I was at an event the other day, selling and signing books when I met a man who had no intention to buy a book. Yet, for some reason or other, he stopped by my table with one of his friends. It was obvious to me that this was a man that had reached that point in his life which we call a “midlife crisis.” In his own words to me, he admitted that he had become a man he didn’t respect anymore. In all likelihood, I will find a message from him on my office phone [he took my business card] with the request to work with me on becoming a better man.
It was this chance meeting [or was it really chance?] that leads me to write about midlife crisis. This is what my friend, a Canadian Jungian analyst, Daryl Sharp had to say about midlife crisis:
“those in their middle years … who have always managed quite well, have held down a job, perhaps married and had children, and then one day find that nothing works any more. They suffer terrible moods … they have dark thoughts … their outlook is bleak. They lose energy and ambition … Life has no meaning. They hurt and have thoughts of suicide.”
These words tell the truth that some face with a midlife crisis. For others, it is not so bleak. Yet, there are things that happen to indicate a radical shift. In the world of naturism, predominantly for men, there is a vital need to shake the world up, to reinvent the wheel, to be someone else. I have one new friend, Happy Harold, who has recently become involved in the world of naturism who perhaps echoes this shift from the way it was in a textile universe, to a new way of being in the naturist universe.
This new friend shared some photos to be used with this blog post, naturist photos. He explained how he felt a surge of freedom, yet as he stated, “co-existing with this freedom and happiness is a sadness that I’m carrying inside.” I won’t say that he is suffering a midlife crisis though I will say that his choice of words provided me with an open doorway to speak to this theme that I feel touches many of us who find ourselves navigating to a new way of being in the world as a naturist.
As my new friend wondered, there is a sadness that seems to be mixed in with the freedom of being nude in nature. That sadness is about the loss of the old way of being in the world, a way of being that just doesn’t seem to fit anymore.