They say…

So… the illustrative “they” say with age comes wisdom. I’m not entirely sure about all of that. But. What I will say… in my short 42 years, I’ve certainly grown in more ways than just height, weight, and number of birthday candles on my annual celebratory cake.

Each decade of adulthood seems to have a theme: My twenties were for fun and life exploration. Then, my thirties were for completing personal life goals and career expansion. Now, my forties have become the decade to liberate myself from expectations thrust upon me by others… by society… and giving myself permission… to say NO!!

“The wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me.”

– Maya Angelou

I’m working to be a better person and a better friend. Lord knows, I’ve not always been the best version of myself. I’ve lost friends… men have walked away… relationships have ended… because I deserved it. Selfish. Self-centered. Irresponsible. Yep. Me. I’m happy to say this is behind me. The past is the past. Lessons learned; some more painful than others. I’m proud to say I’ve come a long way. And, I know… I still have a lot of self improvement left too. It all takes time, focus, and commitment.

“We encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.”

– Maya Angelou

In conversations, I still find myself wondering, “Am I talking too much?” because I really detest my self-centered tendencies. I guess it may be human nature from an age-old, self preservation type thing, but still… I work to do better. Active listening is key!! Most of the time, people simply want time to tell their story and to be HEARD!!

“Try to be the rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

– Maya Angelou

As I better myself, continually, I also find my standards have improved as well. Accountability starts with me. I’m accountable for how I treat others and I’m equally as responsible for how I allow others to treat me. For decades, I let a lot of things slide or go “unnoticed” for the most part. Now? Not so much. It appears I’ve found my voice.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

– Maya Angelou

In life…

Your opinion of me is not my concern. I no longer care what anyone thinks about me or my choices. No. One. If I do not own, wear, or look in a way that is to your standards, then your judgment is a reflection of you… not me. My life; my choices. Your approval is not necessary. AND…  your disapproval is instantly dismissed.

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

– Maya Angelou

Love me or leave me. Seriously, if you don’t love me, please leave me because I have no patience or tolerance for you. God doesn’t make mistakes and I am wonderfully made by Him. With that said, I may not be your cup of tea… and that is OK!! Totally o-k-a-y. So, here is the door; God Bless. Wishing you well… yet wishing you far, FAR away.

“If you only have one smile in you give it to the people you love.”

– Maya Angelou

Friendships are paramount; however, I’ve learned the hard way that fake friends are prevalent and foul. Try as you may to weed them out… it takes time. They are tricky suckers. Ha! Only those with my best interest at heart, who bring joy and value, are allowed in my inner circle of influence. (These expectations are, of course, reciprocated).

“You may not control all of the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

– Maya Angelou

Life is about choices. I refuse to make others a priority who simply consider me an afterthought. You can take the cart you’re peddling and move it elsewhere. No one is interested in what you’re selling. Not here. Not now. Certainly not whenever you feel like it or only when convenient for you. Thanks; no thanks. Sorry; not sorry.

“A wise woman wishes to be no ones enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.”

– Maya Angelou

When people are out of their ever-loving minds, please do not be surprised when I put my foot down to stop the nonsense. Respectfully. That behavior is not acceptable. Period. I was not put on this earth to change folks; however, I will indeed be the first to point them in the right direction when it comes to interacting with me and my loved ones.

“When people show you who they are believe them; the first time.”

– Maya Angelou

Enlightened? Maybe. Empowered? Maybe, yes. My value is high. I respect myself. I’m worth more. MUCH more.

“When you know better, do better.”

– Maya Angelou

© Renae Rossman and Candy Coated Reality™

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