I recently read an interview with Marla Gibbs and fell in love with “Mary Jenkins” all over again. You could tell all her spunk was still in tact; when her age came up this is what she had to say:
Best. Response. Ever. It sparked this post.
I am a firm believer that we are where we are supposed to be. Meaning – our lives are mapped out for us, our “fate” predetermined. When you look at your life, it has a pattern – the events, the people, the things you do. So like anything else, it’s up to you to break the pattern. If you want to see change – change and you’ll see. Do what your TNL gals do – step outside your comfort zone.
So, where am I going with all this? Simple. There is no limit to the things you do, the places you go, the people you meet. You see it time and time again – the only person holding yourself back is you. I remind myself of this daily. Some things take time, while others need a jump-start. You don’t have to do things by a certain age – we limit ourselves when we start thinking about our age. If you want to do something – do it. We’re too caught up in the “what-ifs” when we should be caught up in the “why-nots”. And like I said in 36 Lessons I’ve learned in 36 Years, if you didn’t make it happen then you didn’t want it to happen.
Let that sink in.
I wasn’t put on this earth to countdown how long I’m going to be on the earth – that is just way too stressful. I think this is why I love birthdays so much – it’s a checkpoint. A chance to reflect on an entire year to see how much I’ve done to ensure I’m living my life to the fullest. I admittedly set goals for myself because I’m obsessed like that. At 30, I had made a 5-year plan, and by 35 I had done it all. I’m goal-hungry and I had liked to think of making the “age-plans” as holding myself accountable. But then I started to come to terms with the fact that if I didn’t do something, life went on anyway. What’s this? I could get it done after my crazy deadline. So no more “age-plans”, just life-living otherwise I’d stress myself out.
I do, however, love lists. I make lists for everything – just ask Ash. Some I write down, while others are stored in my head: What I want to do, where I want to go, who I want to meet, what I need to take with me, am I doing this solo, what lipstick am I going to be wearing?! And then I start looking for places or opportunities to take advantage – no limits. When I start to doubt myself, then I throw caution to the wind and do it anyway. Basically, doubt is my cheerleader. My grandfather always said: ‘there’s no such thing as can’t’, and it remains my mantra.
Don’t age yourself by counting your age. Don’t regret not doing things as if your life is over. If you can utter the words “you know what I didn’t do….” then guess what – you still have time. And definitely don’t regret doing something and failing because, after all, you tried. I’m sure we’ve all figured out by now, that life is full of disappointments. We’re supposed to fail, as long as we try. Just ask any successful person how many times they failed before actually reaching their success; the answer will always be the same: I failed many times and didn’t give up. I’d give you Oprah’s number, but that information is classified :-p. Sorry folks.
That’s the other thing. In this day of social media, our accessibility to people’s lives makes us question/doubt ourselves. Don’t compare yourself to that glamorous person on your timeline – you weren’t put on this earth to live their life. How silly do you feel now?! And for all you know, they could looking at your life like “damn!”. And trust me – behind all the glamour there is still some heartache. So just live your life, forget the rest. That’s my new thing – “forget the rest”. Why stop myself from doing something because of what others will think? Child please.
I leave you with this thought – my favourite quote:
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.