This photo was taken last summer, inside the Thinkhouse Collective. I had just moved the Citizen HQ into the Thinkhouse, and was enjoying the afternoon sun. I was neophyte to Instagram. As you can see, I was indulging in my fascination with fascinators, enjoying my gorgeous hand-made Piccolo Red Rose hat, made for me by "Dr. Stacy," a multi-talented woman with a soft spot for vintage.
My latest incarnation takes place beneath a blossoming crown of ruby red dyed hair, shot in front of a place aptly enough called the Copper Gate. I'm feeling every bit a summer rose blooming madly in this gorgeous spot of earth called Seattle. While I feel very much the same, I can also feel/see the differences between my present and former selves, with the last few years chronicled on this blog. "I'm the very same girl," I think, as I review these former versions of myself, I just have more tree-rings. More marks of history in the form of grey hairs, wrinkles and laugh lines to be sure, but worn with more ease and confidence than I've ever felt before in my life.
If I were to offer any words of advice to a younger self, I would offer the following:
1) Don't wait for happiness. Never think that happiness will come in the future if you're not holding onto some of it now. Don't fool yourself and say: I'll be happy IF... I were....(fill in the blank: a size 2, an straight A student, a pro wrestler) or HAD... (a brand new Prada, a new sports car, the newest iPhone, or that man) because THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. No-one and no-thing will ever MAKE you happy. You CHOOSE to be happy- now and not later. If you're not willing to savor whatever little bit of happiness you've got in your present, you won't grasp a hold of it for later.
2) Be comfortable in your own skin. You are WHO you are, so get used to it. Be the best YOU that you can possibly be, and savor all the good bits. The years wasted on wishing to look like, or act like or be somebody else is a waste of time. Cherish WHAT you have, WHEN you have it; embrace it. You can alter certain elements, but the core materials, the essence of you ARE, is perfectly expressed as is, so best you work with what you've got rather than wish for what you don't.
3) Move past your fears. Go ahead and be afraid, just don't let your fear keep you from doing anything. Look smack dab into the eyes of of the likelihood that you can and will survive almost anything that can or will befall you. Better yet, with the right circumstances, you'll probably flourish, in spite of your hardships, heartaches and heartbreaks. Afraid of looking foolish? Go ahead and appear foolish, ferchrissakes, you ARE foolish. And fabulous. And fortunate. AND really, really resilient. Trust me, I am your future self, and you're going to outrun almost every set-back stepped in front of you. You will survive them, I promise. In fact, you may become a better person for having survived them.
4) Trust your gut. That instinctive little voice that tell you things, knows shit you don't know, so trust it. TRUST IT! Trust it with all your heart, mind and soul. Weird warning to avoid that side street? Listen and take a different route. An urge to check out the job classifieds although you already have a job? Check it out, for fits and giggles. Got some inexplicable urge to put your crazy-spinster-heart on the line, and chase some dude to Seattle? Go for it. Regardless of expected outcome, act on your gut and you'll do what is right. In spite of appearances, it will NOT steer you wrong. Under no circumstances dismiss that gut feeling. It's wisdom in your body that just KNOWS. It knows beyond a shadow of doubt and before and beyond reason. IT JUST KNOWS. So, believe me when I tell you to believe it.
5) Spread the sunshine. Share your good feelings, good thoughts and good fortune with others. And please don't wait for some future moment to share your affections, share them before it's too late. If you love someone, tell them. Tell it to them 2 minutes ago. Life can be harsh at times, (it can be a cold and cruel world) so it's up to us to soften the blow by sharing our warmth.
|Check out the new badge for the +40 Blog Roll. To get your own, just copy and paste the html code on sidebar.|
Speaking of sharing, I've just made a badge for my +40 Blog Roll. Who would have guessed that the barely 20 some list of over forty year old bloggers posted last February, would have grown to over one hundred and counting? Now, there's a badge for the Blog Roll, so if you'd like to put one on your side bar, please feel free to do so! You can see the code on my side bar, but if you need a specific size or some help in putting it on your blog, feel free to contact me, and I'll be happy to help!
And speaking of happy, I'm happy to announce that the Karina Dresses GIVE-AWAY has got a winner! And you can see who won their own Karina dress by clicking HERE.
That's sound advice. I was recently asked what advice I'd give my younger self and I said don't worry so much, have more confidence in your ability and take a gap year (though I'm so old it wasn't called a gap year back then!)
Oh you are a warm, wise and wonderfully wicked woman, sweet Bella ... thank you for reminding me of what REALLY matters. You're so right, don't wait for wonderful things to happen! xoxoxo
Very wise advice. Is it strange that I'm glad that the blogging world has given me so many awesome women like you to look up to?
Thank you for your wise advices, made me really think! You are absolutely right!
I really can't believe you're over 40! You're not are you? What's your secret?! Blogging seems to keep people looking young. I think it's down to the clothes people where, boring clothes make you look old.
Beatuiful rose and beautiful hair. Send some sunshine to the UK please!
Fabulous advice for anyone of any age, Bella! I love last year's Bella and her fabulous fascinator and I love today's Bella and her beautiful red hair and contagious smile.
Fabulous and heart-warming post Bella, I hope we all take from it what we need.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
Fantastic post, Bella! Don't wait for happiness -- great words of wisdom. I added your new gadget to my sidebar, I love the graphics.
What fantastic words, Bella! You are such a wise and fabulous woman. I love the tree rings analogy and just adore you with ruby red hair. xxx
What a lovely uplifting post today Bella. It's nice to be reminded of these points. And 40+ ers certainly DO rock!
Oh, to be crowned with roses. It's like being your own garden! And I love your wonderful tips, encouraging us to enjoy those concentric tree rings of life. Besides, FOOLISH is what I do best :-)
Loved your previous post too particularly referencing the French new wave cinema. Truffaut, et al were really on to something.
You look terrific in the leopard print!
-- Jenny xxx
What a great attitude you have, lady. Some of these bits of advice are harder to implement than others. For me, trusting my gut is HARD. It's tricky to tell the difference between having a bad feeling about something and just being paranoid! :)
you're so right and so wise!, love your great attitude, ready to Spread The Sunshine of your redhaired beauty and wisdom!!
I love every last piece of advice. So true.
Numbers 3 & 4 are spot on. I was in my early 30s before I began to CONFRONT the pesky fears et voila, at age 40--the most unlikely but perfect partner appeared!
Everything you say is so true, and I wish someone had said all that to the younger me... I will try and pass on the wisdom to my kids, and remember it for myself too, of course.
Love you with the rose fascinator but your fabulous red hair doesn't need any extra adornment now!
Yay for being over 40 and rocking it! xxxx
Awesome blog roll and idea- lovin the bud.
Very wise words. I have nothing to add but thank you!
Such a great post! These are all things that I need to be reminded of from time to time...
Courtney ~ http://sartorialsidelines.com
Bella, that is sage advice, and I would give it to my younger self if I could. We all need reminding of these things once in a while as we get caught up in our busy, busy, busy-ness. Thanks! Also, I tried to copy the 40+Blogrool badge to my website, and Blogger says the html contains "illegal characters" :(
I just popped your vibrant 40+ Blogroll badge on my blog. Thanks for starting the list oh so many moons ago. I'm a proud, proud member of the 40+ club.
Hugs & Happy Weekend,
Thank you for your kind words of advice. Definitely words everyone should take to heart.
Your first photo reminds me of how the Andalusian women wear their hair around this time of year to go to the feria. Lovely post - I'm turning 40 in a couple of weeks, not feeling great about it to be honest but maybe adding your badge to my sidebar will cheer me up!
Oh Bella, this is beautiful. I love don't wait for happiness. I wish I had known that when I was younger and appreciated myself more then.
I would also add to my younger self that you will have to learn these lessons again and again.
Fabulous life advice Bella. So true, all of it. The one thing I'd add is to realize how beautiful you are. Too many women go around thinking they're ugly. Then we look back and see the photos when we were younger and realize, belatedly, that we were gorgeous. Its something I try to accept and enjoy right now, because I know one day I'll look back at now and think "I was so young and I thought I was old!"
Thanks for sharing your happiness thoughts and experience <3 .. you are such a beautiful and inspiring woman!! Muuuuuuuuuwa
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