I’ll be turning 40 this year.
I always thought it would feel different. To be honest I felt the same way when I turned 30. I had no idea how that number related to me. I mean, it’s true, I’m definitely less limber (which is something I need to start working on ASAP) I have more lower back pain than I did in my 20s. My knees are definitely more sensitive. I can’t make more than two trips to boroughs outside of my own in one day without feeling tired and then getting whiny. No, don’t ask me to leave my house for something that starts after 8:00pm. I’m in bed clothes by 6:30.
But those are physical stamina related things, not mental or emotional stuff. I still feel like a childlike, playful, silly, crazy person who would just as soon (and will do soon) run barefoot through a meadow as attend a weekly meeting and take notes. Though I have noticed I have more weekly meetings scheduled than ever before in my life, though thankfully they revolve around projects I actually care about, not mind numbing meetings regarding things that drive me to doodle and check my IG feed under the conference room table.
Still forty years just sounds like a long time doesn’t it? And in so many ways I feel like there are things in my life and about myself that I’m only just starting to learn about, which feels more like being born than growing “old” to me. Is that possible, that’s taken me almost 40 years to get to really know myself? My good friend at soulsistah4real quoted someone I can’t remember to me a while back, saying something like “The first 40 years of childhood are really rough.” I laughed out loud.
Truer words were never said. Because I straight up really struggle with feeling like 40 for me is somewhat like another level of childhood. Maybe it’s because I still don’t have any children. Maybe that’s when my 40s feeling will really kick in. Women with children, business minded women, women with clear goals and vision seem to embody that 40 in a way that seems more like what the age should feel like. But then who is to say really, what 40 should feel like?
To give myself some credit, I have actively sought out and apply consistently constructive and supportive ways to deal with the murkier sides of my personality which I would never have done in my 20s. Absolutely none of that self work has been easy but what I do understand is that when it becomes a pattern to do this, it’s one you can no longer go back on. This work has allowed me to begin seeing relationships differently and hopefully move towards a trust that has never come easily for me, not only trust of others but also of myself. So maybe that’s just what 40 looks like for me. And maybe that’s okay. Of course I still have no idea what I’m doing for my 40th and I know it’s supposed to be a big deal but right now, there’s too much going on for me to focus on any kind of big celebration. I only ask that friends and family will understand if I want to sit by a lake on a blanket that day as much as I might want to dance on a table. I have never wanted to dance on a table.
A mountain perhaps.