Hi. My name is CJ and I’m nearly 42. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
I guess I’m middle-aged now. If the median age of death for women is 73-ish, then yep, my life is half over…more than half over. Not very comforting considering I don’t feel I’ve done a lot, or enough to contribute to society, my family, really anything.
What do I do now?
I have heard over and over that we should not compare ourselves to others, yet it is difficult to look around and see some women who have done what I’ve been wishing to do. Or worse–I see others my age and older still plodding away at life, not changing their ways to improve the fullness of their lives. I don’t want that to be me.
The previous decades.
Up to this point, I worked so hard to conform. I tried to be what I literally thought everyone else wanted me to be: my parents…my family…my congregation…my friends… In the end I didn’t really please anyone–especially myself. I spent years degrading myself, tearing myself down…wondering why the heck I couldn’t be more like June Cleaver or the Proverbs 31 Woman? I even spent a few years trying to be a Nike-spokesmodel wannabe. Every perceived failure made me more determined to do better, to be better. But how? I’ve been spinning my wheels.
I have a million health issues. Yes, there are definite things I’ve done to physically damage my body, including overeating, undersleeping, and working out too hard. However, I’ve also put my health in the danger zone by spending years stressing about myself (how can I be better??) and pleasing everyone. I realize that I want the world to be a better place and I want to do my part. What I didn’t understand before is that it is not my job to fully heal the world. Only God can do that…it is not my place. So when and why did I start burdening myself with an impossible task and the burden of carrying the overwhelming guilt when I couldn’t see it through?
I have recently discovered Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life. I listened to bits of audio before deciding to buy the book and accompanying workbook. The samples of audio gave me insight into what I was suspecting: degrading myself for years and not accepting and forgiving what was and is has been taking a toll on my health. After doing this for decades my body just can’t take any more self-punishment.
I’ll keep you posted on my pilgrimage through Ms. Hay’s book. I know it will be painful, uncomfortable. But my hope is that ultimately, it will also be healing and maybe for the first time in my life, I will be able to look forward to my future and finally figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
…?? Stay tuned…
CJ Heath is a 41 year old trying to figure things out. She hopes and expects to do so before she turns 73-ish.