the upside being the central importance of supportive relationships in our lives. Relationships are the key factor associated with medical and mental health, longevity, and even happiness.
N: Novelty-seeking emerges from shifts in the brain’s dopamine system with the downside of risk-taking behavior and injury, and the upside of having the courage to leave the familiar, certain, and safe home nest for the unfamiliar, uncertain, potentially unsafe world beyond.
CE: And our Creative Exploration of adolescence is found as we push against the status quo, imagining how things could be, not simply accepting them for what they are. The downside? Not just conforming to life as usual can be disorienting and stressful. The upside? The thrill and passion of discovery—and the reality that most innovations in art, music, science and technology emerge from the adolescent mind.”
Here is my self evaluation:
- Emotional Spark…I’ve got that, 110%.
- Social Engagement…I’m lacking this, but I miss it. It isn’t like I don’t care at all that I don’t have a lot of social life.
- Novelty Seeking…Oh, yeah, 600%.
- Creative Exploration…got this one, too, 100%.
So, rather than teaching me how to address the teenagers in my life, I have learned that I AM a teenager. ((((Insert dramatic, teenaged girl scream)))
Well, not awesome. It is probably preferable to be a mature adult at this age. Doctor Dan was saying that teenagers have such a passionate, zest for life that decreases as we age, and a lot of adults are jealous of that passion. Maybe so. Valid point for a lot of adults that I know, but I would say I have a ton of passion for life, a ton of novelty-seeking, emotional, anti-conformist passion.
I don’t think I’m a failure at “adulting”. I have been in a ten year relationship with my husband, we own a home and vehicles together, our kids are healthy, smart and capable. He is working for our health insurance and retirement, and I am creating positive art programs in our rural community. I don’t drink or do drugs and I’ve never been to jail. I vote. I’ve been divorced. I’ve been ill. I’ve travelled abroad. I have experienced a lot. I eat vegetables.
But man, that acronym! Lol
I find this relatable because a lot of the time, when I am talking to adults, and I start letting loose with my ideas, or my opinions, or my plans, I get the “slow blink” in response.
You know that “slow blink”? The one that adults give teenagers when they announce that they will not be wearing shoes this winter because of the patriarchy, or something else along those lines. Still, at my age, I still get a lot of slow blinks.
What?! I have IDEAS!
I feel myself changing a lot, emotionally. I feel like I might be on the brink of a lot of personal change, like a teenager.
Did you ever have a midlife crisis? Comment below!
Love and light,