A friend was telling me about her recent trip to a family function. As they were walking out of a restaurant, her nephew pulled her aside, hugged her, and said:

“I’m not sure what you’ve done with the old you, but I thoroughly love the new one.”

And he meant it in the best possible way.

She was only too happy to share her story because she knew she was better than ever before. She’d left the “old” her behind years ago. The “new” her was the best she could be.

Before, she wasn’t self-assured. Now, she knows who she is, and she isn’t afraid to speak. She says what needs to be said. She lives and speaks her truth.

And those around her see the change.

When you think of midlife when you’re in your twenties and thirties, you see a time where you lose your youth, begin to have more health problems, and add more stress to your daily activities as you try and achieve more balance at home and work.

Advertising would have you believe that as women, it’s all downhill as we hit a certain age. We become consumed with youthful tactics, looking for the next pill, cream, diet, or exercise that will return all we’ve lost. We can’t go looking for passion – it’s way behind us with no chance in hell of finding it ever again.

And then – Magic * Presto

We reach that certain age.

And we discover they’re all WRONG!

It happens in midlife, when all of a sudden you aren’t willing to put up with the all the crap you used to do. You get tired of living a lie. You grow weary of having to put on a fake smile and pretend. You know what’s deep inside and you want that to come bubbling up to the top, ready to take on the world.

We suddenly know who we are, we’ve established our identity, and we’re not afraid to release it to the world.

If you like who we’re becoming, we welcome you in. If you don’t, it’s probably best if we part ways.

And while that may hurt for a bit, what’s even more difficult to think about is the chance for not having that opportunity. To stay the same because it’s expected. To holding back who we are simply to please someone else.

It’s midlife. We can choose our friends, our relationships, our careers, where we live, what we do, based on who we want to be. We understand our pursuits and what brings fulfillment. We set goals and are eager to find the fastest way possible to make it all come true.

We’re willing to do that by joining groups, finding new hobbies, or even defining a new career, all for helping us be more on target with who we’re meant to be.

We shed superficial relationships that are holding us back. Time is precious – why waste it on people that don’t have our best interests at heart? It gives us time to nurture more meaningful connections with those we truly do want to build a relationship with.

We also learn that it’s what we put out to the world that matters most. If you have something to say, say it. If you choose to do something, do it. Because to not do it means you aren’t living your truth. You do things for you, not because you expect anything out of it. It makes you who you are meant to be, and it has nothing to do with what is reciprocated back to you. Ebb and flow aren’t always from one specific person or route.

We’ve been there, done that. And we have less patience to stand idly by just because it’s the normal pattern or routine. We’ve learned from our mistakes. We know what we want. And why should we not expect what’s coming to us?

If you’re not with us, get out of the way.

That’s why people move to new jobs, move to new homes in new geographical locations, and find new relationships that can help them become who they desire at this time of their lives.

Some people call that a crisis.

I just call it standing up for myself.