Friends…I’ve turned 40. I honestly cannot even believe I’ve made it here. Looking back, I honestly wasn’t sure I’d make it to 40. While you may not know a ton about me and my history, I did face a lot of challenges growing up. I was born with asthma and my parents didn’t know it until I was almost 4. I lived with anxiety and depression which ultimately led to a suicide attempt when I was 16. I even faced a financial crisis where I had to choose to pay my mortgage or buy food for the house. Despite all this, I’m here and I have survived.
Along the way , I’ve learned a lot. I know I still need to learn some things too, though. And I purposely wanted to talk about this topic because I think as a whole, we are pushed to know everything the minute we graduate high school. Where do you want to go to college? What do you want to do for a job? Where do you want to live? Most of us don’t have a freakin’ clue where we want to go to college, what we want to do for a living or where we want to live for the rest of our lives. I know I had no clue at all. I changed my major three times, I worked in corporate for 14 years before deciding I wanted more freedom in life and even though I still in liven the state I was born, I desperately want to move to a warmer climate.
So what have I learned?
I’ve learned that anxiety and depression doesn’t have to stop you. I have lived with it my whole life and for many of those years, I was undiagnosed. I tried to go through life, living it the way other people wanted me to live. On the outside, everything looked amazing. On the inside, I was drowning in fear, hate (for myself and others), jealousy and so much negativity. After my suicide attempt, I had some therapy but not nearly enough. But what was better as my access to personal development books and materials that would help me become the person I am today. I still have anxiety and occasional bouts of depression, but I give myself grace on those days and keep taking steps forward.
I’ve learned that it’s ok to love a lot of different things. I loved dolphins for the way cared for their tribe and how they helped transform people mentally and physically. I loved reading because it would allow me to transport myself to different worlds and escape for a bit. I loved soccer because it was a team sport and it was something I could do despite having asthma. I loved fashion and coordinating outfits with accessories because it was fun and let me show my personality. And of course, I loved to keep things clean, plan and schedule my life and organize the heck out of it. I still love all of these things and even more.
I’v learned that not everyone is going to like me and I have to be ok with that. At first, I wasn’t. Plain and simple. I tried to get everyone to like me. I would say and do whatever I could just to fit in. That worked but only for so long. It wasn’t until I got to my 30s that I started to realize that I wasn’t put here to have everyone like me. I was put here to be like by a few and serve the heck out of them. As I approach my 40th year, I care less and less about who likes me because if they do like me, they’ll stick around and if they don’t like me, they won’t.
What do I still need to learn?
The biggest thing I still need to learn is patience. I’m not a very patient person and I expect the best – both for me and for the people around me. I expect things to be done right the first time, and with no mistakes. When it comes to reaching my goals, I always put too much pressure on myself and end up quitting or taking an extended break because I get burnt out. When it comes to my lack of patience with others, I can be hard headed or fly off the handle easily and that’s never a good thing for anyone involved. I’m realizing more and more that taking smaller steps can sometimes be a good thing.
I also need to learn to let loose a bit more. As someone that has a Type A personality and is an Enneagram 1, I tend to be conscious of what others think of me and hold back a bit. I have my “game face” on 24/7 and always being on can be tiring. Letting loose to me means dancing in Target if a great song comes on, laughing loudly and a heck of a lot, making an impromptu trip to the beach, going with the flow more and just having more fun in life. As I care less about what other people think, letting loose is coming easier and easier.
Another thing I need to learn is the art of DIY or Do-It-Yourself projects. I love watching all the crafty Instagrammers show off their projects made from items purchased at the Dollar Tree or innovative renovations in the home and am fascinated. I want to learn to be more creative, get my hands dirty and create beautiful things with my own hands. The first DIY project I’m going to take on is rock painting. It sounds simple, and it is, but it can bring a ton of positivity to life.
And what about what’s next? I have no idea, but my gut tells me it’s going to be something great for me, my husband and my pups. Whether that means home renovations, traveling more or moving to a new city, I’m ready for it…all of it!
Here’s my challenge to you…
I want to leave you with a challenge because I think coming into your own can be a tough process. The challenges and struggles are going to be there but who you are on the other side is what matters. You have to climb the mountain to reach the top, right? So here’s what I want you to do.
If you get an inkling to try something new, DO IT!
If you want to travel to some place you’ve never been, GO!
If you see a sweater you love but wouldn’t normally wear, BUY IT AND WEAR THE HECK OUT OF IT!
Don’t question yourself or stop yourself from having that thought. Unless it’s illegal. Get out there and explore! Find adventure and listen to what’s pulling on your heart strings. If you come into your own sooner than later, you’ll figure out who you are and who you were meant to be.