“Oh that’s turning 50,” my wise friend said.
I had just told her how I feel more liberated lately to say what I think, freed to be totally honest, boobs out (figuratively), suddenly and significantly more than before.
It’s not that I don’t care what anybody thinks, or that I mean to offend people. I may care less now what everybody thinks; the value of your opinion to me correlates directly with my respect for and connection to you. I assume you deserve my general respect until you show me otherwise, though—my default is still positive.
Somehow now, holding back what I really think, sharing less than the whole of it, feels less and less—what—authentic? Honest? Connecting? Meaningful? Real?
What am I saying/telling more? Usually it’s observations and assessments, syntheses of conversations, how I know people, how I see them in their contexts, and of course my relationships with them. When I see (feel) power, love, vulnerability, strength, connection, growth, evolution, light—anything that grabs my attention and moves me—I name it. I don’t let it pass by without catching and holding it a while, showing it, shining it. Do you see how great you are? Do you feel your worth? Here, let me show you, help you stand in it, own it. I have done this for years with my close friends. Maybe I’m just more generous with it now?
Since the pandemic, my return to work from a personal leave, turning 49 (not yet 50), and Son leaving for college, all in succession, I stand more confidently in my abilities—all of them—perception, integration, articulation, communication, connection. I trust my intuition and judgment much more. I’m willing to take more risks in order to connect, to show that I see you, because that’s what I truly want to do—it nourishes us both. Where I’m unsure, I feel empowered to clarify. If I’m wrong, I can redirect, recalibrate, start over. As my confidence has grown, perhaps so has my humility… Funny, that.
When I’m asked to step outside a boundary, I decline firmly, tactfully, and with clear rationale. I push some boundaries, too… intentionally, thoughtfully, with awareness of potential impact and conseqeuences.
When someone violates a boundary, I address it quickly and decisively. Met with disrespect, I exit. Life is too short, and I have too much to do, to tolerate that.
Huh… Maybe this is the manifestation of some nascent, maturing life phase clarity? Much still feels nebulous, vague. Something is happening, though.
Life is getting bigger.
Can’t wait to see what’s around the corner. Bring it.