I just texted a friend — “What is my purpose? Fuck! I’m so lost.”

Taking care of my young children took up so much time and so much energy. Running from activity to activity, taking care of their bodies, failing at my workplace…I’m realizing now that I miss it. I’ve got time on my hands now and the quiet creeps up on me and the emptiness from deep within grows and engulfs me.

For years, I was up way too early, pouring cheerios and reading stories and walking to the park with the children. For years, I planned my days around their naps with incredible anxiety that I’d fail to get them to sleep. For years, I arranged babysitting with military precision so we could go to our weekly movie. For years, I pushed swings and was so bored I would cry. For years, I worked with one foot out the door in case I was needed at home. For years, I ignored my inner-life and devoted myself to their care. I mostly hated it. I dreamed of being alone with tingling wind chimes and a cup of tea and a book about a journey to India. There was always a light breeze blowing and the house was clean.

Now I have the time. The time to read and clean and think about my needs and my desires and my life, and I mostly hate it. I long for the brain with no space to consider my purpose on this earth. I want to push out the voices and quiet the criticisms and block out the questions. I want to want to read that book.

I’m 51. Identity crisis seems so banal at this age. And it’s so much more complicated as my choices are decidedly limited. Even worse — they are decidedly unlimited.

The fucking hasn’t changed anything except that I know men want to fuck me and I thought that wasn’t true. But it hasn’t made me feel beautiful, girlish, tender.

Fuck. What is my purpose?

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