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Holy shit, it's been 12 years since this photo was taken, and I can't believe it's been that long!

It's true what they say, "don't blink, or you'll miss it".

I still feel like it was yesterday when I traveled to the Cayman Islands for an all-girls holiday. For two weeks, we partied, we swam with stingrays, we met new friends, we danced, we saw a beautiful cayman parade with sequins and amazing energy, we went on a submarine (I'm extremely claustrophobic so that was an adventure in itself, but I didn't want to miss the opportunity), we walked the beach for hours stopping at local bars along the water, I drank before noon, I got a tattoo that I will never live down, (thanks to the "Frozen" soundtrack), we swam with dolphins, we visited endangered turtles, we went to "Hell", we threw off our sundresses as we ran off the dock jumping into the water in just our panties and bra as we re-enacted a scene from MAMA MIA, and oh-my-Gawd did we laugh.

I'm 47 in a few weeks and as I grow closer to 50 I hear my moms' voice play over in my head as she once told me, "enjoy every minute of your 40's because you're going to blink, and you'll be 60. Well, that couldn't be further from the truth, as I said, "I can't believe it's been 12 years since this photo was taken, it feels like yesterday".

We all have a very different story to tell and we all choose to live our journey both individually and uniquely, and it's fair to say that I really didn't start LIVING until I was in my 30's.

If you've read or heard any of my content in the past, you know that I lived a very colourful teenage life. I didn't graduate, I didn't have any big goals when I was younger, although I was a dreamer, and after I left home my life took a nosedive for quite a few years. I was terribly insecure, cared about what everyone else thought of me, I was obsessed with my weight, I slept with guys because I thought that's what would make them love me, and I did things that were very out of character for me because I followed the crowd and wanted to fit in. Even into my late 20's and 30's I had no idea who I was or what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I think that's quite common, and I thank the heavens that there was no social media as I really would have been fucked up then.

When I was in my 30's, I had hit what I thought was rock bottom, my car was repoed, I didn't really own anything, I was a gambling addict, in unhealthy relationships, I fooled around with drugs again, my children were being split between two homes due to joint custody, and I was not happy. I think back to when I wasted so much time and all of that energy being angry, being too proud to ask for help, chasing a toxic life and never really living.

Fast forward to my 40's, and I look back to all that I accomplished in a really short time after realizing that enough was enough. This didn't happen overnight but I started to get my shit together, made a list, read some books, reached out and had to admit that I really needed help. I worked on fixing a relationship with my ex-husband, got healthier, of course that meant no gambling, bought a home, stayed away from drugs, started to surround myself with good people, worked on my goals and set some pretty big ones to. I travelled, and I travelled some more, I quit smoking, I worked out religiously to create a positive form of therapy, I married my best friend, I enrolled back into dancing and starting playing team sports again.

I think about all of the years that I wasted, and yes, I see them as wasted even though I would never change a thing, as those circumstances and experiences are what makes me the person I am today, but when I say "years wasted", I mean it's not that I didn't have positive role models, it's not that I didn't have choices, I had all of the tools to be successful and I just chose to ignore them.

My point is this, I see so many of us play the comparison game, money, weight, status, marriage, friendships, likes, business, vehicles, homes, travel, children, hair, boobs, muscle... the list doesn't end, and I've played the game more times than I'd like to admit. And all of this "time" is being wasted on reaching and wishing for someone that you're not, and you don't want to be.

Stop consuming yourself with getting smaller thighs because "Sarah" looks hot on her instagram, get active because it makes you feel good. Create your vision board based on what you want, not what you think you want because some influencer wrote that on their board. Be okay with having 1 best friend, and that being your sister, why does it matter what your numbers look like on fb, no-one has 1200 "friends". Date the woman that is perfect for "you", not who's perfect for the guys who share pictures of this hot number they slept with over the weekend. Drive the fiat, not the M4... does any of this make sense?

Live you life, spend it with humans that are good people, "your" people, set goals that are ridiculous, but that only have to make sense to you, get implants and fillers if it makes you feel better, who gives a shit if some bitch talks behind your back for doing it, I've said shit about another woman and I can tell you that 80% of the time it's because I was jealous. Parent in a way that makes sense to you, they're YOUR goddamn kids and your the one who will be paying for therapy if they need it, not the asshole that's giving you bad advice that doesn't even had a kid. Rent instead of own, owning a home doesn't define you, and delete your social media accounts if they make you unhappy and you don't need them, you know how to use the phone, pick it up and call someone if you need to stay in touch.

What I'm trying to say is, "don't blink".

💋 Joelle

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