50 Truths At 50

Monday, July 09, 2018

Ah..coming back here to blog feels like home.

I decided for my BIG 5-0 I'm gonna give myself a present and write a real blog post, right here, where it all started (way before Instagram was even an embryonic thought in some computer geek's brain, btw.)

I feel like over the past few years, diluted versions of "blogging" via social media have taken over the REAL art of blogging. But babes...this is where the real shiz happens. This is where I open up my heart and let the words pour out of my fingertips fo' real!

Daniella Photography. Do not use photo without permission.

I'm not going to lie, the idea of turning 50 has been a bit (ok, a LOT) daunting. I'm just not one of those people who goes easily into the night, without a fight. Especially when that night consists of realizing your life is not the pretty picture you assumed it would be when you were 20 or 30. (Don't worry, there are other pretty, albeit different pictures. See #46.) Or watching yourself age slowly as your belly ever expands. (See #29.)  Or not being able to see or hear as well as you used to ("What's that honey??") and you find yourself actually squinting and fumbling like a real life older person. Gasp! (Tip: Buy stock in reading glasses. No matter how many pairs one has, they can never be found.) I could go on...

But there's a bright side. There are loads of bright sides actually. The main one being that I'm still here. What a blessing for real!  B'H for 1/2 freakin' century. But also, that I've been through some really tough times and am still standing. When you've faced down, and survived some of your worst fears, the world opens up and the little baby monsters that used to keep you shivering under your covers become easy-peasy to ace. Like all that painful insecurity and self-loathing stuff. Honey...at my age, there's no room for that, and I can be and say whatever the hell I want without a care in the world...so here I am.  It's been a freakin' journey, and I've learned a ton of stuff on the way. Ready or not, here are my 50 truths at 50:

On Self Love and Relationships
Daniella Photography. Do not use photo without permission.

1. Do whatever it is you really want to do. You don't need anyone's approval to live your life the way you want.

2. Make a list of things you love to do and do at least one a day. Do not wait for other people to do things with, to do the things you love. (Read Melissa Ambrosini's Mastering Your Mean Girl.)

3. Spending time with yourself is awesome. It's not pathetic, it just means you're the best person to spend your time with.

4. So many of the things you believe, that are holding you back and not serving you, were just other people's opinions put in your head at an early age. Create your own truths that work for you, and let those false truths (all the criticisms and "cant's") fly away.

5. People WILL talk about you behind your back. So what?! Just live your life and be the best you, flaws and all. What they say doesn't matter one bit to your life. People who are known to gossip are also known to be untrustworthy in what they say.

6. Before you gossip, think about the negative energy you're putting into the world. Karma's a bitch.

7. If someone tells you you're beautiful, believe it.

8. Remember, the things you hate the most about your body, may be the things someone else is dying for. Sometimes, literally.

9. Be brave and face your ugliest truths with honesty. Then go ahead and love yourself anyway. Watch your energy clear up enough to actually make those changes you want. (Credit: Blimi Kaler/Limore Atelier)

10. Love does not mean sacrificing yourself for someone who will never be happy with you. If someone is never happy with you, remove yourself from the relationship, they don't deserve you.

11. If you're in a toxic relationship that you cannot easily extract yourself from, teach that person how to treat you by setting boundaries. Boundaries are not walls, they're how much or how little you allow a person to affect and have power over you and your feeling of self worth.

12. Hurt people hurt people. If someone hurts you, try to think what kind of pain they may be going through, then, take a risk, make yourself vulnerable, and tell them how YOU feel.

13. Do not attack or label the person who hurt you with hurtful words, thereby perpetuating the cycle of negativity.

14. There is no "always" or "never" in relationships, so don't use those words.

15. Popularity is overrated. It is better to have a few good friends than a ton of bad ones.

16. Don't NOT do things for yourself because you're afraid people will be jealous of you.  On the other hand do NOT do things just to make people jealous of you. UGH! (See #18)

17. Regardless of what you do or don't do, people WILL be jealous of you. It's their test not yours.

18. We all have an inner compass. If something makes you feel good in a devilish, powerful way, it most probably is coming from the ego. Best not to do it.  If something makes you feel good in a spiritual-this-is-freakin-awesome-best-feeling-in-the-world-way, DO IT and do it a lot! (Example for me: Tour de Simcha)
Daniella Photography. Do not use photo without permission.

19. The things that make you sick about yourself, the ones you try to hide from the world, may be the very things that someone worthy of you will absolutely love about you. Our self loathing and suffering is extremely subjective and based on the things we went through as a child. So ease up on yourself baby, they're not as bad as you think they are.

20. Do not love to be loved. Do not bend yourself and your life into a pretzel to make everyone love you...trust me I tried that for years with disastrous results. (You end up attracting the most unhealthy people in your life who suck you dry with guilt trips galore, and you end up neglecting and hurting the very people who truly love you and are most important.)

21. Just love your own damn self already and then the good people will fly into your life and love you exactly the way you are.

On Success
Daniella Photography. Do not use photo without permission.

22. If you pursue success, inevitably someone will be jealous and try to discourage you. Their opinion has no place in your journey. But DO always generously give credit where credit is due.

23. If you feel threatened by or jealous of someone, intentionally go out of your way to help them and send them good vibes and wish them success; this is a hard one, but you will watch your world turn upside down for the better.

24. The only competition you should have is with yourself. Everyone in the world can try to copy you, but no-one can ever BE you. Put yourself and your passions into whatever you do, be authentic, don't copy anyone else, and watch yourself soar.

25. You're just as worthy and capable of making money as anyone else. Kiss your money and thank Hashem when you receive it, and kiss your credit cards and thank Hashem when you spend it. You attract more of the things you actively love. (Read Rohnda Byrne's The Secret.)

26. If something is blocking you from doing what you want to do, try to find the root fear that's holding you back and let it go. The word impossible is just short for "I'm possible." (See #4)

27. Sometimes we like the idea of doing something but deep down we don't really want to do it. If you're not getting to something, maybe you don't really want it? Be honest and be ok with the answer.

28. Ask a good friend how they and others see you positively, and then write that down and read it when you don't see yourself in a positive light.

On Fitness and Health
Daniella Photography. Do not use photo without permission.

29. Learn to love you body. Right here. Right now. Because...

30. No matter what you do you will never have anyone else's body. You can only have a better version of your own.

31. There is only one diet truth: Eat less calories than you burn. Do it 6 days a week.  And be very, very patient. (Get a fitbit to see how many calories you burn a day.) (Credit: Henya Lazar/RealHealthFit)

32. Fad diets don't work in the long haul.

33. Eat a hearty breakfast every day with at least 15 grams of protein.

34. Carbs are not the devil. Eat healthy ones for energy. Some carbs that I have eaten in moderation while losing weight and feeling great are Ezekiel bread, rice cakes, corn cakes, brown rice, sweet potato, quinoa, chickpeas, lentils, beans.

35. Do NOT starve yourself ever. It gives you bad breath and turns you into a bitch, and you will end up eating more than you would have if you would have just fed your body the right way.

36. If you starve yourself to feel powerful, that's an eating disorder. Get help ASAP. You're not better because you're skinny and frail from starving yourself. The hard truth is that something is broken inside you and you should get help to fix it. You deserve to nourish your body and love it unconditionally.

37. The way most bodies look in the media (including social media) is not real! Don't buy into it. (Even people who don't use filters can look thinner or better with certain angles or poses...trust  me on this one.)  So just save yourself the misery and love yourself right here, right now.

38. You will NOT lose weight from exercising if you don't make changes in what you eat.

39. Exercise may not be the answer to weight loss, but it will most definitely cure mild depression temporarily. At minimum, walk at least 30 minutes a day.  As a matter of fact, walking for one hour burns almost as many calories and is better for your body than running for 30 min. (Get a fitbit to motivate you to get those steps in, and watch your calories burn, baby burn.)

40. There is no shame in Botox and Juviderm. If you want to do Lipo, do it. Or don't. Some people are more tolerant to aging and imperfections. Do whatever makes you happy. It's a personal choice and it's no one's business but your own. Don't judge either way.

41. Put on sunscreen and get into the sun as much as possible.

On Spirituality, Pain, and Suffering 
Daniella Photography. Do not use photo without permission.

42. Let go and let God..seriously, that's the only control we have over anything. Give it up to HIM.

43. Modesty in dress is not the be all and end all in religion. It may be the right thing to do, but it does more harm than good when the person who's dressed modestly uses it as a tool to hurt others.  Judging, talking about, or humiliating people who dress less modestly is a huge chillul Hashem and destroys any motivation in that individual to actually take on dressing more modestly.  Everyone has their own personal stories and reasons for doing things.

44. Inspire others by truly loving everyone and being a light for others to follow.

45. It may not always feel this way, but Hashem loves you more than you love yourself.

46. No-one ever promised you things would turn out the way you painted that picture in your head. When they don't, try to repaint your picture a different way and be ok with it. Stick with real people, not people who pretend that everything is perfect and that you're only worthy if your home, life, family, looks a certain way.

47. Resisting what is, is the root cause of most pain. Acceptance with love is the pill. (See #42 and #45)

48. This applies to physical pain too. When something in your body hurts, don't fight it. Instead try to visualize the feeling and "listen" to what your pain is telling you. There's always an emotional message in physical pain.  Send the part of you body that's hurting some love and encouragement. Tell it it's healthy and strong and thank it for sending you the message. Give it permission to relax and feel better. (For more on this google Dr. Sarno and Louise Hayes.)

49. Just because other people's problems seem less tragic to you doesn't mean they don't feel just as tragic and painful to them. The causes may be different, but we all have our fair share of pain. (Do not let appearances fool you!) Listen to others with empathy to create camaraderie and healing for all.

50. The grass may actually be greener on the other side, and if you can get there, great. But you may lose out...because if you nurture your own grass, yours may end up being the greenest of all.

Here's to 70 more...why the hell not!?

With loads of love,



Photography by Daniella Photography. Please do not re-use photos without permission. Follow on Instagram and contact at daniellaphotography98@gmail.com for photo shoots in South Florida and New York.

Top: Junees/Hair: Sary Wigs/Earrings: Bitz of Glitz

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