I already told some of my story, but today is my 43rd birthday. In addition to this “milestone” (I guess many people call birthdays that), I just closed on a new home purchase. So a busy time. While I can’t recall exactly what I thought my future might look like when I was a kid, I would suspect the younger version of me would have been very surprised.

While I am 43, and have learned a ton about myself, I do still think I learn more from time to time. Or I hope I do as life is about learning after all. However as you age that concept of “learning” generally means acquiring knowledge about other people, obtaining new skills or hobbies, learning about world topics, becoming better educated, etc. It generally does not mean learning about yourself as experts often say that should be have been completed by the time you are significantly younger than me…heck even in your 20s.

The reason that learning is usually about other things/people at my age, and not about yourself, is that it is generally thought that people’s personalities are mostly established when they are kids, with some studies saying you are who you are as early as 1st grade. So as you age into your teens, 20, 30s, and definitely by the “ripe old age” of 43 like me the concept of learning usually is not about one-self. As experts say that should be have been completed a long time ago.

Other studies show that once people hit the age around 25, it is hard for them to change the patterns that they have established in their life or to grow as people. Even though I am one of the “old folks” in their 40s, I like to think it is still possible to learn more or evolve, especially for those people who are self-aware; but maybe I am just being naïve and it really is not possible to grow/change.

Now I have turned 43. As a kid, I do not think I would have thought in a million years I would be in effect retired at 43. But that is another post for another day, as when I was much younger I did in fact have a goal/dream of being retired by the time I was 40…but actually achieving that dream/goal so is a lot different than dreaming of it.

Instead, I probably “realistically” thought I would be struggling as many kids who come from my sort of background do…broken household, single mother struggling to pay the bills, substance abuse, and those issues I have previously wrote about. Or I probably would have thought I would have turned to alcohol or one of the countless other forms of self-destructive behavior like my father or other family members

I am still working a little each day on my business as well as doing some volunteer work and finding other ways to use my time. It may be reading, going for walks on the beach, or exercising among other activities. But no need to rehash what I have written earlier.

At 43, my personal life is a challenge. I have, like many people, a lot of issues going on that I am trying to deal with, everything from relationships to family issues, inner personal challenges, separation, social anxiety, health issues and even an elderly dog…poor Maxie. Unfortunately some of my personal challenges are self-inflicted. But I am no different or better than anyone else; we all have problems/hardships.

I guess at the end of the day, I am just trying to take the moments and days as they come, which is what I have been doing for at least several months. I am really trying to find a little happiness in each day or something to make me smile; some days are easier that others. But I am 43, so I guess another year can be checked off the calendar, and I hopefully have a long way to go.

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