We’ve all met women who won’t share their age because of the stigma of feminine aging, but I always felt it only contributed to the outdated stigma to hide their age. Through coaching I’ve become more aware of men who also struggle at a certain age- the age being different for everyone- because they feel they haven’t accomplished enough in life yet. Until this year, I hadn’t felt that feeling. “What should I be doing”, yes. “Have I done enough,” no. They are two different things. I’ve always tried to live by the motto ‘Live at a level that defies gravity’. To me that meant exploring who I was on many levels, exploring the world in creative and affordable ways, helping others discover themselves and fulfill needs, and just doing more than most people want to do in a given day. Examples: dancing while cooking, working 8 hours and then having a part time job, taking a leave of absence to live and study in Thailand… But today, I hit the number that turned out to trigger me- 35. For some reason all of this gravity defying living appears to dwarf under the shadow of that number. I know this is cultural, illogical, bullshit. But I feel it. What could I be doing that would assuage this feeling of not-enough? Yesterday, I was enough. Today, not enough. Hilarious.
If I were doing some bucket-list item, feeding baby rescue tigers, let’s say… would that be good enough? If I were married with babies would that be good enough? Worse? Who’s to say?
These games we play in our minds, games that make us have real emotions, pull us out of our good mood- they deserve an “I see you” and then a “See you later.” This is also true for people who try to make us feel bad, less than, not good enough. These feelings and beliefs aren’t YOU. It’s kind of like a jacket you tried on, didn’t fit, and now you’re stuck in the arms. Just because you are stuck in the jacket, even if you’ve been stuck there most of your life, does not mean you are the jacket. You can take it off, with a little effort. Who are you without the negative self talk? The shoulds? The truth is that if you are honest with yourself about what makes you feel happy, authentic, and alive, you are moving towards that path. The time it takes to get there, and the detours on the way, don’t need your judgements or mine.
If you don’t know what makes you feel happy, authentic, and alive, the only important thing is that you are making an effort to find out.
So I see you, ageist, sexist, illogical Feelings. I see you, which means you are not me. I observe and let you go. Observe, release. Observe. Release. Happy authentic-alive-birthday. Happy-imperfect-adventure. Happy-judgement-day. It’s my choice. It’s your choice. Take off the jacket. We are free.
Life Purpose and Career Coach
Career Clarity Now