“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” George Eliot
I went to see a healer a few weeks back, it was a friend’s recommendation and a treat, so I couldn’t refuse. I can’t say much about it because some of it was fairly confusing and I’d rather let it sit, but he did say something to me that keeps replaying in my mind over and over again. He said (or rather channeled), that I will become even more successful when I acknowledge and appreciate all the successes I already have in my life.
I’m not a pessimist by nature, at all, but if you listen to me talk sometimes, you would think I could be, because I would often point my gaze in the direction of things that aren’t working yet, rather than look at all the miraculous things that do. I often do this simply because I want to be acknowledged once and for all for everything I do. This was missing in my childhood; it is a father who opens the door for a daughter’s success and breaks her away from mother’s nurturing and in my case, he wasn’t around. This deep wound had followed me like a shadow always whispering softly: “you are not enough.” While I am among the rare aware ones that can acknowledge it and get passed it, the wound is really there and sure as heck it had an impact.
If you are in late 30’s, about to hit 40 like me, or already in your 40s or even 50s, you must deal with some version of: “it’s beginning to be too late for me to do some things.” I swear, when I was pregnant, both with my first one at the age of 35 and the second one at the age of 37, I felt that my body would never be the same, that I would never be able to move it as quickly and as gracefully as I could before. I felt that my breast would forever stay huge and I’d never fit any of my silky tops that I always liked to wear. In fact, I gave most of them away. I am not kidding when I say that when my younger one was at the hospital at birth and I listened to lactation consultant (instead of my own motherly instinct) to pump every three hours, and at some point my breasts were a size of watermelon. I felt so strongly like stabbing them with something to release an enormous pressure of breasts too full with milk. Thankfully, I’ve already done this once at that point so I knew all the tricks, pain killers, cabbage wraps and hot water hand expressing. (It’s ok, you probably only get this if you were a breastfeeding mamma.)
To get to the point, so many things in my life seemed like they just timed out. I could write a longer list of things no longer possible than anything creative to counteract it. In fact, I often visit that space even now and it’s hard to be in it. I just know to allow my emotions to teach me instead of stepping on it and pretending that all is well. In fact, I have spent over $20K learning about ways in which it is safe to express emotion as a woman so I can be free, so I can use it to fuel my creativity and increase my light and not dim it down. In fact, I became a better human being altogether after, because the more I let myself be me, the less I am really concerned by what the others are doing.
And no offense, I still don’t fully enjoy or directly benefit from ton of photoshopped (and sometimes real) pictures of women expressing their freedom by being almost naked right there on the screen, wearing ton of make-up, coloring their eyebrows like they are using sharpies and reporting on every single thing they do in their day as if us, real people, really care. I get annoyed and surprised daily that the Kim Kardashians of this world have millions of followers and I cannot get over 600 unless I literally post at least 2 times a day. I feel deep anger when I bump into social media accounts, from FB, IG to youtube where young girls and Millennials are asking the audience what they should post about. Really? You want me to give you the content so that you can keep on telling me how to live my life. I find this contradictory at best. I almost never watch it to the end, I can’t, it provokes the part of me that is pissed off for having worked really hard for what I now have, for actually thinking things through and posting things that make a real difference for me and at least a few people who I know will read or see it.
But that anger and frustration brings me nothing good. Sometimes I feel that having 2 small children is a perfect distraction for being sucked into the reality show world and garbage that I feel is bombarding us every day. And while I judge all this and claim it is not really worth my time, I am also facing the reality of getting older, of having grown up without internet, cell phone, and being gifted my first computer when I was already in college. It is hard to know this reality and not feel like it may no longer be my time, that perhaps, my posts will never attract a wider audience and my writings will never really be read by more than a few loyal readers who probably also personally know me. Some will even feel bad for me, think that I am sharing too much, revealing things that are best kept under the radar, but that would, in my view, take me even further behind than I already feel I am.
So what can we do? what am I doing about all this? How am I fighting this reality? I am actually not fighting it at all. I am allowing things that come my way, that I read or am bombarded by via social media, and I allow myself to feel what I feel. I let the anger come up, the annoyance, the sadness even. I let it all come up so I can fully acknowledge its presence. I grant it space, I allow it to be. Then, I look for mirrors, for lessons, for the buttons that got pushed on me because the truth is, not one of those media posts was ever created only to annoy me personally. And then I break it down, until I can feel the emotion release its grip on me, until I see something about myself, often not a very pretty insight, that resonates. It is usually one of these flavors:
I am envious that someone else is doing it successfully and I am not. I am comparing myself to them and think that I deserve better. I feel like I have so much to say but I don’t want to be humble to acknowledge and ask for attention. I am still living inside of the fear of what would the others say. I don’t want to be judged. I hate it that most of them don’t care and I do. I don’t want to look amateur. It’s hard to let myself be a beginner at this age… etc
Here is where I start feeling some release and even some creative energy flowing. You see, the platforms are there and available to all of us. What we want and who we want to be can be created now easier than ever before. And even if one doesn’t use social media and all the things that we have at our finger tips, go do that something you always wanted to do: take a course of French, learn how to drive, take a painting lesson, go to a choir, travel to that place you always wanted to see. Write a long list of things that you want and see which one excites you the most and go for that one.
Perhaps it’s easier said than done, but you are either playing the game of life or sitting in the stands. I have been in both places and I know that I come alive when I am in the game. Sure, as soon as I come back to the stands I hear all the criticism of what I just did, but so what. For when we are in a game, nothing else matters, we are fully alive. There is no day like today, there is no time like now. You can be what you always dreamt of being even if you haven’t yet gathered the social proof for it. If you do it long enough, though, I am sure you will.