Growing up, I was always very shy and reserved. I never spoke my true opinion. I wanted to make sure that I made everyone happy and that I was liked. I was very much a pleaser.
This went so far that it took me 25 years to finally tell hugsum that I do NOT like submarine sandwiches! This was a huge shock to him. That is one of his favorite meals. He absolutely LOVES a good submarine. Our first year of marriage we lived in West Palm Beach, Florida. We would drive a little over an hour to Ft. Lauderdale to a special sub place.
I endured and ate and held back gags... then one day I fessed up... I think he has been in mourning ever since. When I'm not around, or he is eating with someone else, he will go for the subs.
Having grown up as a Preachers Kid, and then being the Pastor's Wife... I just learned to not rock the boat, be nice, bite my tongue and go along... take what was given me...
Then, 9 years ago I announced that when I turn 60, I am going to say whatever I want and not hold back. Again, hugsum was shocked. He did not realize that I had been doing that. I told him that I would take it slow and begin to practice it and he had fair warning.
I'm not 60 yet. I have one more year... but, today, on my 59th birthday, I'm gearing up.... I plan to enjoy my age! I've worked hard to get here! I'm always going to be nice about it, but I do not have to say "yes" when I want to say "no". I do not have to eat submarine sandwiches just because that's what is offered me. I can suggest an alternative. I can step outside my box.
It has taken me 59 years to come into my "own". It has taken me stepping out of my comfort zone and owning my life... taking responsibility for my actions, my desires and dreams and stepping out to accomplish them.
I'm loving my life now. I am not intimidated or frustrated. I am very comfortable in my wrinkled, baggy skin. I like me. There truly are huge benefits to growing older - not OLD, just mature.