I did not grow up believing I could do anything that I wanted.
I believed that there were only things that you had to do. Period. Even as an adult there were “have-to’s” and “want-to’s” and the “have-to’s” always, always, without question outnumbered the “want-to’s”. I had to work, I had to pay bills, I had to respect my elders, I had to smile, I had to stay in crappy relationships, and the list goes on and on.
I think I was 40 when I slowly started to realize that there were some things that I wanted to do … and I was actually free to do those things. I didn’t jump right in because that kind of freedom was new to me but once I got started I took on a new attitude. My philosophy for life is: Everything you want to do, go on and do that shit. Here is a list of 10 things that I wanted to do and I did. Because I can. And so can you.
1. Tattoos – Right now I have two. I got the first one when I was 34, the second when I was 46 and in a week or so I’ll get a third.
2. Figure competitions – I’ve competed 4 times in a bikini and 5-inch heels. Sometimes against women my age, sometimes against women considerably younger. I stepped on the stage for the first time when I was 48 years old.
3. Published a novel – I had a story to tell and I told it.
4. Sang in a band – I have been in more bars and entertained more drunk people than I care to remember. Honestly, it was more about spending time with my musician boyfriend than actually being able to sing on a stage. It was fun at the time but the smoke-filled rooms lost their appeal after a while.
5. Travel solo – I love traveling alone. Sometimes even the best of friends just don’t have the same travel style and that can wreck a friendship. Trust me, I know. I don’t want every second of my trip planned out. I like to wake up in the morning and let the day unfold.
6. Quit my “good” job – I had to give entrepreneurship a shot. Otherwise, I would have spent my life regretting it.
7. Went back to work – After 2 years of being underemployed it was time to go back to Corporate. I am still working part-time as a personal trainer and hopefully will always be in a position to help people live healthier lives.
8. Saying “I love you” – Here’s the thing: I am not going to leave this world without letting people know how I feel. I have no fear of the lack of reciprocity. My happiness comes from loving, not necessarily being loved.
9. Bought a convertible – and it’s a two-seater. Impractical? Not really. I’m single and my kids are gone. It works for me.
10. Developed the ability to say “no” without guilt or explanation.
That's my list. What does yours look like? Are there things that you want to do that, for whatever reason, you haven't done? Do that shit.People always say that life is short. However, when you are not doing the things that you want, life can seem long as hell. Stop limiting yourself. You really can do whatever you want.