Facebook Challenge, 2009-2019
Personal Growth

Thoughts on Facebook’s ‘How Hard Did Aging Hit You’ Challenge

I don’t normally participate in Facebook games that make demands. I’m rebellious that way. But curiosity overpowered my sense of defiance. So I did it. I followed the fad. I had to see how I have changed. 

The directive calls for comparing your first Facebook profile photo and your current one. Mine are 10 years apart, 2009 to 2019. 

When I put my first and most recent photos side by side, my first thought was, “Dang, I look better now!” That made me start thinking about who I was and what I was going through back then. My life has changed so much and I’m in a better place than I was 10 years ago. 

Five months after that photo was shared, I walked away from my dream job because of differing values with leaders of the parent company. I was determined to hold my head high and stand up for my beliefs. I was on the cusp of creating new ventures, seeing some successes, but also great failures.

During that time, I was battling autoimmune diseases that tore through my body and created an unstable, miserable existence. My flares and difficulties trapped me in a prison of my mind, and I was a very unhappy person. 

I started dealing with who I was as my sons grew up, went away to school and had trials of their own. This, along with relationship and financial difficulties, weaved through the 10 years between photos. So, when I look at the first photo, all I see is turmoil. 

In that time, I grew up. I suffered three great losses that broke me in pieces. I found a new calling, repaired my relationship, and learned to allow my children be themselves and let go enough so they could grow.

When I look at this year’s photo, I feel good about how healthy I am physically, mentally and emotionally. Although I fluctuate, I am more grounded and learning to love myself more. I’m finally proud of the person I see — someone who has overcome mountains to arrive in this place — a place of happiness, peace and acceptance. 

I’m not sure what I thought 50 would look and feel like, but I’m OK with the woman in the photo, because she reflects my journey. Good and bad, it’s been mine.

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