I’m turning 40 this year. Today, in fact. And honestly, I think I am going through some kind of mid-life crisis.

For the first time ever in my life, I considered walking away from my 4 children and husband. Just open the front door, walk out, and keep walking.

This is especially disheartening since I was abandoned by my father and I had thought myself better than this.

I had hoped, anyway.

There’s nothing particularly wrong. We lead a good, comfortable life. I love my children. I love my husband.

And yet. And yet.

I feel trapped. Resentful.

Angry.

Seething.

There is no declaration of wonder and awe and gratefulness like the Talking Heads song, Once in a Lifetime. “This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife.”

No.

Instead, the other day, I screamed and screamed. I couldn’t stop screaming. The screams just kept pouring out of my throat until I finally managed to stuff them back into my insides.

Swallowing my bitterness as I was taught.

Swallowing. Always swallowing.

My 22 month old baby boy just stared at me; frozen.

I can’t quite recall what happened to rip such a primal sound from my core, but I guarantee you it was not serious enough to warrant any such thing.

THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL LIFE.

THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL HOUSE.

THESE ARE NOT MY BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN.

The irony is not lost upon me: I got everything I wanted.

I have my beautiful house. I have my 4 beautiful children that I asked for and got in quick succession. I have my decent, loving husband who is not necessarily beautiful but still extremely attractive to me and at this stage in my life, what else was I expecting?

Actually, I take that back.

He is beautiful.

Who else but a beautiful man would put up with my shit without ever once martyring himself? He is a unicorn.

And yet. And yet.

I am furious.

Why am I not keeping up my end of the bargain?

I got everything (or almost everything) I wanted so why I am so sad? Why am I so lonely? Why does everything feel so bad?

Why do I feel as if I’m living a stranger’s life and everyday, I’m stuck in this slog of parenting, this endless parade of literal and figurative shit? I mean, I begged for these children but did I really think it through?

I feel as if I’m some Sheryl Crow cliche.

And it hits me.

Even if I got what I wanted (or thought I wanted), the problem is that I’m still stuck with myself. I tell myself that if just XYZ happened or my life was XYZ that I’d be ok. Everything would be fine. I’d be better. I’d be satisfied.

But it’s not true.

In the end, there I am. Still.


Virginia Duan is an author/writer and incapable of writing in brief. She swears. A lot. She also finds it almost impossible to refrain from commenting online for the sole purpose of making people admit they are idiots. Fatal flaw is fatal.

Website: https://mandarinmama.com

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