It’s taken me many years and much boomeranging of my feelings, ideas, and thoughts to get where I am today: 40 years old and realizing that my life is truly my own now. I have the power within me to be who I am and not really care what others think of me anymore. It’s a hard road to travel, it’s been a rough road.
When you are a child, all you care about is what your friends think, your parents think (oh to disappoint your parents was the WORST thing in the world, at least it was for me), your church leaders (if you went to a church), your teachers, your neighbors…the list goes on. You grow up a little, become a teenager, begin that stepping away, that inner-rebellion, that surface “I don’t care what you think!!”..but you do, you did, didn’t you? Even when you dyed your hair that funny color or ripped holes in all of your jeans to “fit” in with your crowd…you were rebelling, but still wanting to be a part of the group, wanting to figure out how much you could get away with and still be loved and accepted. Then you get older, start having kids of your own, but you still listen to your parents, and heaven forbid you disappoint them in any way. You raise your kids the way you were raised, you don’t want to ruffle feathers, but you are still on the turning away, still feeling your way in the world, trying new things, new ideas (that may or may not be your own). You listen still to what church leaders tell you is the “right and true way” to live and find your way back to God. You don’t really question these things, not outwardly, because heaven forbid you disappoint your church family for having ideas of your own.
There comes a point though where you realize that your life is truly your own. You get to call the shots, make the decisions, (GASP) have your OWN ideas about things, and hey, the sky didn’t fall, the world is still standing, it didn’t crumble around you. You start really coming into your own and figuring out who you are…for me that was when I turned 40.
At 30 I thought “woohoo I’m an adult!! People will start taking me seriously!!”…but I didn’t take myself seriously enough, I was still of the mindset that I cared what people think, just by thinking that you see. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to be kind to people and treat others with respect, however others’ opinions of me do not dictate how I feel about myself anymore. I know I am kind, I treat mankind with respect. I love my family very much, my parents, my husband and children. The best part is I love myself now and treat myself with respect as well. I am not portraying my life as anything other than it is. I indulge in things I want to indulge in, even if people from my past would say I was going against God to indulge in those things. I don’t judge people anymore (and expect the same in return), and my personal mantra has developed into this: “to each their own”.
My life is my own now, I am living a beautiful life. Is it perfect? What is? Nothing and nobody are. I am happy with where I am and happy with my choices that have gotten me here. I know everyone is on a different journey with different circumstances in their lives, some happy, some not so much, but I wish for everyone to know peace, the kind of peace you have when you finally do realize your life is your own.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver