What does turning 50 mean in this day and age? In my generation, I love that this particular life moment and how we see it is shifting. We are embracing it instead of denying it. We have more clarity on what we want as a result of earlier life choices that didn't lead us in the right direction. We are much more active and focused on making stronger choices and taking greater actions to get our desired outcomes.
I will turn 50 at the end of this month. I am embracing this time. I've learned that that there is a direct link between the choices that we make and the wisdom that we gain. I went through two big life shifts at an early time in life. They included a long relationship that ended in a short marriage and a job of 15 years that ended unexpectedly. Choices that I made lead to these outcomes. These outcomes gave birth to my voice. These two shifts, as difficult as they were, allowed me to find the tools to build and create a fulfilling life so that in turning 50, I am ready to embrace instead of deny. I reflect on all the wisdom that has transpired through these choices made and what I've learned from those choices in the story arc of my life.
On Love, I've learned that when you do the emotional work on yourself, the likelihood of finding true love becomes more of a reality. I am deeply in love right now and feel that through doing the work and connecting with self, love becomes a new experience. It takes on a new level of meaning and bliss. There were 17 years between my divorce and finding true love. During those 17 years, I committed to building my career as a TV studio executive. While working hard, I did the emotional work on healing my heart. I found that yoga, Spinning, meditation, writing and going to church were huge factors in my healing process. I had moments of thinking that love would not find its way back to me. I was afraid that I had missed my opportunity because I had made a choice that didn't align for a healthy relationship. I moved through the acceptance of this and found a profound happiness in just being and connecting with all of the different types of love that were in my life. My choice at this time was to learn to connect with self. Then, when love arrived, I was ready. The connection was right. The timing was right. The alignment was on every level of heart, spirit and intellect.
On Family, I've learned that the moment is so valuable and so precious. It is so important to express love and to say all that you want to say when you can say it. In 2013, I almost lost my mom to Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I was away speaking in Australia when I got the news that she was in the hospital and things were not looking good. I was told that I should plan to go from the airport straight to the hospital. In times like this, so much goes through your mind and your heart. I prayed that I was going to get there in time and that it was all going to be OK. I thought about things that I wanted to say. I thought about life and how we can't take anything for granted. As a family, we spent the next 8 months caring for my mom. There was a lot to juggle for all of us. There were so many precious life lessons learned during this time. Our prayers were answered. Today, she is in remission and doing very well. It was during these 8 months that I learned so much about family coming together, saying all that you need to say and recognizing that our moments are very fleeting.
On Career, I learned that doing what you love and following your passion is one of the most important choices that you will make in your life. When the passion is there and you take the actions to follow the dream, it is amazing how it all manifests. After losing my job unexpectedly after 15 years with two sister companies, I was forced to redefine my path. I remember feeling at this point in my life that I was going through another "all is lost" type of moment. From working in story, I knew that I could change my path and create the type of story that I wanted my life to reflect. This is what I set out to do. Through thinking about what I loved the most about my job, I started my own company, Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc. The steps that I took followed what I had learned about story as a studio executive. As it works in fiction, I thought about my personal dilemma and how I could connect it to my professional pursuit. My personal dilemma was; what if all that I had learned from Aaron Spelling and a number of other top executive producers/writers in the business suddenly had no value? I thought about my strengths. Aaron Spelling had always told me that I gave the best development notes in the business. I thought about the dilemma of my client. There are so many writers who can't get objective professional feedback to help them take their writing to the next level. As a result, the dream remains illusive. I thought; what if I could create something that connects all of this so that the void could be filled? This led to creating my own company. Shortly after starting my company, I was asked to be the Writing Instructor at NBC's Writer's on the Verge. This was in perfect alignment with my mission. After 8 years, I've worked with over 800 writers and have had 40 writers sell pilots, 5 of them went to series and I've helped 65 writers to get staffed. Through understanding their dream, I was able to make my own dream a reality. This led to me writing 3 books and to speaking all over the world. Ironically, it was this "all is lost" moment that also led me to meet the love of my life. This is why I believe that our "all is lost" moments are our gold. They connect us to our audience. They force us to find the tools to heal and they allow us to create a new chapter of our story.
With turning 50, one of the things I reflect on the most is the value gained by the choices that we make in love, in family and in career. We will make choices that don't lead to our desired outcome. We will learn from this. We will make better choices. This is part of our journey toward connecting with self. When we make the choice to look inside instead of outside for answers, our world opens up. When we learn through our shifts and turns, we become more focused on making stronger choices and taking better actions that lead to more desired outcomes. Through doing the emotional work and being clear with what we want in our own story, we can manifest the possibility and make our dreams a reality. When we do this, age takes on new meaning.