"Have fun, that's what your twenties are for.
Your thirties are for learning the lessons and your forties?
Are for paying for the drinks."
~ Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City)
Silly as it may sound, I am eternally grateful to Carrie and friends for helping me find the courage to get out of a bad marriage in my late twenties, allowing me a clear mind with which to learn the lessons of my thirties.
Maybe it's just a phase, but I've determined the smartest guy who ever lived was Lao-Tzu. I normally avoid questions like, "If you could have dinner with one person, living or dead, who would you choose?" But I suppose if I had to choose today, he's my man. Whenever I can't make sense out of people (which seems to be quite often in my thirties), I've learned to pick up the Tao Te Ching and read some of his wisdom. (Ahhh, the kind of wisdom that isn't shoved down my throat. Real, honest-to-goodness wisdom!) One of my favorite quotes of his is this one:
"When you are content to be simply yourself
and don't compare or compete,
everybody will respect you."
I'm sure my *self* is rather fluid. Like anyone, I believe I am influenced by people, places, circumstances, etc. But I believe that is how things should be. And that is precisely how we learn and grow... Not by remaining stagnant and rigid and stuck in our ways, but by evolving every day. I have come a long way from my twenties, when I thought I was supposed to do certain things or act a certain way just because society told me to. Life is so much simpler and I feel more content when I live the way I want to live.