I always used to wonder why once a person became middle aged they seemed to get all introspective and start going off in search of meaning for their life. You know the types, they start reading self improvement books, take up new hobbies, maybe even let loose old relationships, etc. Then a real funny thing happened to me, I became middle aged, funny because in this ever young society we are in no one wants to claim middle age or hell even old age. But in a country where life expectancy is 77.9 years, I am definitely in the middle thus I am middle aged and frankly I am cool with that!
Lately I have been feeling as if I have been on this path here at BGIM where I talk a great deal about personal development, it most certainly has not been intentional but really is a result of some internal changes I have been making. To be honest I got tired of not being comfortable in my skin, tired of feeling as if I am not quite the woman I can be….it’s a process and I still have a long way to go. Yet it’s not about the end destination, it’s about the journey and as we all know journeys have a way of taking on a life of their own.
This brings me to a quote I stumbled on this morning by Alice Walker “No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow.” Get the fuck out of my head is pretty much what I thought when I read this quote. No. Seriously this quote summed up in one perfect sentence what I have been dealing with personally and even professionally.
It seems when we set our hearts and minds on growth, we can expect that others may not be as excited about our changes, I know change is hard, believe me I know. For me the area that I have had to just draw that line in the sand is around boundaries. I am a recovering people pleaser; I suspect this trait is one of the legacies of having been spanked as a kid. I learned early on that being a yes girl meant not getting in trouble, yet being a yes girl meant I didn’t cause any trouble but it also meant I was scared to be me, or to explore me. In seeking to please others, I had no idea how to please me, and in recent years that full time gig of people pleaser just became too hard to bear. So now I draw lines in the sand and lately I have been dealing with the fallout and folks realize BGIM is no longer the first person to say yes, I won’t sacrifice me time and while I will always be willing to compromise, compromise must be a two way street.
Turns out it feels a little lonely at times when walking your own path designed by yourself and lived by your own standards, but it feels oh so good. I have simply learned that those who stand in the way; can’t support the change or who seek to make me doubt myself are simply not my friends no matter what they say. The great thing though about being middle aged is I love me enough that I will not compromise and while I am not always happy to be alone, I can live with it because I love me!