This is 50, Part 2 by Samantha Ashley

Last month I turned 50 and really started to reflect on where I have been, and where I am going. I shared the beginning of my story and here, in Part 2, it continues.

This was my crossroads. Which direction would I take? I could wallow in all the hurt, and damage and take the path of drugs and alcohol to numb the pain or I could pick myself up and reinvent myself and become the strong self-confident woman I once was before the years of damage took their toll on the essence of who I really was. I chose to pick myself up and be the best role model and mother I could be for my young daughters.

As time went by, I found myself again through my love of surfing, yoga, literature, music and the arts. This took time and was not easy. I re-educated myself and met a wonderful man, who is now my husband and partner for life. He has provided my girls with a healthy understanding of what a good man is and how a woman should expect to be treated. I have worked hard, juggling multiple jobs and study for many, many years and now run my own business in an industry that I love and am extremely passionate about. I own my own house (still with a mortgage) and my two daughters have grown up to be exceptional young women in their own right. My life is a good life, a happy life.

So what have I learned in my 50 years on this earth? I have learned to be kind and not to judge others as you truly have no idea where they have come from or what story they may have under the surface of what you can see. I have learnt to be grateful. For each and every bad thing that has happened in my life, there has been an opportunity to learn, to grow and to become a better version of myself. I have learnt to appreciate the small things as my life experience has shown me that they are the things that matter most. I have learnt that we are all much stronger than we think we are and that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to if we truly want to. My journey has been very hard at times, and to be brutally honest, there were moments I didn’t think I would make it through. I have also been blessed with so many amazing experiences, had beautiful healthy children, am now in a wonderful marriage with an amazing man and live in a magical part of the world.

Life is about choices and the roads we take when we make them. Some choices are made out of necessity, some are made for us by others, and we have to play the hand we are dealt, but even then we have choices in how we play that hand. Life is about the journey, the people you meet along the way and the experiences, both good and bad, we have on that journey. Life is great! Life is amazing! Life at 50 is just beginning a new chapter in my story. Sure, I may have some wrinkles on my face, some grey hairs on my head. I’m not as thin as I used to be and my feet hurt in high heels, but I am comfortable in my own skin. I know who I am. I am healthy and fit and have no fear of the future as I know what I have overcome in the past. I am strong. I am smart. I am 50 and I am happy.

Samantha Ashley

Samantha is a highly experienced Bowen Therapist, with a twenty year background in massage, naturopathy and nutrition. She is the creator of Green Valley Bowen Therapy on the Gold Coast.

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