Michael English has a song called Time, and one of the lyrics says, "I'm starting to see the ending, might as well stop pretending..." and he goes on from there to talk about how all of our days are numbered and how much better it is to be true and real for the time we are alive. I've heard this song many times, but yesterday, driving home from my spa birthday treat, alone in my van, the lyrics soothed me in an entirely new way.
I feel so peaceful right now compared to other points in my life. All of the things that used to cause me to worry and panic, just don't register anymore. The time we have is precious, and in reaching the halfway mark of my life, I see that I want to enjoy life to its fullest. To love more and judge less. To stop pretending and be real with those around me.
Starting a new year is always a good time to assess where we are and where we are going. I love how different I am now compared to a year ago, when I began this blogging experiment, and I wonder if I would've had the same type of personal growth if I hadn't been recording it on a daily basis. I know for sure that I will never go back to who I was. I want to keep going in the direction of change and improvement. There is more softening to be done in the hard dirt of my soul. I can be kinder and more forgiving. I can let go of more pretenses and develop the courage to be fully myself.
We can become anything we want to be. We are not limited by what we were once taught, or what we see other people doing. We can change, at any moment in time, to be better versions of who we are. There are no limits except for the ones we put on ourselves. Over this last year, people have asked me how you get over worrying about what other people think of you. For me, the answer was baby steps. Saying things that I believed but that other people didn't, and realizing that the sky didn't cave in because I dared to disagree.
When we know ourselves and speak what we believe, it has an impact. That impact might have negative or positive repercussions, but in the end, we own our ideas and values, and have the right to communicate them. We won't all agree with each other, and being pushed out of our comfort zone is the only way we change and grow. It's never easy but always worth it, and when you look back and see how far you've come, the gratitude you feel for the courage you now have is astonishing.
Getting older helps here. Moving into my late thirties, with my kids a little older and more able to do things on their own, gave me the push I needed to stop pretending and make my life count in ways I wasn't able to before. There is only so much time left, and I want to spend it being genuine and true to who I am, pursuing my dreams with my whole heart and mind, and becoming a little kinder every single day.