They tried to prepare me. They told me my body would change, my biological clock would tick louder, my bones would take longer to heal, and that my face would begin to look more and more like my mothers’. They warned me not to get older, not to turn 30… but I did it anyway. I’m such a rebel.
Underneath It All
Five years into my therapeutic thirties, none of the physical changes that I’ve experienced, nor those to come, pale in comparison to the mental changes, the clearer sight, and the revelations I’ve experienced.
Transparent. Authentic. Living. That is the theme of this chapter of my life. I shed the angst of my teenage years, and the ‘what’s my place in this world?’ worry that consumed my 20’s. And while there is so much more life ahead of me, I’ve decided to live the remainder of it, transparently. I encourage you to do the same.
Who are you underneath it all? Who are you outside of your titles and roles? What makes you happy? What hangs you up? What are you carrying around instead of dealing with? What is keeping your life everything but simple?
I teach. I teach those younger than me to get to know themselves better, to make new mistakes, and to choose to stand and fight, instead of cower in fear.
I challenge. I challenge those my senior to take off the ‘everything is ok’ masks that they’ve worn for so long, to put down the banner of ‘the strong one’, because no prize has ever been awarded for such, and to dig up and deal with the ‘we don’t talk about that’ issues.
I refuse. I refuse to mimic what’s been modelled. I won’t allow my life to host me instead of leading it, and I reject any temptation to put on a facade like I put on socks before leaving the house each day.
I promise. “I promise to lead an un-clouded life, to deal with issues as they arise, and to keep clothing, and not skeletons in my closet.”
So, Who Are You, Really?
Grab a sticky note, open a memo app in your phone, or start a blank document on your computer, and answer these three questions:
1. Who are you outside of your titles and roles?
2. What are your promises to yourself?
3. What’s the theme of your life for the chapter you’re in?
Are you the person who chooses to wear a mask just to make it through the day? Or are you working daily to live transparently, and to age gracefully, while leaving behind the things that don’t deserve to join you on our journey?
Keeping life simple, living transparently, and enjoying ageing means doing so as the person you truly are. Authentic living doesn’t have to wait until you’re in your later years, it can begin as soon as you decide.
Choose to start today.
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Bio: Lia Washington is a freelance writer, editor, and designer whose work is to help others reach their potential. Lia is the creator of The Clean Life Movement, a social initiative that teaches adults how to deal with and clean up unresolved issues in their lives, and to live more transparently. She is also the founder of Launch Young Adults, a non-profit organization that mentors ambitious teens and young adults. Lia is a plant-based eater, and an avid sports fan who proudly laughs at her own jokes.