5 years ago by

It took me some time to become an adult.

I remember that before, I was incapable of imagining what life would be like after forty. It was like there was this impenetrable wall of smoke and I couldn’t manage to see through it.

The unknown can be exciting, but it can also be frightening.

People make aging sound like something so terrible in our countries. We are so afraid of “letting our life pass us by.” We are so afraid of not recognizing ourselves in that person with wrinkles in the corners of their eyes. We are so afraid of losing our value in the eyes of society – and to be totally honest, those fears are justified.

Since I was afraid, I wanted to prepare for everything like you’d prepare for a long trip you’ll never come back from. I wanted to arrive at age forty with everything organized to perfection. A house, a husband, a child, a career, a dog.

A first-class ticket to soften the bitterness, basically.

And because I had tried to build all of that from a place of fear, I was living in the energy of fear. Fear instead of love. The fear that destroys everything.

So, when everything fell apart and I became the living incarnation of my fears, alone and childless after 40, I realized, in tears looking at the ruins of my former life, I was finally going to be able to start to grow.

Grow. Accept. Welcome. Question. And finally, let that fear go.

We can only overcome our fears by confronting them. My fear was majestic. I had lived with it stuck to me my entire life… but I had never actually recognized it.

I had studied it a lot, though. From a very young age, I was always looking for answers to my questions. I had always felt uncomfortable following the well-worn path, but being soft and obedient as I was, that dichotomy made me suffer.

I was constantly suffering from not feeling like I was in the right place.
It got to the point where I ended up accepting that feeling. I thought that was just life. Trying to conform to preconceived ideas of happiness — which all culminated in a few years of despair, with me smiling though I was crying inside – until I no longer had any idea who I was anymore.
And eventually that turned into depression.

I’ve heard people say that depression is the other side of the door to spirituality, and that was the case for me. That doesn’t mean this applies to everyone, and it doesn’t mean I have all the answers.

For me, depression was above all what motivated me in my quest for health – both physical and mental – because our bodies and minds are one in the same.

But it was also the permission I needed to accept that it was time to take care of myself. That I needed to heal, listen to myself, create rituals, and find new tools.

That’s what growing up means to me. Finally realizing that you’re not superhuman. And that you are your own parent, that the priority should be taking care of yourself before jumping into the race of life. And growing up is finally understanding that joy isn’t for tomorrow. Life isn’t about preparing the right bag full of obligations and imaginary goals for a trip into the unknown in the dark.

I’ve rediscovered my joy, my laugh, my passion.
A more authentic joy actually. One that’s not about attachment to things and people. Something simple and pure.

I’ve grown up alongside you, and today, nothing could make me happier than being a guide and a breath of fresh air in your lives. Whether it’s online or offline.

Which is why our retreats are so important to me.
Each one of our adventures is so special, we all come back changed.

And together, we learn to make life a little softer, to extinguish our fears, band together, find the tools that bring us peace, encourage us, and teach us how to be free and fulfilled.

Translated by Andrea Perdue


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Add yours
  • gaelle June, 26 2019, 9:41 / Reply

    lumineusement belle Garance !

  • catherine June, 26 2019, 9:59 / Reply

    Chère Garance,
    Contente de cette ouverture vers la spiritualité . Mais qu’est ce donc pour toi ?

  • Garance,

    It’s funny how I go from laughing at you to truly admiring you for your courage. Watching you I’ve learned the journey in never a straight line. What matters is to keep moving.

    More of us should share the reality of the process towards self-discovery/consciousness. No one is interested in the sugar coated perfect stories anymore.

    Thank you.

  • Kimberly June, 26 2019, 12:49 / Reply

    A house, a husband, a child, a career, a Dog.
    You haver a house, a carrer, a dog!

    And for such a wonderful woman like you, it’s easy to find a husband.
    Everything ist great, no fear needed ;)

    Have a sunny day!

  • Marguerite June, 26 2019, 1:03 / Reply


  • Pourquoi ce n’est pas traduit pas sympa je crois que je ne vais plus me connecter à ce blog!!

  • Linne Halpern June, 26 2019, 3:06

    Hi Amor,
    You can access the French version of this post by clicking the “FR” at the top right-hand corner of the page.
    Hope you enjoy!
    Thank you!
    xx Linne

  • Dear Garance,
    Thanks so much for your comments. I feel very identified with you. As you, I’m looking for the truth happiness, being truthful to myself, trying to stop my fears and trying to figure out who I am. And you know? The good thing is that I think now I’m in the way, and I like not to feel alone thanks to people like you. The truth way is to the inside of ourselves.

  • To be quite honest, I think I might be in this sort of pickle right now. I am constantly feeling inadequate and unsure of who I am. thanks for sharing, I do not feel alone anymore..

  • C’est tellement le moment que je fasse cette retraite, j’ai hâte d’en savoir plus ???

  • The funny thing is… we like to feel sorrow for the things we think we have ought to have and don’t, but we don’t acknowledge that we never actually really wanted those things in the first place, weren’t it for preconceived ideas of what we should be. I could have gotten married a few times in my life, but always found a way to sabotage my long term relationships. I realise now that I just don’t necessarily want to be a married woman but was afraid to speak my truth

  • Thank you – and I wish I would be over that state of fear.
    42, childless, no great carrier, surrounded by friends and sisters with children (who I all love and like to spend time with). Somehow disoriented – a boyfriend who loves me but does not want children (now, as if there was time to loose for me)
    I realize I have fears, of regretting not becoming a solo parent and doing the child think on my own, of being poor as an old person due to not being able to save much or buy a home etc.

    Thank you so much for sharing! Now I got work to do and get over that stage of fear and start trusting life (even though it is so different from what I imagined it for 30 years)

  • Jorge Alexandre Teixeira June, 27 2019, 2:58 / Reply

    Miss Garance , you are AMAZI…no no no , you are ASTONISHING !!!
    «…A first-class ticket to soften the bitterness…», You Killed with this one !!!

    Beijinho Grande from Lisbon to someone who makes my day start in a happier way despite the horoscope !!!

  • You are such a wise woman Garance!

  • Eugénie June, 27 2019, 7:44 / Reply

    Merci d’être une exploratrice de la vie et de partager tout cela! Tes posts m’aident beaucoup à faire sens de l’existence et à grandir. Et je te lis depuis 10 ans maintenant, presque sans m’en rendre compte tellement c’est devenu ancré en moi. J’ai envie d’aller de l’avant et tu es toujours là pour m’emmener avec toi dans tes avancées, et je suis sûre que je ne suis pas la seule. Merci encore.

  • Merci, tu es de retour

  • Chère Garance, qui m’a inspirée de m’installer à Paris, où tu vivais à l’époque, et où je vis aujourd’hui depuis 7 ans. Tu as été un peu ma grande soeur qui réalisait ses rêves, et moi la petite soeur qui suit avec admiration.

    Pour moi non plus la vie ne s’est pas passé comme j’aurais souhaité, et mes angoisses en sont bien une cause. Aujourd’hui j’ai 36 ans, je suis depuis peu sans travail, j’ai pas de copain, pas d’enfant. Et tu sais quoi ? Je le vis relativement bien. Car je sais qu’au fond je suis OK avec moi-même. Je suis une personne qui peut aimer, qui peut travailler, créer, et trouve toujours une solution pour ses problèmes. Je suis libre. Le seul défi, où je me libérerais bien de mes angoisses, c’est l’amour de couple. J’essaie de le trouver en moi, et puis de trouver des gens avec la même vibration positive. Pour l’instant il n’y a pas de résultat mais j’y crois :)

    Merci pour tes textes, belle Garance, et je te souhaite plein de douceur

  • Victoria June, 27 2019, 1:13 / Reply

    Je suis la meilleure coach possible pour les gens qui m’entourent et la pire pour moi.
    J’ai le même âge que toi et chacun de tes billets raisonnent en moi comme “elle dit tout haut ce que je pense tout bas”.
    Je ne me reconnais pas dans tous mais dans la plupart, qui me parlent.
    J’essaye de suivre et tracer ce chemin si difficile qu’est la confrontation avec mes peurs. Qui sont de plus en plus fortes et que je n’arrive pas à éliminer. C’est un enfer, je suis même redevenue claustrophobe alors que je ne l’étais plus depuis 25 ans, à un point tel que je n’arrive même pas à aller passer un scanner alors que je sais que le premier a montré une suspicion d’anévrisme que je dois absolument contrôler.
    Je n’envie personne, je ne suis jalouse de personne, chacun vit sa vie et le soleil brille pour tout le monde, et pourtant je t’envie d’y arriver, même si je sais lire entre les lignes et que je comprends que le chemin a été difficile. Je te lis depuis le presque début de ton aventure online et même si je n’ai jamais eu de réponse à aucun de mes messages ici ou ailleurs, je reviens car tu ne me dois rien et que j’aime ce que je trouve ici.
    J’ai toutes les carte en main, je sais ce que je devrais faire. Et pourtant mes peurs me paralysent.
    Merci pour tes textes et de partager cela avec nous.
    Je te souhaite le meilleur (et secrètement que je puisse y arriver un jour).
    Merci de m’avoir lue, même si j’ai été longue.
    Si une d’entre vous a le remède pour vaincre ses peurs, je suis preneuse.

    Merci Garance, tu es radieuse.

  • Stefanie June, 27 2019, 3:41 / Reply

    Thank you, Garance! I am so happy to see you happy and I’m especially glad you’re sharing your experiences with us. Your Pardon My French with Stephanie Danan made me so happy that I cried. I am so relieved to know that other women are going through or have gone through what I’m in the midst of right now, although it’s taken me a lot longer to get to this point than others. I am working on approaching life from a place of power not fear. Fear has run my entire life and I make all of my decisions from a place of fear. I have been depressed virtually my whole life because of this. Now, I realize that I can’t do that anymore. I have to break through to the other side of fear. That’s where I hear happiness lies. I wish you nothing but happiness. Always.

  • Merci Garance.

  • Amanda June, 27 2019, 4:20 / Reply

    “I had always felt uncomfortable following the well-worn path, but being soft and obedient as I was, that dichotomy made me suffer.” — I am feeling this so accutely. Thank you, Garance, for sharing so much of yourself. It’s so important for us all to be open and to demonstrate there’s many ways to live a good life.

  • Thank you for sharing yourself so authentically. It is a relief to know there are other women out there feeling the same way as I do, going through the same fears

  • Mirage June, 28 2019, 6:13 / Reply

    I also believe in the power of NOW.
    I believe we are inclined to live a life of projection, and that is what is spoiling our present.

    I too am happy now, although I do not have it all.
    Now I am sitting on my couch and it’s warm outside
    Now I am enjoying reading your thoughts
    Now I am feeling satisfied with the minutes passing by.

    Now, now now.

  • Savoir d’ou viennent nos peurs et apprendre a les surmonter, meme en partie, est un grand accomplissement.
    J’ecoute quelquefois Boris Cyrulnik parler de resilience et j’utilise regulierement les “outils” proposes par ma psy dans les annees 90.
    Apprendre a se connaitre (et a s’accepter) est un travail qui dure toute une vie.

  • andrée July, 1 2019, 3:26 / Reply

    Vous êtes une grande psychologue Garance.Merci.

  • Hi Garance,

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m currently 34 years old and since a few years, I have a lot of doubts about myself, feeling lonely to myself and lost. But after reading your post/s I always feel that we are not totally alone with our worries and fears. That many other people have it. In the end, thanks to saying that sometimes after having great days, weeks or months we can still have a day when we are coming back to the “old us”. I’m having this as well and I was scared if it’s normal.

    Wish you the best Garance, you are truly a fantastic woman!

  • Dominika July, 6 2019, 11:39 / Reply

    Always a pleasure to read your articles. Interesting, real and absolutely non pretentious.

  • Thank you so much for sharing!!!!

  • Valérie July, 9 2019, 2:24 / Reply

    Hé oui… J’ai eu à 31 ans ce que je recherchais avec la même peur de ne pas y arriver. Le mariage; le job, les trois gosses, la belle maison… Bref. Et je me suis perdue au passage. Mais retrouvée depuis.
    Sinon, tes retraites sont très très chères Garance. Elles sont pour tes copines US, pas pour nous les Frenchies…

  • Dear Garance,

    thank you for giving a voice to feelings that sometimes make us feel isolated. You are a reminder that we are all going through an invisible spiritual growth that does not stop at any age but continues much depending on ourselves.

  • Comme ce texte me parle. Et comme c’est doux, intime, et pudique de grandir à tes côtés Garance. De la caraïbe, Merci pour ce don précieux et nos vies qui s’entrecroisent sans que nous ne nous connaissions dans la vraie vie.

  • Dear Garance,
    I first came across you on Untangled and then checked out your blog. I want you to know how much your authenticity and honesty has inspired me. So much so that I started my own blog (www.therepositoryonline.com), the experience has been daunting and exposing and thrilling and creatively renergising all at once. The life and energy in your words makes me want to write – to know and be known. Anyway, thank you. I will be waiting avidly for another journal post.
    Humbly yours,

  • You are wonderful and your words have helped me so much with some tough thoughts on this topic. Growing up is definitely not easy, but the ride is certainly worth it!

  • elisabetta palumbo April, 22 2020, 10:46 / Reply

    WoW Garance…this is what I need to read right now. The same experience. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings and sorrow.

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