I am officially 40. . .🤯🤯
There. . I said it!
There was a time when I absolutely would NOT tell anyone how old (ahem: young) I really was. . . which in hindsight is crazy. Just because you didn't speak it aloud doesn't mean you aren't still that age 😂😂
I know. . craziness. .
And now here I am. At the start of a fresh new year AND decade. . a decade that I thought was literally ANCIENT when I was a teenager and even in my early 20's.
Back then I thought I'd be wrapping it on up as far as life experiences (don't laugh too hard at that one 😂😂)
As in 4 DECADES of LIFE. . .As in 40 trips around the sun.
Last week I found myself reflecting on those 40 trips. . and thought about some of the things I've learned along the way. The hard lessons. The not-so-obvious lessons. The painful ones. And the unexpected ones.
I also sat and pondered what I REALLY felt about turning 40. Of this big year's significance. Luckily. . . I don't FEEL "old" . . .which, now my wiser self knows that 40 isn't old by any stretch of the imagination.
When I sat to think about it. . . I actually felt. . .free. Free from alot of things that seemed to block my path along the way. A lot of those things were shifts in mindset that I've worked hard to reboot within the past year or two.
I felt an energy and (dare I say) POWER that I'm not sure I've ever felt as strongly. I felt confident in my choices. . .and I felt ready to walk away from some things and situations that no longer serve me.
I felt ready to DIG. IN.
So with allll that feeling and pondering and thinking. . . .I thought about those lessons that I mentioned I've learned along the way. . .and if I had the opportunity, what I would tell myself a decade ago (hell, even two decades ago).
Here's ten things that I would tell that young woman:
- Chase what makes you happy. - Emphasis on YOU. What makes other people around you happy just may not be what makes YOUR heart happy. And that's ok. Spend some time getting honest about what makes your heart sing. . .and chase that. Everything else should fall by the wayside. When in doubt. . .ask "Does this make ME happy? Or is this making someone else happy with my life choices?" 🤔
- Invest in positive friendships. - Good, true, solid friendships are hard to come by in a superficial world. When you find one. . cultivate it. Not just here and there text messages. . but make the time! (We're ALL busy). But the soul is rejuvenated off high vibrations - seek out that positive energy and soak it in as much as possible.
- Embrace the fact that you don't know everything. - Self explanatory. The journey is to be learned from until the day you die. You will never (NEVER) learn everything there is to know. So don't act like it. Treat each day as another opportunity to learn something new (no matter how small).
- Listen More. Talk Less. - You have one mouth and two ears. Be slower to speak, and for the love of God, don't "pretend listen" (ie - simply waiting for someone to finish their side of an argument watching their lips move without considering their point of view before launching into your tirade). . yup. . I'm still working on this one #AHitDogWillHoller 😂😂
- Don't let others project their fears upon you. - I repeat: DO NOT LET OTHERS PROJECT THEIR FEARS UPON YOU! Consider that sometimes opposition or a different point of view regarding your life's choices may be a) coming from a well-meaning heart, b) coming from a non-well meaning heart, or c) because the person is projecting their own personal fears regarding your dreams. I'll leave it at this. . .THEIR fears have nothing to do with you. Absolutely not a damn thing. So, politely thank them for their advice, and keep on down your path ❤️
- Buy the shoes. - OK. . moment of transparency here. I'm still not the greatest at this. My frugal (FRUGAL) heart just won't let me splurge like I probably should from time to time 😩😩 But, what I do mean here is. . whatever little treat you can give yourself for a job well done every once in awhile. . .DO IT!! It can be as small or as big as you can swing. Don't count out spending a little on yourself when the opportunity presents itself. To take it even further. . doesn't even have to be something that costs a lot of money! Perhaps it's your fav drink from your favorite coffee shop. A new book. A solo few hours in the park. Whatever you love. . . .make sure you give a tiny bit back to yourself for working so hard.
- Appreciate the small things. - This is definitely one I've come to realize more and more. There are so many small things around us each day that we probably barely even notice in the normal hustle and bustle of life. Earlier this year I started writing in a gratitude journal. It has been an exercise that has REALLY opened my eyes as to allll that there is to be grateful for and appreciative of. It really is eye opening. I highly recommend to try it for a few weeks if you can swing it. I set a timer for one minute and just write everything down that comes to mind (doesn't have to be a fancy journal. . you can do this in any notebook you have). I challenge you to try it and see how you feel after a few weeks! :)
- Be adventurous. See the world. - I would absolutely without a doubt tell my younger self to prioritize traveling and seeing more of the world. I think my younger self used to be under the impression that some huge amount of money is needed to travel, and that's just not the case. With some research and budgeting, it's definitely possible to travel to some pretty exotic locales.
- What others think of you is none of your business. - I would tell myself that no matter what you do. . there are some people that will not like you. And that is 100% OK. Don't waste precious time (or sleep at night) pondering the "why" or what you may or may not have done. I've found that oftentimes the reason has nothing to do with you personally. So. . . refer back to the end of #5. . .keep on down your path!
- Under no circumstances underestimate yourself (You've always been a BOSS). - This may be one of the biggest lessons. . .to never (NEVER, EVER) underestimate my capabilities. I am CONVINCED that if GOD gave you a vision, HE will give you the tools for it to come to fruition (or better yet, HE's already provided them. . .you just have to look up and around to realize it!) I also believe that the fear of doing something never truly goes away 100%. . but that the goal is to recognize the fear, acknowledge it, and do whatever it is that you're afraid of anyway. Oftentimes I've realized on the other side of it, that the fear of doing something was wayyy worse than actually doing the thing I was afraid of (go figure)!
I am soooooo grateful for the opportunity to keep learning and growing on this journey. If there were one thing I would say I kinda regret, it would be not believing #10 on my list SOONER!
Have you recently celebrated a milestone year? If so, were there any "aha" moments you had along the way? Share one or two in the comments below! ❤️
I hope to share more insights with you along the way.
Hello, 40!!!! I'm ready for ya. ❤️
- Romona 💋