My fiftieth year on this planet starts today. I’m feeling an emotional weight of being half a century old. This 50th birthday is a wake up call to the fact that basically half my life is over. This may sound negative, but in fact, it isn’t. It’s the kick in the butt I need to stop making excuses and to live life fully. Now I want to try to get out of bed earlier!
Hindsight - A Brief Glimpse
I look back at my youth in the Bahamas, mostly carefree, despite the hurtful discovery about my mother’s beliefs about skin colour when I wanted to go to prom with a boy whose grandmother was black. I resented her into my thirties (when I began to explore spirituality) for not allowing me to go with him, and for the shame I felt because it seemed the entire school knew why. Only later on my awakening spiritual path did I begin to understand and to forgive. I didn’t know enough back then to understand she had her own troubles and was a product of her generation and her parents.
Most of my free time was spent playing on the beach until going to university in the USA, oblivious to the outside world and what it could hold for me other than the view I got through tourists and foreign teachers. University was a fun, but emotional time of discovering life outside the Bahamas. I learned what it meant to be slim, blonde, blue-eyed and tanned, something not really considered attractive in the Bahamas, but in the USA was very popular at that time. It was living the polarity of being at one of the spectrum, then suddenly at the other end. It was a confusing time, not knowing if men liked me for my looks or for me, whoever that naive being was, and it caused much distrust of men that lasted many years.
Then came along my twenties, moving to the USA, trying to establish myself in the workforce after 4 years of university and a journalism degree that I didn’t believe in ethically. I saw the Space Shuttle Challenger explode in the blue sky above my head in my last year and cringed at the media frenzy it evoked. It was the first time I saw the emotional vortex created by media that sucks people into its sensationalism. I didn’t want to be a journalist after that. I didn’t know what I wanted to do at all. After graduating, I had little experience doing anything except hanging out on the beach. The only job I could get was as a low paid secretary. Any ego I had, was deflated, embarrassed that I’d spent 4 years in higher education only to end up with the same type job my 60 year old mother had been doing since she left high school. I didn’t know job titles didn’t matter in the game of real happiness.
I somehow moved into better, more expansive jobs. With hindsight I see clearly that each time I made a move, I had set an intention. I’d never heard about intention and manifestation and had thought the book ‘Creative Visualization’ by Shakti Gawain given to me by a friend was some kind of weird mind control and refused to read past the first chapter. The biggest manifestation was when I decided to give up everything and move to France. It took 15 months to manifest. I fell prey to the demons of not being good enough, as my limited perspective of my mother’s life took over when she constantly compared my achievements to those of others, until it became unbearable. I was tossing in a whirlpool of achieving my goals physically, but emotionally never feeling like I was doing enough, never feeling I had enough, was good enough. One day I cracked, I confronted my mother. She had no idea. She was visibly sorry. I saw she made the effort to not do it again.
My thirties found me living the life that many artistically and romantically inclined people dream of - I had moved myself, my cat and 5 suitcases containing all my life to Paris. But the reality of Paris is not so glamorous after you’ve been living in a 24 square metres flat for several years, barely making enough to pay the rent, realizing not everyone actually dresses the way you imagined from the magazines. Somehow, I miraculously found a better paying job and through this route I met my future husband, then my boss.
He hired me to go work with a client in the USA for 5 months, during which time Sept 11 happened. I lived a 15-20 minute drive away from the Pentagon. The night it happened, I awoke from a nightmare sitting straight up in bed, visions of body parts reaching up to me from the ground. It wasn’t the first time for premonitions. But I didn’t know this until fully on the path of awakening years later in Singapore. I returned to Paris a month after. It was an intense start to learning about perspectives. Again, the vortex of media manipulation sucked the souls of reason out of decent people with the images of that dreadful time, driving them into fear and misunderstanding. I was approached by an Arabic cleaning lady at my job in Paris when I returned, conveying her apologies and her own sorrow for what had happened. Living abroad brought many perspectives.
My late thirties found me married to my boss. Shortly after we married, I got news of my father’s suicide. Shortly after we married, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. One year after he was fully recovered from cancer treatment, I gave birth to a son at the age of 40. I lost my sister to cancer when my son was 8 months old. On the exact same day, 6 years later, I lost my mother.
Now at this pivot point of 50, I’ve been living in Singapore for almost 8 years and experienced a huge physical “awakening” followed by all that this means to expanding consciousness and a more aware way of life.
What’s the Big Deal, the Point?
If you’ve managed to read this far, it’s this. I distinctly feel the gaps in my life as I look back. I see the times wasted from fear, laziness and blaming others. Yet, I also see the progression of manifesting my path, of always somehow ending up where I wanted to be. Up until the age of 40, I did this admittedly somewhat unwittingly. Ah, the benefits of hindsight, but did it really have to be the way it was?
Perhaps you’ll say, “You were where you needed to be every time, everything was in perfection.” But I don’t subscribe to that theory for everything otherwise I think we would stagnate and never make a move if we thought we were in perfection all the time. Many times, this way of thinking feels like an excuse to me, a copout from facing the fact that I screwed up in some areas and let the ball drop, when I used excuses to end things I was doing or was just plain lazy, rather than find the courage and energy to do what was needed. What I did was to lengthen the path of my destiny. But how was I to know? These are the lessons we learn if we are reflective and conscious enough to see them objectively, through the eyes of the watcher watching ourselves.
When we’re in our twenties, death seems so far away, like we have all the time in the world. We kid ourselves into our thirties of the same lie. In our forties, with more life experiences behind us, we start to acknowledge our mortality more.
I like to think that as I turn 50, I’m more and more like one who follows the path of the Toltec Warrior. Iunderstand (now) that death potentially faces me around every corner and that life isn’t to be wasted any further. It’s a gift for which I can never give enough back for, other than to live it as fully as I can with as much awareness as possible. Otherwise, it seems pointless to live at all. I don’t want a life lacking lustre, in just existing randomly.
Time is running out. It’s ever more important for me now to see all the possibilities each step can bring, the viewpoints of everyone around me, as much as possible. It’s about honestly understanding how others affect me, including all of you reading this, and how to deal consciously with situations that arise. Hopefully, each time my perception grows, my reality changes and my energy fields move to higher frequencies of awareness. This path is not easy because it’s looking at myself without the “soft” filters of life through which we often prefer to see ourselves.
I don’t want to waste any more time of my precious life. We often think in New Age circles something of the ilk “build it and they will come” or “send the intention out to the universe and it will happen.” I cannot manifest anything unless I do the work to support and strengthen these intentions, which in retrospect I did before I ever heard the term New Age or Spirituality. When I wanted to move to Paris, I did one thing every day around that goal, no matter how small it was. I was building up the energy of it unknowingly. If you ever want to know, I’ll tell you the story of how I ended up in Singapore. In short, it was an ‘accidental manifestation,’ one I don’t regret.
My Advice to You?
It's been hard to overcome the fear that's dwelt in me and still raises its head. I wish someone had told me what I’m telling you. Don’t waste one moment of your life. Chase your dreams even if they seem far-fetched to others. Even if you crash and burn that dream, at least you know you tried. Pick up the pieces and start again. Don’t keep looking over the proverbial fence to see if the grass is greener. Go find out. Maybe it isn’t and maybe it is. Find the people whose support strengthens you as you try, try, try.
Don't give your life away to things that don't make you happy. Strive to be happy before you forget what laughing is like. Strive to love before your heart closes the door. Strive for passion before you cannot remember what it could feel like. Strive to see as many perspectives as you can of those around you, so the corridor in your mind doesn’t narrow, your heart harden and your body be punished. Strive to find the things that make you feel good without a false veneer. Strive to make time to play and explore, to revive the child in you that can get lost in the seriousness of the world and the day to day monotony we can find ourselves in if we’re not careful. Strive to heal your Inner Child self for it can be the thing that defeats you, if you don't acknowledge its existence, its hurts, its dreams.
Strive to find out who you really are under all the masks you’ve put on over the years, under all the games you play to hide your true self. See beauty in as many things around you as you can and know the beauty of it is in yourself as well. Look at the world in amazement, into the night sky filled with stars and know that you are not alone, that what you say and do does ripple out to the rest of life. Know what you do makes a difference and… you are loved.
Strive to live every moment of your beautiful precious life.