Forty..... FORTY? Yes, F O R T Y! Wow. I guess it means different things to different people. I go back and forth. The thing that scares me is, I just turned thirty and then ten years happened. That ten years went by fast. So if the next ten years happens as fast.... Fifty!? What?
Ages twenty to thirty went by in a blink. I can’t even begin to describe the changes from when I was twenty! I can’t relate to that 20-something person! I was stubborn beyond belief. I HAD to be right. I lied to myself and others so no one would know who I really was, nor get past my guard. I went from an unhealthy long term relationship into a frenzied, multiple partnered, dating scene that would have made Lil Kim blush. (See, Lil Kim was this rapper who was hot when I was....um... hot.)
Then there was this guy, who casually put a D’Angelo CD in his stereo when I went to his apartment at 2am after a party. He was calm, cool and in no rush. I fell in love. In REAL love, like a slap up the side of the head love. We moved in together and I morphed into thirty.
At thirty, we had just gotten married, had no children, were renting a townhouse and I was working full time. Ten years later, here I am, house/mortgage, 11 years of marriage, fertility treatments, miscarriage, births, home raising 2 boys, hospital stays, much laughter, car accident, selling Avon, dog, breakdowns, breakthroughs and little league.
It seems like a whirlwind. I made my life what it is, and I love my life. I sincerely never thought that this kind of life was possible. I still hold a fear that it will all go away. I can’t seem to get enough therapy to dispel that fear. It is not an all encompassing one, just a nagging one that gets in the way at times.
I am still very much in love with my husband. He makes me laugh and I am still amazed watching him father our boys. My sons are the revelation of joy. Yes, there are times they drive me to tears. There are times they make me bat shit crazy. There are times I need to be away from them. But for the most part, I am the happiest when I am with them. I am so humbled that I am their mother and am raising them.
Forty can be very liberating. I have been through enough to know that no one, not one person in this world, can tell me what to do. I answer to no one, except myself. I make up the rules in my life. Yes, there are responsibilities that I have and most I hold dear. I chose to take on those responsibilities and since I am older I choose very carefully. I still struggle with ideologies and theologies and philosophies. But I am enjoying the learning in that struggle. I am finding my way closer to Love, Peace and Light within myself. I have learned to not take things too personally or too seriously. It is not worth the time and energy put into it. I don’t want to be the cause of anyone else’s pain or even discomfort, but I do not feel the need to change who I am to accommodate someone else’s sensitivities. I will not be brought into drama, aggravation or ignorance. I will respectfully walk away from them and wish them all the best.
I do not look like I did when I was a young, firm, bounce a quarter off of it, 20 something. I worked out then to look good to others. I will work out now because I love my life and want to live longer. I want to feel what my body is still capable of doing. I want to lose myself in the practice of Yoga or Zumba, or dancing, or whatever physical activity I participate in. I am not gray haired yet, although the white strands are slowly starting to turn into streaks. My face is not wrinkled but is not as taut as it once was. My scars, stretch marks, saggy boobs and weak bladder are my battle wounds and I wear them with pride. With 40 I am realizing that I am not my hair or my face or my body or even my thoughts. What I am, is a beautiful, timeless soul and I need to treat myself and others as such. I have been given so much in my 40 years. I am grateful, humbled and astounded at my life. This birthday is my 40th and I am happy.