All my life I’ve struggled with this concept of ‘being nice.’ I always said the right thing, was polite and showed a good face. I did good deeds and expected life, and the people in it, to also do unto me as I had done unto them. But that was not the case a great deal of the time. Heck, that was not the case most of the time.
Last year I turned 50 but opted not to celebrate because I was in shock. Soon after I deeply regretted negating my own birthday, so on the months that followed I went to work on being true to myself and saying “Vete pa’l carajo,“ starting with myself.
As I DID celebrate this year, I realized how that number, those two digits in the calendar of my life, that five followed by that oh so terrifying zero had helped me realize how important it is to be true to oneself.
In the past twelve months, I left the uncomfortable comfort of corporate America to re-launch Contacto Latino and get paid nothing but sheer joy to do this, I rededicated professionally to writing and journalism (my true loves), and I’ve learned how to say the words I avoided all my life: “Vete pa’l carajo.”
It has not been easy because it is painful to leave behind a mask that so securely hides imperfections. But as wrinkles and rollitos start to inevitable grace the cover of my physical being; it is with appreciation that I welcome the growing pains of life after 50 and start to finally recognize why do they call them the ‘Golden Years.’
I’m still a nice person and I appreciate even more those who follow the Golden Rule; but I don’t cling to the response of others in order to feel that I’m a good human being. That’s not required any longer. And I’m enjoying the freedom of truly saying what I think. After all, wouldn’t being honest ultimately make me an even better person?