When I first started the “Life begins at 40” series back in March, I was honestly still grappling with the shifts that my life had undergone in the past couple of years. In this year alone, there have been such huge fundamental shifts in my persona that at some point I just had to take a break from everything to try and comprehend the transformation.
I had never understood why people often said that life began at 40. Now I believe that I have the experience to venture an educated guess. My theory is that most people don’t really try to find their true selves till their late 30s or early 40s.
Why? Well, following your tumultuous teens is the adventurous 20s where you are basically trying to find your way in the world – hustling for employment/business, trying to eke out a living. In the late 20s, some people start to settle down and get married, have kids and start to put down roots.
Then you usher in your 30s, full of optimism that you have life figured out. This decade, in my opinion, is nothing short of treacherous as far as life is concerned. This is where the worst of peer comparisons start to plague you, leading you to question practically everything. The career that you were once so excited about now seems like a mere dead-end rat-race job. Thanks to social media, you feel constant pressure to show off “how well you are doing” in a bid to keep up with the joneses.
You crave authenticity for the first time in your life yet you feel stuck in the facade you have created for yourself. You are surrounded by people whom you call friends, yet you feel completely isolated. You may even start to question the meaning of your existence on this earth.
This is significantly enhanced if you go through a loss of some kind or a life changing experience. A death of a loved one. A broken relationship or friendship. Losing a job or a promotion. Having a close shave with death. Being diagnosed with a serious or even terminal illness. Any of these hold the potential of changing your outlook on life, and shifting the way in which you are living your life.
Hence, as you near the big 4-0, you begin to feel like your life is beginning afresh as a result of all the changes. A blank slate if you will. A fresh start to write your story. Make a difference. Leave a legacy. Live a life that has deeper meaning.
I believe we are born having the best of intentions to be good people and to change the earth (positively) and all those nice things. Then at some point, due to societal interventions, we are influenced towards fitting in with the crowd and few of us are able to hold on to our individual standpoints.
The inner discord felt my most people around the third decade of their lives is a testimony to our true selves. The part of you that was buried in oblivion and you now yearn for out of necessity to give your life meaning. We seek it out using various avenues. Religion. Spirituality. Self-development. Mid-life crisis.
Any of this ring a bell? Well, this is what happened to me. I suffered major losses throughout my 30s, and found myself compelled to seek more from my life. Throughout my transformation, there have been some common themes that keep rising to the surface. These themes are all centered on Self Awareness, or as I have surmised, a Return to my true Inner Self.
Over the next number of posts(I honestly don’t know how many), I will delve into each of these themes in detail – talking about how they have changed my life. More importantly, how they are forming the basis of my journey going forward.
I now truly believe in the mid-point of life, with the first half consisting of “life happening to you” and the second half transforming to “Living your best life”. But remember that this is only if you allow yourself to go through the process.
I would love to hear from you, so please share your comments here or on our Facebook page. The best part about this journey is that we are all continually learning and improving to ever better versions of ourselves.
See you on the next post!