From the age of 29, I remember not wanting to celebrate my birthday any longer because I didn’t want to turn 30. Then, for the next decade, I realised that I wasn’t too fond of the idea of being another year older.
Sound familiar? I know I’m not alone here!
But why was this? Why did I hate marking my “Birth Day” every year for the last 10 years? I should have been celebrating the fact that I was fortunate to have reached another year!
When I look back now, I know why I felt this way. It’s drummed into us from a young age that there’s a set process in life.
First, you must do well in school. By the age of 16, you should be thinking about college; by 18, you go to university; by 21, be on the path to greatness in your chosen profession; by 23 you should own a house. And by the age of 26, you should be thinking about marriage, having a child, and then a second one. It feels like living on a treadmill that’s controlled by everyone else but me!
I took a detour from that process. I didn’t go to college or university, so instead, I focussed on building experiences with whoever would take me on with no qualifications. I was never good at learning in a classroom environment, but I was great at learning on the job.
This didn’t do me any harm. By the time I was 23, I was well established in an IT company, earning very well, and had bought my own house. By 24, I was married – I’m divorced now, might I add.
Between the ages of 30 and 40, I was utterly career focused. I’d started my own company and my story was featured in many publications like Marie-Clare, Red and the Times. Unfortunately, that first company failed because I didn’t secure the investment it needed, but I learned a valuable lesson!
Then I met the man who was to become my new boss through one of my events. With next to zero money left in the bank, I begged him for an interview, even though I had no experience with the technology they sold, and after a two-hour interview, they hired me. I’d like to think that they didn’t regret choosing the 21st person out of the 22 people they interviewed!
Over the next 6 years, I did a lot of learning and a lot of failing. But I won multiple awards, year after year, smashed my targets and earned the company and myself an awful lot of money. I became utterly obsessed with winning and being the best in my game. And as a woman, I became motivated by beating every man in sight. I don’t think that’s anything to do with feminism, I think it was the fact that I only worked with men and maybe even mentally turned into one myself, in some weird way.
I had everything I could want financially, but my career ruled everything, and things started to break down at home. Soon I found myself at the ripe old age of 36 with no husband and no child.
Life sucked. I was confined in society’s ‘age cage’.
Roll on another four years, and there’s a whole new story to my life.
I’m now 40 years old with a gorgeous 3-year-old daughter and NO, before anyone asks, I’m not having another one. In fact, the medical profession now classes me as a ‘geriatric mother’ – f**k YOU!
I’ve since left my job and this decision left me with an overwhelming fear. How realistic is it to start over at the age of 40? What kind of person does something like that? Well, society, I’m here to tell you that I am that kind of person, and I’m playing my life game how I want to play it.
They say that 50 is the new 40 and 40 is the new 30. Maybe 40 is the new 20! I’m looking great, have a fierce fire in my belly, and I’m ready to become unstoppable. I’m on my A-game and flying free from conformity.
I genuinely believe you can recreate yourself at any time in your life. You may or may not know that every 7 years, all the cells in our bodies are renewed, that means that we are sort of reborn anyway. And if our body is renewed then why not recreate your life as well?
Aging is a privilege, so do not regret growing older. You need to learn to accept yourself, love yourself, and even advocate for yourself when it’s necessary.
Therefore, the real question is, should we let age be our cage?
Absolutely NOT! We should let age be our experience and our opportunity to do more, give more, educate and mentor more. Let age be an open cage of expertise.
Age isn’t a cage: age is an opportunity for new and exciting adventures, to create our next chapter. And what’s wrong with that? I think that’s pretty awesome!
As always, lots of love!