I love the quote:
‘In your 20’s, you worry about what other people think of you. In your 30’s you stop caring. In your 40’s, you realize no one spends time thinking about you anyway.’
I truly hated hearing things like this…particularly, when I was in my 20’s…and, realized that the cycle is almost unavoidable.
Come to think of it, I love this quote now. Because as much as I wanted to think like a 40 year old when I was 20, I couldn’t help myself.
I think of my 20’s as the adult version of middle school: it was a time when I was in a little bit of a panic to figure out what direction my life was going to take me, I cared a little too much about wanting to impress people with what I thought society deemed to be “impressive”, and I didn’t feel comfortable enough in my own skin to be able to find deeper meaning and real purpose in my day to day experiences.
My 30’s was more like high school: I gave up the image in my brain of who I “should” be for one that felt a lot more like who I actually “wanted” to be. Because I surrounded myself by people who made me feel comfortable with who I really was, I could relax and have some real fun. I dove down rabbit holes that tested my fears, but brought me a lot of personal satisfaction. I had discovered a freedom that allowed me to lay down a strong foundation…and, I was able to build on that.
What led me into my 40’s was this: an awareness of the fact that the older I got, the more I embraced the fact that I don’t know it all. And, more importantly, I figured out that no one expects you to know it all. Because when I realized that I didn’t need to know it all, it granted me the space I needed to be able to learn.
My 40’s, so far…at almost 43 years old…has made me more and more hungry to learn.
I want to learn how to build trust in relationships with everyone from my close friends to the strangers I meet on the beach.
I want to learn what makes organizations work better, including everything from corporations to family units.
I want to learn how to talk less, listen better, and lead people through my actions more than the words that I preach.
I want to learn how to be kinder to my body and my mind and the world around me.
I want to learn how to be more mindful and embrace gratitude for all of the incredible people and things I have in my life.
I want to learn how to be a better wife, better friend, better mother, daughter, student, and neighbor.
I don’t even know what I don’t know. And, how am I going to figure out where to even start if I keep trying to walk around the world acting like I know it all.
The one thing I do know, now that I’m really getting into my 40’s, is this: any pressure I feel in the process of all of this is self-induced. If I’m feeling competition, it’s because I’m creating that race myself. If I’m feeling frustration, impatience, or anxiety…it’s how Iam processing my experiences, not someone else doing it to me.
It’s taken me 40 years, but I’m finally actually believing that I do have a superpower: the power of my own perspective.