When Caitlyn Jenner revealed herself on the cover of Vanity Fair earlier this month, the Internet responded with love and positivity. It was a moving, inspiring moment of acceptance – not just from the public, but for Caitlyn herself, who finally felt comfortable enough in her own skin to share that with the world around her. While many of us will never know how difficult her journey has been, we can take away a lot of lessons from her decision to live her life as her true self.
- You can change at any age. Caitlyn totally embodies the e.e. cummings quote “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” At 65, she didn’t think it was too late. So what are you waiting for? Follow your heart, go after that dream job, move to another city.
- Your family and friends’ support matters a lot. Just like you shouldn’t allow negative people or those who insult you to stay in your life, you need positive people around you when you make a major decision or change something. The Keeping Up With the Kardashians two-part special “About Bruce” showed that as much as she has to adapt to this new stage in her life, so does her family. Even her 88-year-old mom has been accepting, which is awesome.
- When you change, those around you change, too. Caitlyn’s daughters understandably found it difficult to wrap their heads around what was going on at first. They have to accept that although they are losing someone that has been there all their lives, they are gaining someone, too. Your own life changes may be less extreme, but will still demand those around you to accept the new you or no longer be a part of your world.
- Unexpected things will happen. It’s amazing to see how much Caitlyn has got going on right now, from her E! docu-series premiering in July to a potential book deal. It’s like that “when life gives you lemons” saying. You’re already saying yes to whatever opportunities come your way. So keep at it – you never know.
- Life can be funny. At the beginning of her last interview as Bruce, she told Diane Sawyer, “We have to keep our sense of humor about this.” There are definitely times when all you can do is laugh. Keep that in mind the next time life feels unmanageable.
- We’re all the same. In another inspiring moment talking to Diane, she said, “Everybody has stuff in their life that they have to deal with.” It’s comforting to know that if you’re struggling, others are, too, and eventually it will get sorted out.
- But we’re all different, too. What’s amazing about Caitlyn’s story is how singular and yet relatable it is for others who are also going through this transition. She went from the definition of masculinity and athleticism after success at the 1976 Olympics to reality TV star and now here she is, finally herself. That’s her story, and that’s okay. Others will have different backstories, and that’s what makes us all so interesting.
- When you reach your breaking point, act. It’s amazing how resilient we can be and how much pain we can survive, but at a certain point, it’s enough. Don’t be afraid to do something about a situation you’re unhappy with.
- You can end up influencing others. Caitlyn is in a unique position to reach millions, but you can influence your friends and family, too. Maybe you’re embarking on a healthier lifestyle and now work out 5 times a week, inspiring your BFF to cut out junk food. Everything we do has a ripple effect whether we know it or not. And that’s pretty cool.