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Jane Fonda has spoken candidly about her decision to conduct a “life review” before her 60th birthday, and the ways in which it changed the way she thought about herself.
According to the activist, she decided to spend time reflecting on her life and her goals ahead of her 60th birthday, after realising she “was approaching [her] third act”.
“When I was about to turn 60, I realised that I was approaching my third act - my final act - and that it wasn’t a dress rehearsal,” she told Shahidi. “One of the things that I knew for sure is that I didn’t want to get to the end with a lot of regrets, so how I lived up until the end was what was going to determine whether or not I had regrets.”
Fonda said she also came to the realisation that, in order to know which direction to take, she “had to know where I’d been”.
“And it also then dawned on me that in order to know where I was supposed to go, I had to know where I’d been, and so I thought, Well, now’s the time I’m going to research myself…a deep research called a life review,” she explained.
The life review was illuminating, according to Fonda, who revealed that the practise changed both the way she thought about herself, and the way she intended to live her life going forward.
“It totally changed the way I thought about myself and about how I wanted to live the last third of my life. And I realised the importance of being intentional about how we go through life,” she said.
As for the realisation about herself that Fonda found the “most surprising,” she told the Black-ish star that it was the recognition of her bravery.
The admission surprised Shahidi, who acknowledged that many consider Fonda brave for her decades-long activism, to which the Monster-in-Law star revealed that, up until that point, she hadn’t had much “confidence in [herself]”, nor had she ever given herself “any kind of label that was positive”.
“Also, I tended to gravitate toward people who were smarter and braver and morally stronger than I was. I always aspired to be more like them, but I never could imagine that I was like them,” she said.
Elsewhere in the interview, Fonda revealed that she hadn’t known what her path would be until she was in her 30s.
However, she acknowledged that one’s path will “come to you” if “you’re curious and you’re healthy and you’re open”.
Fonda also credited curiosity with keeping her young, with the actor claiming that she is “younger now than [she] was when [she] was 20” because she has stayed curious.
As for what curiosity means to her, Fonda said that it is about asking a lot of questions, reading a lot of books, and finding the positive in every situation you are in.
While speaking with Shahidi, Fonda also recalled her first appearance on the cover of Glamour in 1959, and the growth she has undergone in the years since.
“If somebody had told me that, at almost 85 years old, I’d still be working as much as I am and feeling as good as I do, I wouldn’t have believed them,” she said. “At that time in my life, I doubted I would live past 30. Just thinking about that filled me with hope. I didn’t give up. I kept going. I tried to get better. I did.”
The actor’s comments come after she recently revealed that she is “super-conscious” that she is “closer to death,” but that the knowledge doesn’t bother her.
“I’m super-conscious that I’m closer to death. And it doesn’t really bother me that much,” Fonda said in an appearance on CBS Sunday Morning on 24 April.