I hereby give you and me permission to change the story. Tear up the first draft. Rewrite. Start over. Live your story. You are the keeper of your script.
This morning while I was driving my youngest two children to school, something struck me...I have many more years of parenting ahead. I love them dearly. The baby girl makes me laugh until my side hurts and the older girl is like looking in a mirror. Yet, I wonder, at the prime age of 46, what my life would be like had I not changed course 20 years ago that completely altered every decision from then on out.
I realized that if I had given myself permission to read the lines of my own story instead of the book of obligations, that I would be traveling the world, would have published those books, certainly wouldn't have degrees in business - I would be a Ph.D. in English, history, or sociology. I would be in a different space, certainly not this divided city in the heart of the midwest.
Then I wondered what part fate, the universe, and my Creator made in me being where I am. Perhaps it was not the script I would have written, but were they scenes that needed to be performed? Is this part of a larger performance? This thing called life with all the intersecting vignettes.
I also discovered that reflection upon the essence of one's life story can only happen in the safe space of someone who is secure with their own essay. Some people are constrained to the rules of convention and the stifling storyline of remaining in uphappy situations because that is what is expected. Or choosing a career because that is what is expected. Or buying a certain house in a certain neighborhood driving a certain car belonging to certain clubs and wearing certain uniforms that are all part of the costuming of characters in someone else's novella.
Permission is given to put down the script, pick up a new set of parchments and begin anew with a blank page.
Being over 40 is not the end, it is when permission is given, air can be breathed, and life can be lived. Time is the beauty that someone over 45 can appreciate.
I am holding the pen and will write the lines of my own dash. No woulda, coulda, shoulda left. There are no "people" who are owed answers because they are not the ink in my quill, they are not the stitching of my tome.
Today I was driving around and I gave myself a moment to reflect on the heroine of the previous story, to share in her losses and triumph in her gains. Then I smiled and gave myself permission to climb the mountains, sail across the ocean, feel the breeze, and change the narrative for the rest of the epic.