I used to be afraid of growing old. I would freak out and tremble at the thought.
And so are many people that I know.
Even worse, I see people who reached a certain age and feel like life has passed them by and that it is too late for them to do anything they ever wanted but didn’t get a chance to when they were younger.
I’ve seen many young people frantically rushing to travel, buy a house or a car, getting married or having children, finding their purpose or perfect career, reaching the 6-figure income “before it is too late and they are too old to do it”. And feeling miserable in doing so.
And I don’t blame them. I had the same pressing feeling that by a certain age number I had to have accomplished X, Y, Z.
And let’s be honest...it can feel kinda shitty when we scroll through Facebook or Instagram and see all these people in our list looking happy and accomplished, right?
I’d spent most of my life secretly comparing myself to others and feeling afraid of growing old because I missed the mark that “the others” seemed to have reached. What if I ended up unfulfilled? What if I never found my purpose? What if I ended up being a failure? What if I ended up not owning a house? What if, what if, what if…
And, boy, the pressure was huge. It made every day feel like a race to achieve all those things “before it was too late.”
In the process, I had forgotten who I was and what life was all about to ME.
I remember finding a white strand of hair in my early twenties; I cried like it was the end of the world. I was obsessing that I was aging and still didn’t know what my place in the world was.
A few weeks ago, I found three strands of white hair.
AND I DIDN’T FREAK OUT.
In fact, I WAS EXCITED.
I’ve gotten to a place in my life where I stopped rushing to achieve something that does not resonate with me. Something that feels like a “should”. Something that feels unfulfilling and devoid of meaning to me.
And in the slowing down, I live my life every single day feeling fulfilled and with no regrets.
Those three strands of white hair reminded me that I’m doing the right thing. That every day that I get older is another day with the opportunity to enjoy life MY WAY. That I am making a difference in the world the way I always wanted to. And if this were my last day on Earth, I’d be more than thrilled with the legacy I’d leave behind.
And no, I don’t own a mansion. I’m not a millionaire. I don’t have a yacht nor a Ferrari. I don’t wear Gucci. Nor do I take luxurious trips to Bora Bora.
Because that’s not what I’m looking for in life.
But I am happy, healthy and thriving with all the energy that I need to do EVERYTHING I ever intend to. I am free to live the way I WANT TO.
No one gave me that permission; I gave it to myself.
If you do a Google search, you’ll find many inspiring stories of elderly individuals or people with mobility or other types of challenges who MADE IT POSSIBLE. If they really wanted something, they made it happen despite their condition or limitation.
Age can be a limitation if you allow it to be. There is no checklist in heaven with deadlines.
The only “life deadlines” are the ones you impose on yourself. And it can be a very heavy burden to carry.
What I wish for you is that you give yourself permission to live freely and unapologetically. To follow your HEART and your own rhythm in life.
Allow life to unfold in the way that is unique to you - a way that feels RIGHT to YOU - so that you can enjoy it to the fullest.