What is it like getting older?
I remember asking my dad at the age of sixteen. I have always been curious about hearing the experiences of those older than me, trying to understand what life would be like once I reached a certain age. I would talk to neighbors, grandparents, and aunts, asking life questions.
My undergraduate capstone project was volunteering time at the Sunrise Retirement home. I met some unique individuals whose stories were fascinating, especially the retired CIA agent.
My grandmother was great at sharing her life stories with me. She had endured so much in life yet looked fulfilled and happy. What was her secret?
Story sharing is an art form to pass on information that isn't written, sharing emotions through words. I openly share my good and bad experiences with my teen, sharing life's truths that I have experienced:
- Feeling ugly and insecure because of a boy or a comment made by others.
- That I have failed many times before perfecting my skills.
- I could have been a better friend sometimes, but I wasn't.
- I didn't always give it my 100% when I should have
- I disappointed those I loved the most but learned to apologize and take ownership.
Sharing our vulnerabilities is scary; we want to be perfect and seem perfect to others.
My failures are mine, and so is all the wisdom I gained from them.
I find strength in my vulnerabilities; it's common ground with those I encounter. There is no such thing as a perfect person. We are all work-in-progress, learning to grow while accepting ourselves as we are.
Our failures and success are not independent of each other; they are experiences we grow from.
The secret to life is that we see our experiences as opportunities and eliminate labeling them as good or bad. My grandmother, the wise woman, knew this secret and found her fulfillment and happiness in that thought.
What if we learned to accept our life as it is? No regrets or sadness, just opportunities.
With love and authenticity,
Three T Institute