It started a few weeks days ago when I learned that my dad is planning to acquire a house and lot in a few years time. Enthusiastically, he said that he’s currently dishing out contributions so that he can apply for a future housing loan. Being accustomed to government benefits, I immediately advised him to stop his contributions because it’s worthless. Even though he completes the whole contribution schedule, he simply won’t qualify for a loan. He’s simply beyond the age range requirement. 

At that moment, I had a sudden epiphany. The threat old age unexpectedly struck me. Issues about money, health, family came to me from different directions. Not that the thought didn’t strike me before but now - it’s different… 

For one thing, I’m a rockstar wannabe with rockstar lifestyle. I smoke. I drink. I work and stay up late. I live and thrive on the values passion, learning and freedom. Money and health were merely secondary to me. For years I have lived within these three tenets and I must say they did well for me. 

Yet as I have come to realize, there are age limits to almost everything, not just housing loans. I took an online test on life expectancy. And result showed that I will die at the age of 60 mainly because of my rockstar wannabe lifestyle of smoking, drinking and staying up late. 

With those figures in mind and my current lifestyle, I couldn’t disagree. I am 26 years old and I have lived like a rockstar since I could remember. 4 years from now, I’ll be 30. Come to think of it, when I reach 30 I’ve already spent half of my life expectancy.

Daunting? Yes. And in this rockstar middle age crisis, I begin to think more about the future and the meaning of life and living. When you come to think of it, it’s hard to be a middle aged rockstar wannabe especially when you notice that the clock is ticking. The sound of a ticking clock is a grim companion always reminding you that your time is running out. 

Theorists believe that middle age crisis is brought about by the idea of a “social clock.” That is when we stop thinking of how old we are and we start thinking of how old we are getting. It is the impending idea of death and old age that nags us. 

Interestingly though, I came across some studies that show that mid-life crisis is just a social label and a psychological myth. It’s not true. What we experience is actually a major life transition and we don’t experience it just once. It’s not a phase as we have come to believe. We experience it many times in our lives, when we decide what college to go to, what career to pursue, where to live, when to start a family, when to retire. That is when we try to reassess our lives and reflect on our past major life decisions and make new lifestyle changes. 

It is only a social label that people give to other people due to their unexpected lifestyle changes. It does not actually amount to a major psychological disturbance. Simply said, it’s a choice nothing more, nothing less. 

As I have come to reflect, there is one important thing that came to me --- that is --- there are times where we experience uncertainty in our life choices and we decide to make alterations. It is up to us to make these choices and that other people can make it sound like a major life crisis based on what they perceive fit based from their social clock. Mid life crisis – a myth or a reality – it’s actually up to us. 

Though it may be true that there is such a thing as a social clock, but we are the only ones who know what time is it on our clock.