I've reached that state I always longed for: not caring what other people think.
In about a month I will be turning 50.
As I look back, I remember how I thought I was already too old to wear shorts. Now, I'm wearing them and I'm not worried whether I'm too old, or what people might think or say. I'm pretty sure nobody is going to come and tell me to my face that I'm too old for them and if this happens, I'll laugh it off.
I've reached that state I always longed for, that I just couldn't for the life of me give up: caring about what people thought.
Now, I'm finally free. I've actually freed myself from comparing myself to others, from the need to be liked and accepted. Now, it's my time. Out of self-respect, I wear, do, say, and act as I want.
It's been such a long journey to get here. It's taken many falls and lots of self-loathing to kick my butt and come to this awareness that nothing but life is that important; that being angry at someone, at yourself, and at the world is not worth it.
I now live according to my standards and spend time doing what I like, which is mostly spending time with the people I love, doing things I enjoy, and taking jobs that make me happy, paid or unpaid. I have no time to waste on petty things.
Of course, just as I never imagined turning thirty or forty, 50 was unfathomable.
Youth believes that older people are a different species. Well ... no. We may age physically, but our inside sometimes takes longer to adjust. That might be why we look in the mirror and can't recognize ourselves.
At almost 50, as my good friend Franck said, "Now I don't live for my future; I live from my past." Meaning, he's enjoying the now with all he's experienced.
The future holds less value; the now is what's relevant. And in having a deeper understanding of life, the enjoyment is tenfold.
At 50, I've reached my destination. I am who I always wanted to be.
This article was originally published at onlifeandhope.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.