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55

I turned 55 on 2/22/22.  For the last few years, I thought, “how can that date NOT be magical?” I pinned all sorts of hopes on this birthday as if then my life would REALLY begin. Or, I’d have everything figured out—a magic key that opened only the best doors.  Surely by that day, my life will have morphed into everything I have been waiting for, everything I’ve been working towards.  I envisioned vacationing in beautiful places with the perfect partner, popping champagne to celebrate…I’m not sure what and laughing with old friends. Or maybe that was a car commercial. No matter!  It was going to be FAB-U-LOUS!

When the day finally came, it was indeed wonderful.  I received calls, texts, and messages from family and friends from all over the world. I felt incredibly lucky and I laughed and cried more than once. I was only hours into being 55 and I was ROCKING IT. And then, it was over. Lying in bed that night, an uneasy feeling began to flood my body.  What was wrong?  A familiar inner voice said with disdain, “You still don’t have it figured out.”

At first, I tried to ignore it. But I was in that odd space of being half-awake and half-asleep where every emotion is weirdly magnified.  I felt lost. I felt stupid and pissed at myself for even entertaining the idea that I could create the life I wanted.  I recounted every choice and every pivot over the last decade.  I began labeling what once seemed like a series of courageous steps as incredibly stupid mistakes-choices I made willingly and couldn’t take back. I journeyed the rabbit hole of comparing myself to my more successful friends with their amazing partners and equally amazing retirement accounts. What had I done to myself?

I continued to silently spin out. It was now 2:00 AM, my birthday officially over.  My room was completely dark and still, as though all the air had been sucked out of it. I instructed myself to take a deep breath and then another, just long enough to allow a different voice to slip in. It wasn’t the voice of a judge or a critic.  This voice was very matter-of-fact.  “The question isn’t ‘what have you done to yourself?’, but rather, ‘what have you done for yourself?’”  OK…That was definitely a more empowering question, but maybe it was a trick.  Maybe I was simply trying to talk myself out of being a screw-up. I decided that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world and started to tally up the things I had done for myself.

Within minutes, I fell asleep.  When I woke up, all my angst felt very far away and what I was left with was a gossamer thread of incredible twists and turns, small life sparks that brought me to this very moment. I’ve always been impatient. I’ve always wanted to get from A to B quickly. But that’s changing.  Life continually reminds me that I’m exactly where I need to be. It’s still unfolding and will always be unfolding.  Even better, I get to choose again and again without time constraints and without judgment.

It’s OK to drive 55. It’s even better to be 55.

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Carol Campos
Carol Camposhttps://carolelizabethco.com/
Like many, I struggled for years wondering what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I had been working in the corporate world for over 20 years, most recently in a leadership role with a Fortune 5 company. Although I was consistently recognized and promoted throughout my career, I somehow knew that I was meant to do something different. I felt stuck in a life that didn’t fit, yet I had created it. What was my purpose? I had no idea. Finally, I left my corporate job and made the leap into the unknown. After doing months of self-discovery work (actually, play!), reconnecting to my higher wisdom, and re-remembering who I was at my core, I realized I didn’t have to fix myself. I also realized that I didn’t have to worry about “finding my purpose.” What I found was that I’m multi-passionate and didn’t want to be boxed into one thing. I didn’t HAVE to be boxed into one thing. I started a podcast and a blog where I explored the human experience—including my own beautiful, messy, but perfect road. This blog later became my column on BizCatalyst 360°. I became a mentor and a wayshower for others. I became a consultant to help improve company culture and improve client relationships. These are things I couldn’t have imagined a few years ago. But as often is the case, the Universe had an even bigger plan for me than I had for myself. My Soul knew what I would be doing long before I did, and I’m grateful that I followed the Divine map that was laid out before me! I love traveling, exploring new cultures, being in nature, and helping people on their own paths. I hold a B.A. in Communications from Hofstra University. I live in Massachusetts with my rambunctious and hilarious cats, Petey, and Emmett.

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8 CONVERSATIONS

    • Thanks so much for reading my essay, Eva. I agree! I think it’s a great thing at any age to continually ask questions and have a willingness to learn and grow. 🙂

  1. A magical birthday date. You received birthday wishes, from friends and family, received texts and calls from around the world, because of who you are. You are yourself and subconsciously acknowledged that form of self analysis awakening the morning after your birthday.

    What you have achieved over the years is truly awesome. Only ‘observers’, people who empathize with you, would appreciate your true worth as a giving, person. You developed skills and passion for your activities encompassing alchemy and strategic mentoring, generating positive development for others to benefit from. You thought of the ‘crazy’ steps you took in previous years. Mistakes, wrong decisions and more, But, and a big BUT, we learn from such errors of judgment. Would The Divine Breadcrumb have been created. Would you be where you are now? Where would your Alchemy and Strategic Mentoring be? You have always possessed these talents, but they were hidden, awaiting liberation. And others have benefitted and continue to do so.

    I for one, have to (want to) acknowledge that you and you alone fired up my energy and passion to write from the heart and to see the results published on The Divine Breadcrumb and Bizcatalyst360. You introduced to to ‘The Automatic Writing Experience’. Indeed I gained from your natural tendency to guide, to advise, to motivate and identify hidden elements.

    Achievement: Your awesome mentoring solutions others benefit from. To accomplish what you achieved, you stepped over thin glaciers, awaiting the splintering of ice. Caution dominating the psyche, ladders to move upwards; but how? The the hope of moving upwards and onwards. Challenging, sometimes painful, but without these experiences you would not be where you are now; a true gem of humanity, A true giver.

    After a night’s sleep in a land of gentle energy and peace you awakened with the realization that you don’t have to deadline everything; a message from perhaps the Universe; ‘what have you done TO yourself’ morphing after a night’s sleep in the land of gentle energy to ‘what have you done FOR yourself’.

    You choose, others benefit. What you have done for yourself develops into what have I done for others?

    You are a giver, Carol. I have witness your energy and self sacrifice, your desire to create activities that bless people with life-changing mentoring bringing into ‘play’ a true alchemy of human appreciation and wonder.

    Carol, from walking along precarious glaciers to ladders leading to nowhere in particular, you have gained freedom through focusing on ‘what you will do for yourself’ and In doing so, many have benefited from your spirit of synergy, spreading wellness and above all your personality. Talking with you Carol lifts my energy factor, but not in a ‘stressful’ manner, but a gently inspiring manner. Thank you Carol for being you.

    • I’m blown away by your kind words, Simon. You are a true friend and you see me for who I am –the good, bad, and the ugly! I think there will always be a critic that comes to me in the night, but each time it does, I bounce back much more quickly. And because of this, I can share a roadmap for others dealing with the same thing while at the same time healing myself at deeper levels. Life is good. Thank you for your friendship. It means the world to me. 🙏🏼💗😊

    • Thanks so much, Charlotte! Yes, I absolutely agree. Thoughts at night are always strange and in the light of day you think, “what was I so stressed about?”

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