The other day I realized that the first 18 years of my life were a mistake on many levels. To make matters worse, I perpetuated many of those mistakes for another twelve years, not realizing there was another way to be. I have only been 11 years on the other side of the decision to seek other, healthier ways to be, so I don't feel as though I've entirely made up for the three "lost" decades at the beginning of my life. What a waste. As a result, I regularly find people far, far younger than me who have far more wisdom and freedom to be themselves in certain ways than I had at their age. Janelle Monáe is one of those people, which is why I admire her creativity as deeply as I do. I don't know much about who she is as an everyday person, but I like her creative vision, and I admire her gumption to put that vision out there in her own way for others to be inspired by. After I saw her perform last week, I wished I could be 24 years old and have that same belief in myself to put my own creative vision out there so young, when I had that kind of energy. She has been believing in and working on that vision for a few years, already. She started young.
I did not. I am 41 and just starting that creative journey. Well...that's not entirely fair to myself: I am not JUST starting. I've been inching along on this journey of self-realization all of my life, every time I kicked against the voices outside of me that said I had to suppress myself and live out their vision for my life, instead. It's just that compared to where I envisioned I would be at 41, it feels like I am just starting. Anyway, being where I am at 41 isn't a bad thing. It's far older than I would have preferred to be making the realizations I have recently been making about life, but that's just how my life worked out. I am not dead, so I can still make progress on my journey.
I try not to dwell on the what ifs. Instead, I am learning to acknowledge them (as I am doing in this post) and keep on moving. My paper journal gets them a lot. I figured I'd share these here, for a change.