The second adolescence is in our 30s and 40s. This was what I was thinking yesterday in the gym with a hundred of young college students (in late adolescence) who were moving faster than me; yet, I was trying my best to sweat and to boost my reduced metabolism due to years of sitting. I didn’t feel old; as a matter of fact, I was grateful that I have the time and resource to exercise. At the same time, I realized that, most people in our 30s and 40s are still facing the same questions those college students are facing: Who am I? Where am I going from now? Gosh, the IDENTITY CRISIS re-surfaced!
The major difference is that we are supposed to be ADULTS!? We can “gain” more if we play the adult game “right”; we can lose more if we make mistakes. By 30s and 40s, finally, our brain is fully developed. With this “fully developed” brain, we start to see this world through more holistic lens – we finally understand how fragile we are as human beings, we are in tears with gratitude because we know the happiness won’t last long, we occasionally look at the dark side of our own unconsciousness and become scared as if we are looking at the evil eye in the Lord of Rings. With the light and darkness both exist, we feel even more lost, yet, people no longer encourage us to “explore” who you are; instead, very often, society places more rules and expectations toward all of us (just think about the mortgage….).
At the same time, more and more people wake up in mild panic attacks even though you may have your partner (or pets) sleeping next to you, and your sweet angels (kids or pets) sleeping in next room. “Is this what life all about?” “Why am I feeling this huge black hole in my chest?” “Am I doing this right”
The existential anxiety is more salient in the second adolescence stage.
Toss to all my friends in 30s and 40s (or even 50s) who are in our second adolescence stage of development…….
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