I woke up in my forties and found myself adrift in a sea of yoga pants, identical personalities, and uninspired activities. Everything and everyone I encountered was interchangeable, bland, and boring. I decided I would never let that happen to me.
So, I took a good look at the people I was around on a consistent basis and noticed that they all were content but unenthusiastic and unmotivated. None of them were striving for more or continuing to grow in any way that I could see. Every day was the same as the one before it.
People that I formerly knew as outspoken leaders were now sharing the same opinions and beliefs as their spouses without knowing why. So much so, that they began to almost look-alike in addition to also sharing the same thoughts.
I thought and pondered on this for weeks. I heard people who spouted their opinions straight from Fox or CNN, talk about brainwashed individuals. They could not see the irony.
I could see the authenticity had left them somewhere along their way. I wanted to make sure I never lost myself. I didn’t know how to prevent it though. Then I thought about what made me different than them.
I constantly read from almost every genre. I believe that this keeps my brain healthy and is one of the reasons I am a critical thinker. I have always been a person to ask questions. I want to know why things happen. I want to know how things are done. And most importantly, I don’t offer an opinion on something I’m not educated about.
Try new things
Growth is about allowing yourself to evolve. I aim to learn something new every day, whether it is from another person, a lesson from something dumb I did, or from reading an article.
I also make it a habit to try new activities and go to new places as often as I can. In the last month, I have started shooting a bow, making mosaics, and started growing my own vegetables. Even if I hate it, at least I can say I tried.
There is not a person alive that does not have insights or experiences to share with another. We are meant to pass our lessons on. At a minimum, share your experiences with your children and family as a legacy for them to have forever.
Religion did not teach me this, but I live my life as a servant to others. Serving and giving are the two things that I get the most reward out of doing. I love seeing the downtrodden realize that someone cares or the shunned know that someone will stand up for them.
Give without expecting anything in return, but the feeling you are rewarded with. It is more than enough.
The theme of my life has been and always will be laughter. I think my best quality is being able to find something to laugh and joke about on an almost constant basis. I don’t understand people that take themselves so seriously. Lighten the f*&k up. We only get one life, or so I’m told.
Whoever that you believe created this world did not put you here to be a replica of everyone else. I am completely original, and so are you. Stop trying to fit in and love who you are!
The world needs more people to push boundaries and defy the ordinary. That could be you if you stopped being a sell-out.
Have a creative outlet
I am considered to be a stoic person by certain members of my family. I don’t get overly emotional outwardly. But, despite what many think, I do have feelings and care deeply about plenty. I’m just awkward as hell at showing it.
Years ago, my former therapist recommended I take up a creative hobby as an outlet for my feelings. I don’t know if writing, making mosaics, or painting is getting the brunt of my emotions, but I do enjoy doing it.
It really does help me relax or calm down when I lose my cool, or I’m stressed out more than usual.
Being a walking ball of anxiety, I have a hard time with this even though I try hard to do it. Relaxing is something that has never come easy for me. I don’t watch TV, and I am usually running around working, parenting, or cleaning. When I do sit down, I fall asleep almost instantly.
With that being said, I have tried mediation, mindful breathing, stress exercises, drinking, and much more to reduce my stress levels. I haven’t found anything that worked much for me, but I am still optimistic. If I ever find a way to relax, I will really feel like I’ve made it in this world.
Buy Less/Do More
You will, most likely, never regret an experience with a loved one, but you will consistently regret material purchases. When faced with the choice of an item or an experience, always choose the experience. Memories will be the only thing you take with you when you pass on.
Most importantly, as I have recently learned the hard way, Memories are the only things left behind for us as well. Treasure the moments you are making them.