Grow Up In praise of aging.

Grow Up In praise of aging.

  • Words Debika Ray
  • Artwork Katrien De Blauwer

Canadian psychologist Elliott Jaques coined the phrase “midlife crisis” 55 years ago, which means the term itself is poised for a wobble of its own. It’s certainly the case that midlife crises today are more a subject of ridicule than serious psychological enquiry—they are an all-singing, all-dancing popular culture trope.  

As in films such as Sideways, Lost in Translation and American Beauty, when we visualize a midlife crisis, we see a middle-aged man confronting his swiftly vanishing youth, the looming inevitability of death and his perceived lack of achievements by making drastic changes to his life. He often responds by attempting to change the course of past decisions and striving to reclaim his youth—perhaps by quitting a serious job to pursue a dream, buying a flashy...

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