Fifty. The big 5-0. 50. It doesn’t matter how I say it or how many times I say it, I still find it hard to believe. I mean, wasn’t it just yesterday I was popping zits and waiting to see if my tux was ready for prom? How could I be turning fifty already? Hell, I still remember when I thought fifty was old!
And now, it isn’t just some number in the far off future, but a firm reality in the here and now. It’s not something to worry about later, but something to ponder today. And that’s what I want to do today; I want to ponder what the first fifty years of my life meant and what I learned, if anything.
The main thing I learned is that life is short. Way short. Like I said, I was just graduating high school the other day and now people are buying me aging cream and Depends. Where did the time go and what did I do with it?
If I was to go back to my younger self and give him any advice at all, it would be start now. Don’t wait. Write. Publish. Create. Stop listening to your fears and insecurities and just do it. Push yourself out of that comfort zone and explore the wonderful world of What If. My biggest regret is not starting sooner to do the things that I enjoy and that bring me the most pleasure. Excuses are a dime a dozen, but in the end, that’s all they are - excuses. I wasted a lot of time doing what others thought I should be doing with my life and in the end none of it was really worth it. I should have ignored the ones who thought they knew better and followed my dreams sooner.
Which leads me to the second thing I regret the most, listening to people who only have agendas. I tried to please people way too much and sacrificed too much of myself and my family for them. I was young and gullible and fell for the sham. It wasn’t until my forties that I finally cast the shackles off of other people’s opinions and thoughts and embraced a life that should have been mine all along. No one knows you better than you, so follow your heart and do what makes you happy. Those who are meant to be in your life will always be there, regardless of your decisions to follow your dreams. If they’re true friends, they’ll be encouraging you and supporting you along the journey. Stay away from negative people, the people who surround their lives with drama and pity parties. Those type of people only suck your positivity away and dampen the light that is inside of you. Let your light shine and it will reveal the ones who are meant to stand by your side.
Embrace life. Laugh constantly, especially at yourself. Don’t be uptight. Live every moment. Love deep and hard. My body may not feel like I just graduated high school, but my mind and my heart are grabbing life and savoring every moment. I love my family and my friends and I’m ecstatic that they are going on this journey with me to the next half of my life. It’s destined to be one hell of a ride.
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Until next time, keep chasing your fantasies!