Journal of My 49th Year: Growing Up

Turning 50 Coleman(I’m turning 50 next year. So for the next 12 months, I’m going to tackle different parts of what turning 50 means to me. Here’s entry number one.)

One of the best parts of getting older? Being sure enough about yourself to care less and less what other people think about you, your lifestyle and your choices.

At least that’s how I feel.

I was an insecure high school kid who lacked confidence. I was short, mousy and never thin enough. But more importantly, I wasn’t sure about my mind and what was in it. I had no opinions and never spoke up.

This changed when I went to college. At least the physical confidence did. I grew in to my looks and became happy with them. Which lifted my self-esteem. But I still didn’t speak my mind.

Through my twenties and in to my thirties, I worked, went to grad school, got married and had kids. All the usual things expected of me. By others but mostly by myself. Then my marriage failed. Making the decision to get divorced was the hardest thing that I ever had to do.

But it made me find my voice. And boy did I find it. I used to say that the older we got, the less likely we would or could change. I was wrong.

I haven’t been quiet since. I’m much more opinionated now. More likely to stand up for my choices and more importantly, for my beliefs. I still have a ways to go. There’s always room for improvement. I’ll keep evolving.

I’m less than a year away from 50. And I’ve never been more sure of who I am. More confident than ever. And if you don’t like what I have to say, that’s okay. I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea. Feel free to disagree. You won’t hurt my feelings. I’ll even listen to what you have to say. Without judgement.

Growing older has helped me realize that the younger me wasn’t free to voice her opinions because she was trying to please everybody. The older me knows that’s not possible and the only person I really have to please is myself.

Which, truth be told, isn’t always easy. I am my harshest critic.

How have you changed as you’ve gotten older?

 

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3 thoughts on “Journal of My 49th Year: Growing Up

  1. This is absolutely my favorite thing about being 52 and beyond. I am what I am, as Popeye says. I’m not at all concerned about getting people’s approval or attention. I look forward to reading more about your insights.

  2. I agree with you Jenny. You can’t make others happy until you know how to make yourself happy. Know thy self … Then become a humble giving person.

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