Hello lovelies. Yeah…you read the title correctly.
Soon, I will be 40. FORTY.
One of those milestone birthdays. It happens to the best of us, so I’m told, so I consider myself to be in pretty good company. Still, it’s bugging me. I don’t know why, exactly, but it is. Not that I can do much about it, although I’m quite certain being on the beach in the DR with a few of my best girls and a drink in my hand when the clock strikes 12 will take some of the sting out, ha. What I do know is, it’s made me take stock of my life thus far. And wow. I’ve seen a lot, learned a lot, endured a lot, laughed/cried/loved a lot. Even hated a lot. All of it makes me who I am now. Strong as hell. Also vulnerable, but definitely ready for what’s next. And the writer in me felt compelled to share some of it with you, so here we are. No lessons or sage advice here…more like a 40-year progress report on where I am today. Heart on my sleeve kinda stuff. Ready? *deep breath* Let’s do this, 40.
• No coincidence this is the first thing I’ll mention, cuz it took me the longest to get here: the number of fucks I give about inconsequential things – and people – diminishes with every passing day. It’s SO freeing, I highly recommend it. Let it go. That being said, that statement should not suggest to you that I’m heartless – far from it. When I care, I care deeply. Very. More than people probably realize.
• I fucking love to swear and I make no apologies for it. Isn’t there some study that says people who swear are more trustworthy or some shit? Fuck yeah. I believe it.
• I think I’d have gone mad by now if I didn’t listen to music every day. It’s my escape, my stress reliever, my happy place, my workout. (Living room dance party FTW!) And live music? Fuhget about it, it’s what I live for. If music was a person I WOULD MARRY IT RIGHT NOW. And you people who create it…well, y’all should know, I’m so in awe. Seriously, I Can’t. Get. Enough. *swoons*
• At one point in my life, anxiety controlled me. No, check that: it crippled me. I know to some degree it will always be there, but I’m happy to say that now I manage it quite well after putting in many years of hard work, and without medication (although, I needed meds for a time and they were immensely helpful and if you need them there’s no shame in that whatsoever. You hear me? NO SHAME. Fuck the stigma, it’s nonsense.) Huge win.
• Charity makes me feel like a better human being and I need to do more of it. My brother having cancer makes me feel so very useless, cuz there isn’t a thing I can do to change that. But, when I can do something like help raise funds for cancer research, then I feel like I have a tiny bit of control in a world where so much of that is out of reach. Also, FUCK YOU, CANCER, you’re an asshole.
• I still make mistakes. Not as many as I used to, but still. However, I’ve finally figured out how to learn from them.
• I can be brutally honest and grow less tolerant of dishonesty with each passing day. (Although I find it’s only brutal to the ones who can’t handle hearing it.)
If it can be destroyed with the truth, it deserves to be destroyed by the truth.
Thank you for that, Carl Sagan, I’m sure you were talking about something science-y when you said it but those are words to live by. Also, if you really want to know who your friends are, just be an honest person. The real ones can take it and will stay and probably even love you for it. Let the rest walk.
• While I’m talking truths here, another majorly important T word for me is trust. Hard to get, easy to lose, and without it, words mean nothing. If you’ve earned it with me (or anyone else for that matter) guard it with your life. It’s precious.
• I’ve seen how quickly life can change and be cut short and it’s taught me to be grateful for every. single. second. I’m not always a happy person, but I don’t have to be in order to be grateful and just so fucking glad to still be here.
• I’ve learned that life will never stop challenging us. NEVER. Bad shit is going to happen to all of us, period. How we handle the shit once we’re in it is what defines us.
• After 40 years, I’ve finally learned my own value, and now that I have, I’m staunchly protective of it. Just try to come at me and tell me I’m not worthy, I dare ya. You’ll soon find yourself down one friend. And some will tell you they’ve lived to regret that, btw. So I’ve heard.
• I still don’t eat my veggies and I made it to 40! SEE DAD I TOLD YOU I DON’T NEED TO EAT MY PEAS
• I don’t believe in god, but I do believe in karma. I’ve seen it in action, and it absolutely influences decisions I make. The high road is not always the easy (or most gratifying) road, but I always try to take it. I’m not so keen on accumulating any more debt, karmic or otherwise, but hey if you want to, go right ahead, that’s your business, not mine.
• I’ve already lived half my life. (If all goes well, that is.) HALF. Omigod. I have SO MUCH left to accomplish and see and experience and taste and smell and savour and…and…ahhhh! My bucket list is HUGE. It scares me to think I won’t have time to fit it all in. Good thing that anxiety is in check…
• I still wish that I was able to fix everyone’s problems and help the people I care about. I can’t. Stepping back and letting people fall flat because that’s what they need to do is the hardest lesson I’ve learned to date. And the most costly. Gaaaah.
• Ok so here’s a big one. When it comes to love and relationships, I’ve been through hell. No, fer real. I never expected to be single at 40. But, after staying far too long in a bad relationship and forcing myself to face some very painful truths when it ended, I’m finally in a really good place. REALLY good. I’ve been hurt badly enough that I could’ve easily justified closing my heart off forever, but I refuse. I’ve learned a ton about myself since then and this I know for sure: I have so much love to give. The next man who earns it is going to be one lucky man, but I’m confident he will be pretty amazing himself so I know I will feel lucky too. I can’t wait. (But I will.)
• I’m unequivocally, absolutely, completely, 100% at peace with my decision to not have kids. *nods emphatically* Yup.
• It bothers me that I haven’t finished my book yet. Like, a LOT. There’s no mystery about why: I’m just terrified of it sucking. I’m gonna write it anyway. Fuck it, right?! What are dreams for if not scaring the crap outta you? *cue uneasy laugh* So yeah, watch out for me, world, (eventually? soon!) I’m coming for you!
I think that’s where I’ll sign off for now; gotta maintain a little air of mystery, right? Thank you for indulging me and thank you for being interested in the words I write, it means a lot. And so I’ll end my post with this final thought: I am one very, very lucky gal. If I really take stock, all the good far outweighs the bad. I have my health, amazing family and friends, a roof over my head, and about a thousand other things I probably take for granted that someone else is wishing and praying they had. None of that is lost on me. But I’m not even close to being done, so…at the end of the day, I guess I’m pretty psyched to be turning 40. Woo hoo, surprise ending, didn’t see that coming! Which is perfect, cuz I love surprises. 🙂
Cheers to the next 40!
Peace and love to you all,