50! THE LIFE, LOVES & PSYCHE OF A MALE MID-LIFE CRISIS: Volume 1, The Journey - a semi-biographical emotional roller coaster ride by Cory Y Standy!


To my family & loved ones

‘There is only one way to avoid criticism
                          do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing’ (Aristotle)


‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain’ (Vivian Greene)

The concept of writing this book has been swirling around the author’s head for years. The transition from random thoughts to some kind of outline structure and then actually committing to paper and recounting the tale itself makes an elephant’s gestation period seem like the blink of an eye by comparison. Although it is at the very least a semi-autobiographical tale, all real names have been changed in order to protect the innocent and especially the extremely guilty too. As the saying goes, ‘the truth will out’. Fortunately, the truth is (from a legal perspective) a defence. There is some poetic licence in the telling of the tales, but the facts are accurate and the incidents recounted are all real events which occurred. No doubt many will speculate as to who, what, when, where, and probably even why – but that’s all part of the fun, isn’t it?

This is the story of life. It is about love and relationships; about the importance of family; about how real life and human emotions invariably mess each of these up. It looks at death, divorce and dating; losing loved ones; family feuds and other intertwined issues; grief and stress and how we seek to cope (or spectacularly fail to do so) with all that fate and fortune throws at us on our journey through life. It is a series of personal anecdotes intertwined with the author’s view of the world, both then as it happened and especially now he is older and hopefully much wiser. It is written with the benefit of hindsight. If he’d had such clarity and understanding at the time, much of it would never have happened. But he didn’t. As we all know:

‘To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid’ (Anonymous)

The aim has been to strike a balance between the main themes and recurring messages of the book, alongside some kind of chronological overview of his life events, particularly his relationships with women. The purpose being to seek to explain why he did what he did; why he made the decisions he made and if possible, to understand and explain it all more clearly now, looking back with a more rounded view of the world. It is not intended to be hugely introspective or overly personal, but more a series of examples to show how, to paraphrase the saying, rarely does each element of your life go well at the same time. Many people endure far worse in life; he knows that he has been lucky. He is grateful for all that he has had and done and hopes that these tales may even offer some help, solace, or guidance to others as they cope with some of the pain we all go through. The author is very sorry about the people he has hurt along the way, but this book is not intended as any form of excuse or attempt at personal apology (this is not the right forum for that); rather, it is an exploration of why things happened the way they did. Some things happened by choice, some by chance, fate, and circumstance. In no way should it be read with the author as a victim, and if at any stage it comes across like that, he apologises. He accepts full responsibility for all his actions, good and bad.
He is truly sorry for all the bad and accepts that:

‘Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him’  (Wayne W. Dyer)

All of the quotations which appear throughout this book have been carefully chosen by him as reflecting his views on life, perhaps best epitomised by the following:

‘Reality is we are born and then we die, whatever happens in between is up to you. Cherish every day, don’t waste a second of it’ (Rashida Rowe), and

‘In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility’ (Eleanor Roosevelt).

He has grabbed his life by the scruff of the neck and shaken it, at times far too vigorously. He reacted as he felt was appropriate at the time; he clearly got it wrong often. With the benefit of hindsight and the wisdom life’s experiences have brought him, he would have done so many things differently. But life isn’t like that. We live and learn from our mistakes and should aim to make the best of what we have, who we are, and what we want from life. There are constant extraneous factors, of course, and things happen to us that we wouldn’t chose and can’t control. But that is all part of the rich tapestry of life, isn’t it? We each are given one life to live and we choose how to live it; how to respond to things that happen to us outside our own control; and how to make the best out of whatever life throws at us. Cory is the main protagonist in his own life, never a bystander, no mere witness; he chose how to act and react throughout, undoubtedly far too strongly at times. It was always his choice how he dealt with life’s travails, especially when fate brought him some bad times. Even when lost in grief and losing our way in the world, it is up to each of us individually always to take responsibility for what we do, whether we are thinking rationally or not.

It is written in the third person, not because the author has the same egocentric pretentions of grandeur seen in many public figures, but rather because it is easier to recount tales more dispassionately like this. Let’s see if it works.