One inspiring woman’s perspective on what she knows now that she wishes she knew in her twenties. – 40-something, executive, international marketing and advertising, married, has been through ebbs and flows personally and professional and has no regrets!
On body image
“Take all the energy that goes into worrying about being fat and put it to where it’s much more productive. The number of hours I spent trying to punish my body and pound the pavement and starve myself and count calories. What a waste of time. A) Nothing changed; B) I wasted a huge amount of time. And C) It just sucks! Why do that to yourself?
Counterintuitive though it seems, you will grow more attractive as you get older so there’s absolutely no point in spending a disproportionate amount of time on your appearance. Forget about it. Do more fun things. Forget about obsessing about whatever you see in the mirror. I’m so much more powerful and sexy now. I can’t say anything has changed for the better. I know who I am and I’m not afraid of what’s next.”
“Don’t waste any time with anyone who doesn’t think you’re wonderful. Don’t hang out with negative, toxic people because they take more from you than you can possibly imagine and they give very little back. Screen your friendships.”
“The universe will change so much in that twenty year period. All you can do is keep learning, keep acquiring skills. If you can, keep true to your own magnetic north. If your magnetic north is not about title or about salary, fine. Just find what it is. If you care more about having impact or about a particular cause or about working with nice people, fine. So be it, accept it.
Continue to challenge yourself. Continue to return to ground zero and being ignorant about something. As long as you keep learning how to do things and reminding yourself there’s a lot you don’t know that is fun to learn…you won’t get stale. You’ll find transferable skills and learning.”
“You actually gain new stuff and you lose stuff. It works out. I just don’t look back. I really don’t look back. For me life is always lived in the next 30 seconds.”
“You have two ears and one mouth. Try and use them in that ratio.”
“You have no idea of what can be built up. The edifice of marriage is actually every single day of it. It’s not the institution. It’s the bricks. It’s the private jokes. It’s the routines. It’s the way you know somebody else so well and yet can still learn so much from them. Honestly, the people who know you best are the custodians of your identity. They can call you’re b*******. They know you. They’ve seen you grow. They’ve seen you screw up. They are your treasures. You don’t want to squander that. They made an investment in you.”
“It’s not going to go away. It’s not like you hit 35 and then never have sex again. Really. Again, if you believe in media, like no one over thirty ever has sex and if they do, they have to take the whole pharmaceutical cocktail to help them. I mean, actually, no. It’s really quite a natural. You don’t stop eating food when you’re thirty five, do you?“