People often tell me how impressed they are by something I've done or admire my ability to write books or start groups or do graphic design etc. Little do they know, I second guess every single move I make! Seriously. I know it may appear that I am this gregarious extrovert but I am, at my core, an introvert who gets extremely anxious every time I put out a project or host an event. I'm a former people pleaser, so it was always important that people liked me. Which meant I wanted everyone to like and approve of things that I put out into the world. So, I always hesitated or talked myself out of doing something.
But a funny thing happened. Someone close to me hurled a harsh criticism my way and I ain't gonna lie–it was painful. But guess what? I survived. That was my first real world lesson in knowing I could survive criticism or worse (GASP!) someone not liking me. Over time that evolved into me not caring if people approved of me or my decisions. If I did my best and can look myself in the mirror with no regrets. . ..that's all that matters.
These days, regardless whether if I'm feeling anxious or afraid of being misunderstood or unliked, I do what I want to do anyway! I encourage you to do the same. Life is getting shorter don't wait!
One of the questions I ask when women submit their photos to the Face of Fifty Gallery is "What's the best thing about being in your fifties?" And the vast majority have the same reply phrased in many different ways, "freedom." Freedom to do what I want. Freedom from expectations. Freedom from caring what others think. The fifties are indeed a liberating time. It's a shame that we have to wait so long to gain this insight, wisdom, and release. But I also suppose we had to wait until the time was right. Right for us to be able to handle all that comes along with being free. We know what matters now, and we aren't so easily impressed. We know and truly understand the truest form of freedom is being able to finally be who we were meant to be all along, and that's really the best thing!
(photo credit: Amazon)
Blog for Face of Fifty Magazine