50 OVER 50 PROJECT FOR 2022
#12
Laura Sanchez

Age: 54

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"The path before you will have many crossroads. Pick one that supports your integrity and health, not the ones where you may feel depleted or emotionally bankrupt."

age: 54

 

profession: College Professor and Therapist

 

What is the best thing about being your age?

Appreciating my road to wisdom. Making healthy choices and curating a deep sense of meaning and purpose in life.

What hardships have you endured that you feel have made you stronger?  

I have experienced many unacknowledged losses that never received a proper goodbye. Losses that changed the trajectory of my life. Life has taught me that plans change and happiness must be redefined, sometimes everyday, to learn to accept ones life with gratitude.

 

What's your favorite thing you have checked off your bucket list?

I ran marathons, traveled to many different countries around the world, lived in a van (by choice),  learned how to be self sufficient, and built a career that allows me to prosper.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Perfect happiness is being with my family and close friends. Both seem difficult to do sometimes but connection with others that I love, is like air. I must have it to stay alive.

What is a trait you are most proud of?

I am driven, compassionate, kind, deep, and I love that I feel grateful every day.

What is your most treasured possession?

I think my doggie and my old van. Both have brought me unexpected joy.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement is completing my education while working full-time during the day and taking care of others. Completing my hours to become a therapist and starting my own business. Maintaining long-term friendships and loving connections with my family and friends.

What do you most value in your friends?

I value their diversity,  the length of time I have been close to  them, and their beautiful, open loving hearts.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? 

I would change working so much, being too self sufficient, and the ways I talked to myself about love, my body, and intimacy. I would be more vulnerable and let more people see my imperfections. Too much of the things I am good at can also lead to imbalance and suffering.

what is your greatest extravagance?

Material wise it’s buying my own houses and cars over the years and taking vacations. Having the freedom to take off with few responsibilities.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Your worth is not defined by other people or by how much you work. Trust that the path before you will have many crossroads. Pick one that supports your integrity and health not the ones where you may feel depleted or emotionally bankrupt. 

What is your motto or favorite quote?

When I was younger, it was Nike’s slogan, “Just Do It.”

But as I have aged and become wiser it’s Maya Angelou's, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

Words of wisdom for younger women

I beg you not to look at your body  in the mirror  with contempt. Don’t let others tell you that beauty is bigger lips, breast, or anything that changes your looks. As women,  we should not let others (sister or brothers) tell us what beauty is. We should support each other and love our selves with full and open hearts. Do not create war against yourself or against others. For you will long for peace when the time comes.

 

Additional Thoughts...

I wish the women in my family where still around for me to ask them about their lives. I’d want to know how things might had been different if they had a tribe of ancestors and women surrounding them with wisdom and stories of the great powers they hold. I would want to be them. I would long to sit in circle and embrace their wisdom so that one day when it is my turn I could share all the wisdom with you, my sisters.

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