50...i love you.
Last week I turned 50. While it's a milestone, it's also just another day. One that reminds me time is on the short end of the stick.
This past year has had wonderful moments and moments of challenge, as do all years of our life. And one thing I've never shied away from is being real so here's a big dose of half century real for you.
Over 30 days ago I took Instagram off of my phone. (If you're seeing this post on my IG it's because you can share to your account if it was connected via your FB page. However, you can't see posts which is perfect. You can see messages that come to your IG as well, so if it was something important I'll reach out to that person) I posted about it but I thought I'd share some valuable insights I've gained. I haven't missed it. In fact, it's been quite wonderful since it became a space of blatant self centered promotion. But here's the thing, people don't really GET anything from platforms like that. Sure you can get ideas and even some products from it, but what REALLY does it GIVE you, or DO for you. The things in life that really benefit us are those things that are real and tangible. things we have a true connection with...our families, our friends, the community around us. I gained much more not allowing myself to access it than I did when I was using it.
WHAT BRINGS ME PRIDE...
I'm proud that you will always know where I stand. THAT is the most real a person can be.
I have to say I am proud I use my voice to stand up for things that matter...the right for a woman to choose, the right to love you who want to love, the right to be who you want to be, the right to read, the right to bear arms.
I'm proud that my kids work hard, they give their best effort, and for the most part are respectful. Although they can be ungrateful (I mean, can't we all? I know I am some days) I know at their core that they are really good humans.
I'm proud I've not handed my children everything despite being able to do so.
I'm proud I put myself first when I need to.
I'm proud that I love myself. I, like you all, have shortcomings, but I'm proud I've learned through the years that who I am is pretty darn amazing.
WHAT PIECES OF ADVICE I CAN GIVE...
People, be freaking real. Stop pretending to be something you aren't. Isn't it exhausting trying to pretend? We all KNOW you didn't "just get out of bed" like that, that your "no makeup look" is in fact not no make up, that you do indeed have a filter on (pores people), that one leg with a toe up looks terrible in pics when you do it ALL of the time, that bodies are beautiful but showing cleavage to say "had a good day" isn't about your good day...I think you get the picture. PEOPLE, BE REAL. If people don't love you for who you are at the core, they don't love you for what you think you have to pretend to be. If it makes you FEEL better to pretend and that social media is validating you, you need a therapist not likes on your posts.
Do your research when it comes to anything you are going to invest your time and money into. This involves anything, but I especially implore you to investigate non profits you donate to. I'm especially vocal about this because I know that some people are being taken advantage based on false pretenses. DO. YOUR. RESEARCH.
Use your voice. Stop taking the neutral, middle road. Damn, there are some scary things going on in our world and especially so in politics. I can't even begin to understand the idea that there are those who believe that rights only pertain to a certain type of person.
Work hard, give harder. Help where you can, give advice and insight where you can, but ALSO know when you are being unappreciated. This was the biggest lesson I learned last year.
WHAT I CAN SAY ABOUT BEING SELF EMPLOYED...
So many of you devalue our industry. The added benefit of not being on IG is I don't get annoyed with all of those creators devaluing our industry posting about "work" they're doing when I KNOW a lot of it is for free or for less than you're worth. ;-) STOP IT.
EVERY SINGLE EVENT NEEDS TO HAVE BACKGROUND CHECKS AND A CODE OF CONDUCT EXPECTATION. Period. High schools in this area don't and they should because there are a couple that shouldn't be any where NEAR a high school age girl let alone have access to her. This goes for events too, especially those that have teenage athletes. PS. Safe Sport is great BUT it doesn't keep someone from getting it if they've been fired from multiple jobs due to harassment of women. FIGHT FOR YOUR CHILDS RIGHT TO BE PROTECTED. STOP BEING COMPLACENT ABOUT IT. THIS IS NOT SPECULATION.
More women need to be considered for teams and jobs. Don't proudly post a picture of a media team and celebrate women when there is a significant male to female ratio. There are enough talented, hard working females to have EQUAL representation. Stop with the gate keeping.
Stop expecting champagne on a Boone's budget. I get SO tired of seeing people wanting work for cheap. I get people have a budget, but YOU are part of the problem and forcing people to be desperate and take work. Save your coffee or liquor money and pay more for services. Why does the self employed industry get treated like this? You can't do that for other services you seek so stop doing it to creatives, hairstylists, independent auto repairmen/women, etc.
So, 50, I think you're going to be great and I love you. Keep being real because that is the best way to be.