10 things I’ve learned about myself, people & life before turning 50. I turn 50 this year and I will admit that I was feeling a little apprehensive about it, feeling a bit old and like I am irrelevant. But I think by the time the big day gets here I will be OK with it; in fact I will be proud to be 50!
I have spent most of my life trying to create the person that I thought I was supposed to be; spending many years living a complete lie and not knowing who I was at all. I spent way too much time trying to be someone I wasn’t or portray an image of someone instead of living my life and being my true self.
If I could go back in time and visit my 20 year old self I would teach her a few things about life and about herself. I think she would be surprised to see who her 50 year old self turned out to be!
10 Things I’ve Learned…..
Nothing worth Having Comes Easy – If getting what you want came easy, we would all be millionaires or living our best lives. Hard work is the key behind success and happiness. Love isn’t easy, it takes work and time. Financial stability isn’t easy, it takes work. Starting a successful business, getting an education or even getting in shape all take hard work and dedication. What I have learned; the rewards are much more meaningful when you achieve something after working hard to get it. To quote Theodore Roosevelt
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.“
2. Things Change – Our individual paths are constantly changing. Our goals and dreams evolve and change. The world we live in is continually changing. All of these changes mean we must learn to adapt. Change isn’t easy or always welcomed; but we can grow from learning how to cope with change and opening our minds to new ideas.
3. Things Aren’t Always Meant To Be – When we are young we think that if we want something bad enough we can make it happen. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. In some instances what we want may be bad for us personally, emotionally or professionally. We may want to love someone who isn’t good for us or we fight for something that just isn’t possible. As hard as it is to accept; it is best to realize that not everything that we want or desire is meant to be. I am a firm believer that things happen for a reason.
During the Darkest Times; People Can Surprise You
4. People Can Surprise Us – Just when I start to feel that there is no good left in the world some random person goes and surprises me. We hear so much on the news about crime, tragedy and disasters so we can tend to forget about the good. In the recent COVID-19 crisis I have personally witnessed kindness and sacrifice all around me. It is in these times that I am reminded how people can be good by showing kindness, caring and compassion for others during the most extreme and life changing times.
5. Debt “It”! – Americans have $13.86 trillion in consumer debt- yes I said trillion! Debt can cause added stress to your life, problems in your marriage, impact your credit score and so much more. Paying off debt can take years or even decades. We need to stop using credit cards and only purchasing what we can afford to pay for today. I sure wish had I learned that in my 20’s!
Life Lessons….In No Particular Order!
I should have stated that my 10 lessons are in no particular order because by no means are they in order of when I realized them or when I should have!
6. Time Alone – There was a time that I would have done anything to not have to be alone. But now, I enjoy my alone time immensely. It gives me time to recharge, reflect, catch up on Netflix, or do nothing at all. I recently started to incorporate self-care into my life so having alone time gives me the opportunity to do some of those activities I’ve come to enjoy.
Be proud of who you are!
7. I’m In Control – I’ve noticed that we tend to let others define our moods, our reactions and how we feel about ourselves. Take the control back and stop letting other people put you down and change how you feel about yourself. Don’t react to something someone says or does, don’t allow them to manipulate your mind, feelings and emotions or control how you think. Never give that much power to anyone. We don’t have control over people’s words, and we don’t have control over people’s behavior, but we can teach ourselves to react differently. Be the person that YOU want to be; unapologetically.it’s all about what I’ve learned
8. It’s OK to be Unpopular – In high school all I cared about was being liked and having friends. I cared about what people thought of me, thought of what I wore and what I looked like. I now realize that I don’t care if I am popular or if people like me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go out of my way to make people dislike me, however, I’m OK if they don’t. I’ve learned that I’m different, we are all different, and I’ve learned to embrace it. I’ll never be skinny or gorgeous or rich; but I will always be me. I’ve learned to push myself past my insecurities and step out of comfort zone. By doing this I’ve opened myself up to more opportunities, ideas and different people. As I always say; I am imperfectly perfect- and finally at almost 50 I’m good with that.
Not All That I’ve Learned has Been Good or Easy…
9. Not Everyone Will Understand – There are just some things that people don’t understand. An invisible illness for example. I have learned after many years of being in constant pain, some days more than others, that it is OK if the people around me don’t understand. It is OK if I am unable to do things. Because, I am the only one who can take care of my body and I am going to do just that.
I know people look at me and can’t understand why I can’t take the 2 flights of stairs and have to use the elevator instead. They wonder why I am quiet and don’t want to go out when I look healthy. I know people don’t understand . And yet, I understand that they can’t see my pain. Living with a chronic “invisible” illness is lonely sometimes and no matter how much people want to understand they just can’t because they can’t know what it feels like. I’ve learned that I don’t begrudge them for that and I’m thankful that they don’t have to understand what it feels like.
The Hardest Thing I’ve Learned….
10. Saying Goodbye to a Parent – Without a doubt the most difficult thing I’ve learned before turning 50 is that losing a parent is life changing. Saying goodbye to my dad has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Because saying goodbye was harder than I could have ever imagined. I know that he is in a better place but I just can’t get past the last few hours and the image I have of him after he took his last breath. I whispered a promise in his ear at the end and try every single day to live up to that promise. He was an amazing man and I miss him every second of every day. He chose to be my dad when I was an infant and that means more to me than anything ever could. If I could choose any dad in the world…….I’d choose you.
With 50 around the corner I hope that the next century will be better and I can live the best life possible. I know we learn something new about ourselves, life and the world around us every day so I’m looking forward to the next 50 years!