If you could choose what age you wanted to be? What age would you pick? I’d certainly forego the teenage years with all that adolescent angst and acne.
My twenties were caught up in building a family – first marriage and then motherhood. Those were challenging years too, as we learned how to live compatibly together, and how to be responsible for another human being.
By my thirties I was knee-deep in my motherhood role, with a second child and a husband working all hours to build his business. There were times when I felt like the single parent so no, that is not a time I would want to revisit, although I know so much more now about eking out time for myself and not allowing myself to get swallowed up by all the responsibilities that I had as a wife and mother.
In my forties, I faced several major health challenges and threats, so don’t want to go there again. Although, as a result I’ve stopped being a couch potato and got off my butt to work out. So not a bad outcome.
That leaves my fifties and really when I think back, that is when I came into my own. I had been successfully pursuing my career, receiving the promotions and accolades I’d always wanted and it was when I turned 50 that quit my job and started my own business. Bingo – I’d hit my stride and discovered what I wanted to be when I grew up.
But doesn’t that say something that I had to wait 50 years to feel really comfortable in my own skin; to feel I’d finally found myself.
I really hope young women today are more forthright and assertive about what they want out of life; that they will actively pursue their interests and goals, and not park them on the shelf to be dusted off at a later date. Sometimes that later date never comes around.
As parents, we need to encourage our daughters to dig deep and really find their true passion, to recognize and build on their strengths and interests, and to be authentic in who they are and what they do.
With each passing decade we learn more and it is that experience and knowledge that fuels and boosts our confidence in ourselves. But we need to start early.