In Other Words (Quotes) · Muhammad Ali · someone said

No wasted years…

This is my response to this week’s quote at In Other Words.

“A man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty
has wasted thirty years of his life.”
Muhammad Ali

In my late thirties and early forties I was miserable and I knew things had to change. I looked back on my life and spent some time being brutally honest with myself.  I owned up to mistakes and bad behaviors.  Admitted to myself that I was an unhappy child and teen mostly because of being a stubborn and difficult child.  I acknowledged that as a young woman I made some seriously bad choices and paid heavy prices for some of them.  I hurt many people and I hurt myself because I was still stubborn and difficult.

Things did change, I changed, but it was far from easy.  The hardest thing to realize was that I was the way I was because I was afraid.  Fear defined my life.  I knew I needed help and got it.  That was the hardest year of my life and the most important.  I took responsibility for my life, all of it the good and the bad.  There were so many times I wanted to give up and just be “me”, but the “me” I was then was not who I wanted to be.  I was done with her.  Done with letting the bad stuff that happened and the fear define me and my life.  Done with living in the past and ready for the future while being present in the here and now.

My fiftieth year was one of reflection.  It was a very good year.  I finally came into my own.  I knew I was the “me” I wanted and needed and was meant to be.  I liked “me”.

Now in my sixties I still have fear to deal with.  It’s okay it doesn’t rule anymore.  It rears its ugly head now and then, but I am in charge.  I think dealing with fear is a part of my life that keeps me from slipping back into the old me. I have learned that those past years were not wasted years. They helped me become who I am today. Hopefully, wiser and kinder.  I must say, I am still stubborn, but I am working on it.

This is a very personal post.  Maybe the most personal and open I have ever written.  I am not sure why I have written what I have.  I guess I just needed to be me.Patricia2

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6 thoughts on “No wasted years…

  1. This is a great post to share, Patricia, and I could relate to the first part for sure. And I hope I get to the second part where I’m more myself all the time. It’s crazy that we get to these ages without being completely at ease with who we are and who we want to be. But at least we can work on that for ourselves. Thanks for sharing your story, Patricia!

    1. It is a lot of work to get past the past and live in the present and so worth the effort. I still have my days of the old me, but I recognize them for what they are and get back to today’s reality quickly. Life is good.

  2. Patricia, a great commentary on making the changes to be the person you are today. All of our personal experiences contribute to finding out what our life is really meant to be. Hopefully not too late!

    1. Thank you, Linda Kay. Experience is a great teacher if we are willing to learn from it and do our part. So easy to just go along angry and unhappy, but such a waste.

  3. Your story is so similar to mine that I could have written it, though at 50 I was just finally figuring out that changes had to be made if I was going to have any kind of life at all. Now in my 60’s, like you, I embrace all that I was, because I like who I have become. Fear is so powerful, and it has its place, but not in controlling our choices and lives. It feels so wonderful to break free of it! I suspect that deep inside you always had a good heart, it was just lost in hurt and anger as was mine. I know that God must love you very much, you’ve worked hard to be who and what you want to be!

    1. You are so sweet, Josie. It took me some time to learn that life is good. It is often hard but if we stay strong it is good. God does love us and stays with us even when we aren’t very lovable. Are we not blessed to know Him and to have the lives we have?!

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