“A mental Shift is required if we want to go from fear to faith, from scarcity to abundance, from being average to being awesome.”
Malcolm Johansson

For those that know me well you’ll know I have just celebrated a big birthday. I am now 50! The older I get the quicker time seems to pass so I took the time to really think about the things I really wanted to achieve by this time in my life.

Hitting any milestone often triggers feelings and emotions of times past, opportunities missed, goals hit and mistakes made, so it was important for me to sit down and pen my feelings and thoughts on my personal journey to this point.

I have thought about this blog for months and what I would write. I have started and stalled so many times and even at times, forgotten what I wanted to write – Remember my memory is not what it was, I am 50.

I have decided not to indulge in a list of negatives to pre-warn those of you approaching middle age. You know what I mean, the stories of droopy boobs, hot sweats, grey hairs, wrinkles etc. etc. etc. Instead, I want to share the things I have been doing to honour this time in the hope that I can be a better Melanie. A kinder more mindful Melanie.

First things first, ‘age is just a number’. People say this all the time and I thought it was just some blasé saying we say to make old people feel better.  Bullshit to that! It’s not a saying, it’s a fact! I don’t feel any different now than when I was 30 and I feel better about who I am than I did at 40!

I for one will not be conforming to societies expectations (which still exist) of middle-aged women. I will continue to wear what I want and say what I want. There will be no growing old with dignity and grace in this house.

So, how am I celebrating this milestone birthday?

I’m doing lots of the normal things, vacation with the kids, family photo shoot, writing a journal etc. etc. etc. But I am also taking this opportunity to do some more ‘out there’ things, that the younger me didn’t have the guts to do, to celebrate my body, work on being a better person and caring for my mental health. Exciting stuff!!!

So, first things first. Physical acceptance!  I had a nude/boudoir photo shoot! EEEK!!! (NUDITY WARNING)

Anyone that has ever done this will confess that it is one of the single most liberating and loving things you will for yourself. I wasn’t going to share but I decided to add some more ‘conservative’ photos of my session in the hope that I could encourage confidence and self-love in someone else.

I have never felt so desirable in my life until more recent years and I have never had so much confidence in my body and how I look. That confidence is far sexier than the size 2 figure with perky boobs and self-doubt. Confidence will always be more desirable, always.

When I was 39, I was still carrying unwanted baby weight and after seeing a photo of myself, I was so disappointed in how I looked I hired a Personal Trainer and went on a mission to lose weight. By my 40th birthday I was in the best physical fitness of my life and my body looked fantastic.  I was miserable, but I looked hot.

I have recently compared photos of myself between then and now and the difference is evident, being that more ‘socially desirable’ size, with a six pack to boot didn’t make me a happier person. Counting calories, pain and discomfort from over exercise and beating myself up because I dared to eat a Snickers made me frigging miserable, I wasn’t doing this for me, I was doing it to conform, which, when I sit and think about it, is complete madness, I don’t normally conform to anything!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am an advocate for the gym! I actually do miss working out. I miss it more for my mental health and clarity than the visible effects and tight butt cheeks. Both of my kids use a gym or do some kind of sport every day. As parents, building great life skills and routines for a healthy life is one of our core values, but looking incredible on the outside will never make you the best version of yourself.

You have to believe in your beauty and be confident in who you are to look and be your absolute best. Having that photo shoot done made me realize all the amazing things my body has done, where it has taken me and the adventures, God willing, that are yet to come.

Someone said to me recently that when I’m 80, sitting in my senior’s home, I can look back at those images and be reminded of just how hot I was. What’s sad about that comment is that it’s so true. We wait for the future to celebrate who we were in the past when we should be celebrating who we are right now in this moment.

These photos are a celebration of me and if this is something you have been thinking about, I highly recommend it.

So, despite the wrinkles, mom pouch and the odd brown spot, (all of which were earned and are loved) I’m pretty happy with the way I look at 50 – Yay ME!!!

So, I’ve covered the physical part and I’m killing it, but I really wanted to dig deeper into what makes me tick, why I am who I am, how I could adjust and change to make me a better person. To do this, I made a valuable investment in a life/business coach, my other big bucket list item checked off.

Now, my Coach is far from the touch feely type. She makes you work hard, dig deep and really see yourself. It can be painfully uncomfortable, I cry… a lot, but I never doubt she is there to help me become the best person I can be and there’s complete acceptance (and lots of laughs). I’m very fortunate to have found her.

“Some people were meant to be in your life to help you realize the best version of you.”
Hopal Green

Like all of us, I’m a product of my environment, my experiences and those I surround myself with. I am a rebel at heart and have always loved being told NO! That’s all I needed to defy those who tried to hold me back, but that more aggressive “I’ll show you” attitude has not always served me well.

My generation of women are those that broke many discriminatory barriers for the younger generations. I have always felt I needed to fight, and, as such, my experience of hustling for my place and making my mark has given me a hardened view on life and on people.  I made that choice to think that way, when in reality, having a softer more open minded approach and more empathetic view of others would have helped me through life. I’m slowly learning this.

I’m two very different people depending on who I’m with. I’m very protective of those I love and those close to me. I am often referred to as the Mama Bear and I will not hesitate to go for the jugular if you mess with my people.

Now those people could be anyone. My husband, my kids (hell, do not mess with them), my team (all amazing women) and quite frankly anyone I see being treated unfairly. I have raised my children not to sit on the sidelines, speak up, stand up and be a voice for justice and fight unfairness. My issue has always been the fight part, although I preach that I hate confrontation, I actually encourage it.

I’m tough, unforgiving, sometimes mean, a bit of a Karen. Actually, that’s bullshit, I’m a lot of a Karen. I’m very stuck in my ways, and although I relish new opportunity and adventure I also feel safe in the norm, the regular.

I get anxious when I do something new, but it’s that anxiety that I use as my fuel to push forward, which, in turn, can often look like aggression to those on the outside. I now understand that this is all a protective mechanism. I’m protecting myself from being hurt and being judged.

I know why I am who I am and it has got me this far, although I am understanding now that this far could have been a lot easier on me if I’d had the confidence to bring down my barriers and show the softer side that those that love me see all the time.

I have had many instances where people have had pre-conceived ideas about who I am, work with me and then declare, “You’re actually really nice” – You know what, that’s not a compliment, that’s kind of sad. We are all so judgmental, of everyone, but, individually, we are  responsible for how we put ourselves out into the world.

I have always felt liked I enjoyed being the tough one, the bitch, the badass. Honestly, it has often felt good to me for people to be little apprehensive when dealing with me, I felt in control. But it’s the same as liking cocaine. You enjoy the feeling but you know it’s not good for you. I need to start being good to me, I’m tired. Being tough is a façade and constant work.  I am a great person, great mother and great wife but I could be so much more and give so much more if I loved myself enough and trusted myself enough to take off the mask so many of you see.

So, in my 50th year and I am learning about who I really am and how I can share the best version of Melanie with those around me. Now, I’m not going to be running around hugging everyone and blowing air kisses. I respect myself for taking a stand, for being a protector but it’s how I do that that’s in question. I’m content to ask those questions of myself and I know I am definitely a work in progress, but I hope by trusting who I really am will help me discover new people, new opportunity to grow and ignite new vigor, because, regardless of your age, it’s never too late to want to be the best version of yourself.


Love and Be Loved

902 394 7071 | melanie@impresspei.com | realtorinpei.com

Photo Source: Kathleen MacDonald and Melanie Press

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