I’ve spent entirely too much of my life listening to and believing Authorities who told me, for whatever reason, that I couldn’t/shouldn’t be myself, tell my stories, be ME in this world. One of the benefits of collecting all this gray hair is my growing accumulation of perspective. I can see better now where these Authorities (in reality, humans every bit as flawed as I was/am!) got these perspectives. And that these are reflections of their own fears, opinions, preferences, jealousies, understandings or misunderstandings, and don’t necessarily apply to me.
Another benefit is the ability to look back at my own life more objectively, seeing how obeying Authority was a survival mechanism. And I realize, again and again, that I can forgive myself for not being a stronger person … I SURVIVED! I missed some chances, but this is okay. Repeat: this is okay.
I’ve begun my own life after life. I’m going to talk to some cool people and get their experiences about beginning in the middle: following a new path in middle age. And I’d love to hear about your story, especially if this is a path you’re walking too.