Congratulations—You’ve made it to your 30s and are starting to get comfortable with the idea of turning 40! I know you’re not entirely comfortable with the idea because you feel youth slipping away and do not like the idea that you are reaching the hump and it’s all downhill from here. It’s okay—take comfort in the fact that you are here!
Now, I know that you are struggling with a few things. I was there myself and want to help you out a little bit and talk with you about control.
You’re probably asking why control? It’s important. Control. We like to have things our way, but as you get older you are want more and more to have things the way you believe they should be. You are settling in to being you. This is not good or bad, just the way it is, and I can help you adapt to this part of life. The sooner you do it, the easier it will be.
As I was saying, the older you get the more you want things your way. You’ve been forming a set of beliefs that are solidifying in the synapses of your brain, setting like stone. The way this affects you is diverse, and the problem of control mainly births anger. Surprise, anger is a symptom, not a disease. It is a symptom of feeling out of control.
Things that don’t align with what you want, which is really how you believe the world should be around you, upset you. They didn’t used to. You knew that things don’t go your way, the world doesn’t revolve around you, all the things your parents would tell you, the Serenity Prayer, all that. You still know that, but you no longer accept it.
You get angry on the road because people don’t drive the way you believe they should. You get angry at your boss because you don’t get the promotion you believe you have earned. You get angry at the wall because it is not where you believe it should be at the moment you stub your toe. The symptom of the disease aggravates when you try to hide from it. You drink more to numb yourself to the pain. You hide from friends and family to avoid facing them and acknowledging the battles you have lost.
STOP IT. NOW.
Just like your parents told you, the world does not revolve around you. As much as you want to control everything, all of your smarts, knowledge, and talents cannot make things work the way you want them to. In fact, you probably are surprisingly disappointed that your life did not turn out the way you thought it would be. One word—control.
Just as important, if not more, as hearing your parents again is one more thing:
IT IS OKAY.
As much as you want to hold tightly to your fate and destiny, you are not able to. Uncertainty is your only destiny after all. Your sense of control is an illusion. One moment can change all of your hard work and plans. One. Single. Moment. A phone call. A trip to the store. You know what I’m talking about, and you remember. Embrace that.
But, it’s not all negative, you know. One moment can also do more for your growth and development than all of that hard work. Remember these too, but they are often harder because they are usually smaller events. Remember and be encouraged.
Life is not against you.
Those are the moments shape your destiny. Be flexible enough to roll with them when they come. I call it life’s riptide. If you fight it, you die. As hard and unnatural as it is, just relax. Let it pull you. Let it drag you under. Let it tumble and disorient you. Do not give it a fight. It will tire and release you. You will breathe again.
If it is that current that will not let you go, still do not fight it. Experience its power and beauty. Let your final moments be one of clarity, experience, peace, and joy as you embrace the fullness of your life.
As hard as it may be to believe sometimes, things are okay. Everything is okay. Everything is just the way it is supposed to be. You do not have to control it all. And you cannot. It is impossible and a futile endeavor. Fight a good fight, but do not fight yourself. Let go and enjoy it all. This is the only time you will be at this stage in life. This is the only stage you have. Make the most of it all.
I know it isn’t easy to hear these things. You don’t want to, and I understand. Thank you for your patience, and thank you for reading all of this. I hope it has brought comfort to your soul.