The Gifts of 50

On March 16, 2022, I’m officially in the Fab50 Club. I’d always wondered what I would be like at 50 and dreaded the thought for years until I had an epiphany around age 40. I was thinking of things I’ve learned along the way at different stages in life and lessons I can hear the little girl, young lady and semi-grown woman speaking back to me. While most of these memories didn’t feel like it at the time, I consider them gifts.

I’m grateful for the gifts of invaluable lessons 50 has sprinkled through my life.

Age 5+ Naptime is a privilege. It’s truly the snooze you can use!

Age 10+ Thank God for the biggest conflicts in your life being who would hold the “Double Dutch” rope and which “Candy Lady” had the best bee-bops. They call you skinny now, but it won’t be that way always. Relish in it, girl. Relish.

Age 15+ You are not grown enough for love. This is especially true since you had to drag a 50-feet phone cord to sneak and talk past 10pm and most of your “romantic” memories involve getting a high school “Candy Gram”, trips to Checkers and Quincy’s, hanging at George Ward, Eastlake and Bessie Estell Park, and lots and lots of tears. Devasting heartache is on the way. But hearts heal. Yours will eventually too. So know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 20+ You should have been studying more. The Citizen Club (your club of choice) is gone and so are your chances at a high GPA. You should have been diving into those books a bit more than scrubbing the ground and oogling over boys in crimson and white.  It’s all good though. God had plans and people in place to get you to where He meant you to be all along. (On another note, GIRL, the ones you didn’t want were the ones you needed. And it’s okay to put on a few more clothes…ijs!) And know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 25+ Make the most out of connections. God granted you wonderful opportunities to meet amazing people from all walks of life. At this age, you’d interviewed stars, worked for an up-and-coming star and rubbed elbows with influential people from all around the country. Never pull the plug on people meant to be prominent in your life. You made some dumb mistakes. No sweat. You’ll use them to your advantage soon. On another note, crying won’t make the wrong ones come back, but it will make you have bags under your eyes, and by the time they try to come back (and they will) it won’t matter. Dry up those tears girl! Know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 30+ Always be on guard and ready to defend your destiny. Whether it’s your health, finances, personal life, or calling, stay ready to (spiritually) rumble and look remarkable while doing it then teach other women how to do the same. Stick to God like Elmer’s glue! Cherish friends and look for the angels on earth each chance you get. You’re gonna need them sooner than you think. Just know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 35+ Change is good, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Look for God in everything, even if it doesn’t make sense. Put your pain to work. It cost you enough, you might as well make it pay restitution. Share what you know. Learn to laugh again. Open your mouth and speak.  Stay positive. Put God and family first. Be grateful. Just know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 40+ Starting over stinks but you’ll come out smelling like the Botanical Gardens. Unexpected blows will be thrown to knock you off your feet, but you are a certified winner. God has stacked your deck with some heavy-hitters in the field of family and friends. Let them love you and help you. The sun is getting ready to shine again. Don’t run from it afraid it will burn you. Instead bask in it and soak it all in. And learn to relax and not take things or yourself so seriously. And know that EVERYTHING will be alright!

Age 45+ Get off the bench and be who you were created to be. Just because you’re scared doesn’t mean you have to stay stuck. You thought God had forgotten about you. Nah. Impossible. You thought it was too late for you. Nope. Not so. Everything isn’t perfect. In fact, nothing is. Many hurdles you’d already jumped will challenge you to a rematch. But just like all the times before over the course of your life, you’re already victorious. It’s just up to you to stay in the game and practice your victory dance. (Which, by the way, you can’t dance anymore. I guess the Lord knew you might use it for evil and not goo…LOL. Bless your two-stepping heart.) And know that EVERYTHING, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING will be alright.

Angela Abdur-Rasheed

PS…Age 50+ Come on in here and behave. Act like we’re best friends and be extra, extra good to me.