I wake up early. My husband and boys are sound asleep. I take in the stillness of the early morning and savor the peace and quiet (ahhhh…). As I sit in my comfy chair and sip my hot coffee, I decide to go down memory lane and reflect on the special gift each decade of life has given me.
This is my story…
The First Decade of My Life
I was loved. You could see it in my parent’s eyes and everything they did for me. As the youngest child, I recall being taken care of all the time. As I grew older, I crawled, I walked, I skipped, I ran, I jumped, I flew without a care in the world. Freedom. My days consisted of eating, laughing, sleeping, playing outside, school, homework, playing. Repeat. My eyes never saw fear or ugliness, despite my parents encountering difficult conditions. That’s how sheltered I was. Pure innocence at its best. Looking back, I can say the gift of this decade was living a time of true magic and wonder.
The Teen Inside Me
Moving back and forth between Argentina and the U.S. had an enormous impact on my identity, or lack of one. While I was born in the U.S., I lived in Argentina during my early teens, and in the U.S. during my later teens. I was caught between two cultures and couldn’t quite identify with either at the time, oftentimes feeling like an outsider in both places. This was also a decade marked by numerous ‘firsts’ but also by the discovery of self-doubt, heartbreak, bullying, and peer pressure. Add to that the metamorphosis from girl to woman, it’s no wonder this decade was so momentous. The gift this decade gave me was my ultimate resilience and adaptability.
My Roaring 20’s
Life was fun. Life was adventurous. Life was exciting. Life was playful. Life was without limits and responsibilities. I lived in constant motion and I had my whole life ahead of me. I loved that decade, but as I reminisce, I’m also painfully reminded of the not so great things that my mind has managed to wallpaper and hide. For example, the self-consciousness that invaded my being. Worrying what others thought and if I was ‘enough’ – good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough…uggh bad…just bad. This decade taught me that your thoughts matter more than anything. It’s far more important what you think of yourself than what others think of you. I eventually learned to power up my thoughts to power myself up.
My Life Altering 30’s
This is another life changing decade that changed me in profound ways. My true soul mate came into my life and changed my world in so many ways. Plus, motherhood. This changed the fabric of who I was forever. I wasn’t 1st on my list anymore, and my heart grew two sizes bigger. At times, it stretched me so thin I thought I would break in half. But this decade has taught me that I am capable of whatever, that I can trust my physical and mental strength, that I can roll with the punches, and I lightened up about taking myself so seriously. It has helped me become who I was meant to be.
Now. The Prime of my Life
While this decade is still a work in progress, it is turning out to be my favorite one. I have finally sunk into the woman I have always dreamed of being. Living a life that is full of purpose and passion, while pursuing my dreams. I found my voice and feel comfortable and confident in my own skin. As long as I know my truth, all is good. My kids are at a great age at 6 & 11, they are friends and can entertain each other (I thought that day would never come), and it’s exciting to see who they are becoming, and to watch them learn and thrive. While doubts and stresses of daily living still abound, I can deal with them because I am my best self thus far. I feel invigorated, excited, and fully charged about new possibilities and dreams. The sense of true magic and wonder has returned to my life, and this time I intend to nurture it while continuously evolving to be a better me.
We all have our own unique stories and journey’s that made us into who we are today. Every decade has been a stepping stone into who we currently are. Although life doesn’t change much from day to day, when you look back in time, it will feel like you have made tremendous strides. Reflecting on my life has given me valuable life lessons.
I believe we can all be enriched by sharing our stories so I would love to hear what your decades were like. To learn what has shaped you and what drove you to be who you are meant to be.
Please share your thoughts in the comments section, or if you feel like sending me a guest blog post on the subject, even better! I will gladly feature it on Rocking Over 40.