Navigating your way through life is a process of trial and error. Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail miserably. There are also times that require us to be humble enough to learn the lessons that the universe is trying to teach us. All my years of experience couldn't have prepared me for what I’ve encountered (so far) in my 40’s. Secretly I wished for some sort of manual to magically guide me through this thing called midlife.
One thing is for certain, I wanted to live a happier, more fulfilling and stress free life. A life that I'd always envisioned that allowed me to focus on myself and the new woman that I was becoming. I come from a generation where if you weren’t actively striving or visibly demonstrating that you had it all under control then you were failing. You had to not only look and be the best, but you had to play the part and play it well. My generation gave us no time to just be; only do, do, do.
Thank heavens the world is a little different now. People are free to express themselves and not live up to some imaginary expectation. But most importantly people are learning how to care for themselves. Mental health and self care have taken front and centre stage.
I consider myself fortunate to be in my forties in this space and time. This generation has given me the freedom to express myself, love myself, and has shown me that I really do matter. It has shown me that putting myself first is not selfish, and giving myself the time to heal is not a sign of weakness. Truth be told, I don’t think I would have experienced this much growth if I had lived in another era.
Here are some of the lessons I've learned and key takeaways for 2023:
5 THINGS I'VE LEARNED IN 2023
1. You don’t have to be superwoman: I’ve learned that at times things just have to wait. Giving up the persona of the overachiever and perfectionist, gave me space to focus on myself and my needs.
2. Stop aggravating yourself with the things you cannot change: This year I finally learned to give my brain a much needed rest. Sometimes you can’t change people or situations. And that's ok. I’ve come to realize that people are who they are, and it’s as simple as that. There’s no need to reflect on anything that creates mental anguish or doesn’t serve my highest good.
3. Give yourself some grace: I realized that everything is ok. It really is. Putting myself under undue pressure (which was often imaginary and unnecessary) wasn’t good for my overall wellbeing. It’s ok to give yourself the required love and care it takes to function properly on a daily basis. And some days may look different than others. My job is to give myself room to grow, and the opportunity to rest without being hard on myself. Finally I learned how to be gentle with myself.
4. Love on yourself hard: No one will give you the love and care you require unless you start loving yourself first. It’s just that simple. The only person that can care for you is you. You can’t show people how to love you unless you love yourself first.
5. Showing up for yourself: I finally grasped the importance of showing up for yourself. There are a myriad of ways in which you can show up for yourself. Showing up for yourself sets the wheels in motion for change to occur, and for positive situations to enter your life. Things can't happen until you’re ready to show up for you. At the end of day I am my biggest cheerleader, I am responsible for my growth, and it is I who empowers myself to do and achieve anything. No matter what the circumstance, I have the power to author my life.
NEXT: YOU'RE ONLY AS YOUNG AS YOU FEEL