Community//

You have permission to defy expectations.

Joanna's celebrating her big 5-0! And she's giving herself the gift of going all out and "taking it off."

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!

“You have permission to defy expectations.” 
– Brittany Packnett

I turned 50 last week. Even writing that number surprises me. Really? Me, 50? It’s made me oh so very reflective about my life, what I’ve accomplished, what I haven’t accomplished, and what I STILL plan to achieve.

YES, I PLAN TO BE EVEN MORE FABULOUS OVER 50 THAN I WAS UNDER — A LOT MORE FABULOUS. 

So here’s why I chose the quote from the fantastic and inspiring Brittany Packnett to open my birthday article.

Until recently, I didn’t believe I had permission to defy expectations. I’d dance nervously on the edge of expectations, lean out far, and then find myself quickly scurrying back. Now some of you who know me well are probably thinking, “Seriously? You are ALL about defying expectations. You’ve been playing on the skinny branches of life for as long as I’ve known you.”

But here’s the truth. I’ve been wearing expectations most of my life like a coat. A big, bulky “John Snow at the wall, winter is coming” kind of coat. (Ok, probably more like a Sam Tarley kind of coat but I think you get the gist.) It’s heavy and smelly and because I’m filled with buckets of energy and fire, yet I keep running around with it on me.

Here’s the silly part of this story. As Brittany implied, I’m the only person requiring me to wear the coat. I’m the one who keeps dragging it around and plopping it over my shoulders when I’m worried that someone might be judging me. I’m the one who tries to pretend that the pile of furs and smells is a stunning silk embroidered robe—a robe guaranteed to make others look at me and say, “Yes, Joanna. You DO matter.” I’m the one making myself exhausted by the weight of expectations.

I KNOW. IT’S RIDICULOUS. 

It’s time, at 50, to take off the coat of my own making. It’s time for me to stop dancing on the edges of expectations and lean out, ALL the way out and see what happens. I need to defy my own expectations.

Here’s my question for you. Do you have a coat of your own making? I’m not asking you to take it off yet, just asking you to recognize that you’re wearing one. That’s the first step. It doesn’t matter what age you are; you can take it off.

LET’S ALL DEFY EXPECTATIONS. NOW WOULDN’T THAT BE FUN?

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Single and Thriving

by Kim Sneath
Community//

Giving Up Expectations for 2020

by Leigh M. Clark
Community//

How do You Slash Stress and Disappointment from Your Life?

by Dr. Christine Bradstreet

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.