I sometimes do this thing when making decisions for which I may later feel guilty where I say to myself, “When I am on my death bed, how will I feel about (insert ridiculous action/thought/decision/person here)?” I have to admit that it has been a great tool to check in with how I’m really feeling about something, and later not allow myself to entertain any sort of guilt about making that decision, feeling that feeling, or taking that action. I tap into my inner Jaime, and get to know her on a more raw level of being. She is so badass.
At this point in my life, I have a lot of decisions to make in the next month. I need to make sure that I stay on track with what I’m truly feeling, and if the decisions I’m making are right for me in the moment or right for me in the long term. And I admit that I have a tendency to get caught up in the day-to-day outside voices and social structures that tell me I “have to” (oh no! there that is again!) be doing life a certain way by my mid-30s. And once in a while it does affect my thought patterns so that the badass inner Jaime feels conflicted with choices and the “have to” ways of being.
But I think I found a remedy for that today. I came across an article in a magazine about the “aha moment” people have in their lives that send them in another direction from which they were journeying. I know that my original “aha moment” was back in Africa when I felt the energy pop through my body like a lightning storm, releasing all of my fears about not being married or having children yet. Since then, it has been self-reflection after self-reflection, and the “aha moment” has certainly led to varying degrees of fearless decisions. However, I am human, and as a human with real emotions and a fairly logical thought process, I go through the series of questions about my path. We all do this at some point, but when it’s time to throw away the “have to” ways of being, we need not to tap into our badass inner now self, but rather tap into our badass inner 90 year old self.
Most of us hope to live long, fulfilling lives, but do we actually slow down to realize that being fulfilled is happening now, in the moment, amidst the hustle and bustle of the technology generation?
So here’s what we are all going to do: we are going to write a letter to ourselves from our badass 90 year old self. This is a My Version, My Life official homework assignment, and I expect it on my desk by Friday morning. Kidding, but not really. I do hope you take the time to try this with yourself, and if you do, comment on the post and let me know how it goes. If you are feeling brave enough to publish it, I’d love to honor your badass 90 year old self in a guest blog post!
Dear young, beautiful, badass Jaime,
Oh honey, you need not worry about the next step because even though you feel old (trust me, wait till you get to my age!), you are so vibrant and full of life. You have so much talent and charisma, and you have gotten so far in this crazy world, and for the most part have kept a level head about it all. I know how hard it has been to lose some cherished loved ones, and to search for your place in all of this, but trust me, you find it.
Remember: your challenges are your strength, and your heart is your guide. Trust what you know to be true for you and the rest will fall into place. It always has. It always will. You have to trust that you are guided by a light, one that you have always followed, so moving to Colorado is no different than your calling to go to Africa, or your calling to become a teacher, or your calling to transfer to UMass, or your knowing to write this very letter.
You have a long way to go before you can give up on your dreams, even if giving up feels like the easy decision. It’s not, because when you are my age, you will see that fighting for what you believe in, even if what you believe in makes no sense to anyone else but you, is the only answer and the only choice. Don’t give up on your dreams, because if you do, then you’ve given up on you and me, and I don’t think we would have made it to 90 if giving up were an option…
I need to remind you that your move to Colorado is the right one, even if there are people and things you are going to miss. That’s okay, because if you had chosen to stay in Massachusetts, you would have regretted it. You know how we can’t live with regrets like that (I am you after all, remember?), and I’m glad you made the choice finally. You won’t believe how truly blessed the rest of your life turns out.
Remember that you are loved and supported. There is nothing in your way. You will have everything you ever wanted and more.
I’ll be waiting for you, and until we meet again, dance with all of your might, sing with all of your heart, love with all of your soul, and be the you that you know you are…
With the deepest compassion and love,
Your badass 90 year old self