Society has a way of making the reality of getting older seem like this devastating occurrence every year that brings us closer to death and takes us further away from our youth and any goals we have yet to accomplish. When you’re a woman, you may get the usual “You’re getting old” or “You better hurry up and get married so you can have some babies” because the assumption is that all women have the same goal. Only once have I wondered if those with their uninvited commentary on my life were right, but the moment passed as quickly as it came. The thing that I have desired more than anything as I’ve gotten older is a deeper understanding of myself. I’ve started to take an inventory of my life and what I’ve learned along the way and I’ve discovered a few things. Because of these discoveries, this past year has been about changing old habits and getting to happy.
I’ve learned that there is a process to happy. Dealing with the what and who that’s contributed to my unhappiness has been eye opening and painful, but a necessary step in order to come out of the dark place I have been in for some time. I’ve spent a great deal of my life being as small and quiet as I could possibly be. I got accustomed to being unheard and over time participated in my own silencing. I have talked myself out of things, I’ve buried parts of myself because I worried about how those parts would affect others more than how they affected me. Whether it was my aspirations and the fear of failure that came with them or my sexuality, I have denied myself the kind of happiness that I encourage others to pursue by any means necessary. I acknowledge that I live in my head too much. I over analyze, I’m extremely self critical. I worry so much about getting things right that I’ve missed opportunities. I worry so much that I won’t love someone in the way they deserve that I put so much distance between us that they eventually disappear. I’ve also learned that I am enough.
This past year has been revelatory for me. It’s been months of highs and lows, but I’m grateful to be 39 and in a much better place than I have ever been. The air feels different, those parts of myself that I had closed off are open again, and I don’t feel trapped anymore. Deciding to show up for myself has provided a peace of mind that I didn’t even know was possible. While I may still be on my journey of getting to happy, the progress I’ve made has prepared me for what comes.