When I turned forty, I had a strong and wonderful moment of empowerment.
Finally. Old enough to command respect. Old enough not to care what people think. Old enough to bust out and do whatever I want.
I’ll admit. It was a fleeting moment.
A sudden fear of being obsolete and out of touch came upon me as I studied my hair in the mirror, and the half-inch of showing roots looked whiter than ever. Hard-won identity fled, its ancient, gray tail between its legs.
I have serious wrinkles now. That the kids gave me. I used to point at my forehead when they were acting crazy and tell them, “See this? See these wrinkles? YOU ARE GIVING THEM TO ME!”
I gave the last sixteen years to raising kids. I’m still doing it. And I love it. But all this time, I’ve been telling myself, “When they are older, then. Then I can do my thing.”
I once heard Oprah say, “You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at the same time.”
The woman who doesn’t have children. Telling me not to worry about putting off my career.
I shared this aging angst with my friend, the lovely Chana Keefer. She is the best selling author of several books on Amazon. You can find her here.
She understood. She laughed. She told me that she had the same fear about her modeling career–when she was sixteen.
At the time, fifteen-year-old Brooke Shields had hit it big, and Chana was one year older. She was, therefore, over the hill, past her prime, antiquated, passé. She hadn’t done enough in her field. She was doomed to fail.
And this conversation was an eye-opener for me.
Chana heard the same lies, at a young age, at sixteen years old, that were trying to take me out at forty.
The same lies.
It showed me the truth. That the same lies come against all of us, no matter who we are or what we are dealing with.
Too old, too young, too fat, too thin, too inexperienced, too seasoned, too…whatever.
We all hear the same doubts and battle the same insecurities.
It’s up to us what sticks.
I don’t really collect anything, but if I did, it would be those stories of people who defy expectations and beat the odds. Fairy tales. Bible stories. Sports movies. I love ’em. Can’t get enough.
Mike Rowe is fast becoming a Paul Harvey for our time. He is a great storyteller, and I’m including a story from him today. Listen now or save for later. You’ll be glad you did. “Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow,” about America’s first female self-made millionaire, Sarah Breedlove. Link here. (Doesn’t start till minute 6:00, so fast forward past the commercials if you need to.)
If Sarah can do it, I can do it. And you can do it. Beat the odds. Have it all, whatever that looks like for you.
Don’t believe the lies that say, “you can’t,” whatever they are.
Never give up. Never, never, never, never, never give up.
Cheering you on, Fearless Wanderers!