On my 39th birthday, I remember the absolute dread I felt about leaving my 30’s. Actually, I had started freaking out wayyy before that from the day I turned 37. Now things were getting real…I was going to be a 40-year-old, middle-aged woman and I just couldn’t come to terms with the thought. I felt so uncertain about my life, and I had so many fears about getting older. I was turning 40 soon, yet I hadn’t achieved 90% of the goals I had set for myself — I hadn’t yet bought that house that I was supposed to buy, I hadn’t yet found the perfect husband, I didn’t have the 2 gorgeous children, and I still wasn’t the CEO of that company I had envisioned (the one where I would make all the money). Man, I was turning 40 — and I was running out of time.
AND THEN I TURNED 40
I can’t say for sure what changed during that first year of being in the ’40/40′ club, but something shifted. Maybe it was all the reflecting I had done the year before. Maybe it was the realization that nothing had really changed – I was still here, still breathing, still living. Maybe I was finally beginning to see that a lot of those goals I had set for myself weren’t really MY goals. Maybe there was a certain level of relief that the pressure I had put on myself was off. Maybe it was all of those things, but more importantly, maybe 40 came with a certain self-awareness and awakening that only a GROWN WOMAN could understand and appreciate. Whatever it was that I was beginning to feel….I was really beginning to like it.
“They love the way I walk
Cause I walk with a vengeance
And they listen to me when I talk ’cause I ain’t pretending
It took a while, now I understand just where I’m goin’
I know the world and I know who I am
It’s ’bout time I show it
I’m a grown woman
I can do whatever I want
I’m a grown woman
I can do whatever I want….”
WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE ABOUT MY 40’s
- That my goals are now based on things that will make me happy. Too many times we set goals based on pressures put on us by society. I now live my life for me.
- That it doesn’t mean I’m running out of time. There will always be time to get it right, to be who I want to be.
- That there is no such thing as middle-aged, just fabulousness and more fabulousness.
- That getting older is inevitable, but it’s not as scary as we think. There are people who will never be able to experience their 40’s. Life is a gift, cherish it, enjoy it.
- That people’s opinions no longer matter, their projections are of no concern to me. How I choose to live my life is my choice and only mine.
- That if I still don’t have what I thought I wanted at this point, maybe I never really wanted it in the first place.
- That I am still capable of loving, and being loved.
- That I have never felt more comfortable in my skin. I have a new appreciation for every imperfection that makes me who I am. I am perfectly imperfect.
- That no matter what life throws at me, I now have the tools to make it through to the other side unscathed. I am woman.
- That loss becomes more real, but leads to a greater appreciation of life and loved ones.
- That no matter how many times I feel alone, there will always be somebody willing to listen.
- That uncertainty and self-doubt eventually turn into self-assurance.
- That I am living my best life because life is way too short not to.