I remember when any age beyond 20 was the epitome of grown in my young mind. Anything beyond 40 I probably considered ancient. How times have changed!
I could tell you how I felt when I turned 30 but that is neither here nor there at this point. I'd rather share how it feels to be turning 40!
**This post is made possible with support from AARP’s Disrupt Aging. All opinions are my own.**
I cannot comprehend that I've been on earth for almost 40 years. I'm grateful and some days terrified, but, it's not just the numbers that scare me. The fire in my veins at this age is incomparable to any other time period in my life!
Where the heck was this clarity and zeal in my younger years?
As a younger woman, I was extremely scatterbrained. I was interested in so many things but because I wasn't around people with similar interests until much later, I never knew that I could really make a living doing the things I loved.
I've always been conditioned to believe that we should have our lives figured out early (whatever that means). We should be content & settled by the age I am now. Although I understand the intent, I find that to be extremely narrow-minded and I interpret it as "waiting to die."
I'm not ready to die, nor am I content and settled. I am grateful for all that is my life, but I feel like I'm just beginning to live! I've finally reached a place inwardly where I'm thrilled to be ME. I no longer need permission to go forth and conquer.
The limiting beliefs we cling to drastically hinder us from living full lives. Many of us are scared to try things because someone has told us we're too old. The worst part is when we believe it!
So what if you're 30 or 40 & you're just beginning to live? So what if you reach 50 and decide to start over? So what if you're 60 and you're still finding your way?
Isn't life a journey? I refuse to turn mine into a singular destination.
I recently joined Morra Aarons-Mele of Women Online/The Mission List and other bloggers on a conference call with Cindy Gallop. Yes... THE Cindy Gallop.
Cindy Gallop... legendary ad agency executive, digital entrepreneur, communicator, advocate, founder of MakeLoveNotPorn.com and IfWeRanTheWorld.com.
"Live your life in a way that challenges all stereotypes."
"Life isn't closing down, but instead, opening up."
Cindy's words are medicine to my soul!
Cindy speaks boisterously about dissipating stereotypes around women and aging. She shouts from mountaintops to expose the lies we've been told and the ones we tell ourselves. Everything stated in the conference call further confirmed what I feel.
I appreciate that Cindy lives her life unabashedly when it comes to her age, her choice to not marry or have kids, and her preference in dating younger men. I'm sure there are a plethora of people in disagreement with her choices but it's her life and her body dammit! I find it refreshing.
There is such freedom in living your personal truth!
I would like to think that Cindy's words would have resonated with me as a younger woman the way they do now. However, I know I wasn't ready for that kind of wisdom. I wasn't ready for that kind of ownership when it came to my own destiny. I didn't know myself enough to understand what was important to me.
Just the same and like Cindy, I don't believe one is ever too young to make an impact either. It's so typical to disregard the input and viewpoints of younger people because they lack experience. However, a fresh perspective can be the catalyst for change. Experience comes in time and opportunity for us all.
My daughters are extremely creative and their muses are forever present. Their cups runneth over daily with new ideas that they never lack enthusiasm for. I know everything that comes to mind can't be pursued, but I push them forward in their endeavors. I encourage them to dedicate themselves to things they are passionate about.
In my earlier parenting years, I had to teach myself to not discount my daughter's opinions simply because she was a child. Even when her input wasn't helpful to the situation, it was important for her to know that she was listened to and that her input mattered. I now do this with both of my daughters and I hope that I've taught them to honor, respect, and never discredit their voices.
There will never be another Cindy Gallop and I feel fortunate to witness her work, hear her words, and connect with her in such a personal way. I know I am the first woman my daughters look up to but I will continue to introduce them to female pioneers and women, like Cindy, who live their beliefs passionately.
I never looked at going against the grain and becoming bolder through the years as disrupting aging. But, thanks to AARP and Cindy Gallop, I will persevere and push to LIVE OUT LOUD. Age really is just a number and we each get to decide how much power we give those numbers.
**To learn more about AARP's #DisruptAging campaign, go here.**