I saw Maria Shriver this morning talking about The Women’s Conference taking place this week in Long Beach, CA. She talked about conference’s goal to empower women to be Architects of Change ® in their own lives, their communities and the world. On a personal note, she wanted to give women the message that “no one person’s path is better than another’s.” I think that’s a great message for 20-somethings. So many younger women I speak to feel that their paths narrow as they move through their twenties. They feel pressure to follow certain “acceptable” paths and that once they choose that path, they are done. That they have to find the perfect job and fit in all the fun they are going to have before they get to 30. Then they need to get serious and grow up.
40-somethings realize the possibilities are just beginning then. You can find new paths, take different paths and have more fun when you are freed from the pressure of what you think you should achieve by a certain age. Try to free yourself from this pressure in your twenties. Try to stop thinking of 30, or any set age, as a deadline, a window, an end of an era. Try not to think of every decision as a life contract. One 40-something I interviewed in Detroit had an interesting tactic to make decisions less looming. She imagines that her lifespan will be 500 years instead of 80 or so. Then it takes the pressure of time off your decision. That may help you think about how you really feel about the decision when you take away the baggage of time. Of course, you have to layer the practicality of time back in to the process for some decisions. As another 40-something said, “You can change your mind about anything but children.”
On a lighter note, love this quote from Gayle King based on the conference slogan, “It’s Time”
“It’s time to do exactly what you want to do. For me, when I turned 40 — and certainly when I reached 50 – I got comfortable in my own skin. I sort of let it all go when I was 40. And by the time I was 50 I was done and done. There will always be someone richer, smarter, cuter, thinner. Always. I’m okay with me. That hit around my 40s, and then in my 50s, I was like partyyyy time. When you turn 50, you can say life is really getting started.”
You have plenty to look forward to!