This is 50: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh on how she’s following the breadcrumbs of her life toward her next chapter

Turning 50 on Valentine’s Day was all kinds of awesome. My grandfather always told me that the 50’s was the decade of great reward for people who did the hard work in their 30’s and 40’s. I always held that promise out like a beacon of light as I did the hard work during those decades.

In my 30’s, I built a family, which my heart beats for, and I dedicated myself to the work of bringing people’s stories into the world in the biggest, most impactful way possible. And I tried as hard as I could every day to be of service. I literally used to tear up watching Thomas the Train with my youngest son Wyatt because, like Thomas, I just hoped to be a useful engine. I wanted to leave my mark on the world but if I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what my mark was.

In my 40’s, I worked just as hard but it began to feel lighter. I learned to breathe through meditation. I learned the power of saying no and the importance of prioritizing what matters. I let go of people and things that made me feel small. I judged less and listened more. I began to ask more questions and worry less about the answers. I felt the power of my positive thinking to actually manifest the things I wished for. The more I believed, the more things happened; a beautiful, virtuous cycle. I still gave way to negative thinking or obsessive rumination, but I learned to recover faster, turn the page, and forgive myself for slipping backwards. The more I forgave myself for my humanity, the easier it became to forgive others for theirs.

In the last year of my 40’s, we launched the Together Tour, gathering 15,000 women across the country to use the power of storytelling to find purpose and take community-minded social action. For me it was proof positive that anything is possible when you surround yourself with amazing people and believe in the magic of the universe, which is designed to help you live your purpose, and along the way, help you to make even your wildest dreams come true.

As I mentioned, my purpose wasn’t always clear to me. I had to follow the breadcrumbs of my life to point me in the right direction. Once I realized that I’m at my best when I’m using the power of storytelling to shine the light forward so others feel elevated, healed, less alone, and inspired to action, I dedicated the rest of my life to only doing things that serve my purpose-driven mission. Miraculously, the rest fell away and all the right people appeared. It’s a work in progress, of course, and I feel delighted to have the opportunity to keep growing and stretching. Like a great mystery novel, the fun is not getting to the end but instead living inside the thrill of the pages. Something tells me my Grandfather had this exactly right.

Recent Posts