I am truly blessed and grateful to have made it to middle age. It seems weird to say that and be talking about myself. It all happened so quickly. But every time I say I’m middle aged, it makes me smile. It feels like freedom to me. A huge exhalation of relief from all of the expectations of others and myself. I find it unreal now all of the expectations I put on myself and others put on me. I felt that others had a right to tell me how I should be, what I should be doing, and how I should be doing it. I do not know why I felt this way. I just know that it was a constant cloud hanging over my head and happiness.
I never felt like I was quite good enough. I didn’t quite have it together like other people did. That was my perception. I, of course, acted like I didn’t care what others thought but of course it had an impact. I don’t think that is always a bad thing, being concerned about what others think. Sometimes it makes people do better and try harder. But overall, I think the judgement of those around you is pretty destructive. It used to make me so upset and angry. I never felt that I had quite reached the level of being good enough.
It suddenly struck me that my opinion of me is the only one that matters. I look around me and realize that the people around me feel the same way. They don’t want to be judged and would just like to freaking relax and be themselves. Realizing this has taken a huge weight off of me. Now I think, why did I carry around that judgement, frustration, and pain for so long. I truly believe in my quest for myself that this is the most powerful thing I have learned. It was like a light bulb lit up over my head. I smile a lot more now. It’s easier when you aren’t concerned if the people around you are judging you. Do people still judge me, of course they do. Every once in a while, that old anxiety comes back, but not for long. Being comfortable in my own skin needs to become a habit, just like the anxiety had become a habit.
There are people in my life who aren’t exactly loving this change. They expect me to be and act like I always have. When I don’t agree to do something like I used to or answer a question the way I’m expected to, it definitely throws them for a loop. I’m sorry that it upsets them, but not sorry enough to go back into the box that the expectations put me in. It amazes me how often I put myself in the box. I would love to blame everyone else, but I went in willingly.
Perspective is an amazing thing. My perspective now is like being reborn. It’s unnerving a little, exciting a little, wonderful a little, scary a little and so many other emotions a little. Despite the rush of emotions, I look forward to the things my new perspective can show me. Being middle aged is the best time so far for me. I love it, am embracing it and am excited for the next discovery. So watch out, who knows what’s next!