This December, I’ll be turning 40 years old. I know that number throws a lot of people into a tailspin, but personally, it’s something I’m looking forward to. I feel like 40 is the year and decade I’ll take control of my life and craft it into something that truly suits me.
That’s not to say I’ve been living inauthentically, but I think that we learn and grow, we change, and we find out, more significantly, what matters to us and what does not.
In my twenties, I was a neurotic mess. I was undoing the religious brainwashing my high school had instilled and that I had mostly embraced, with some hesitations under the surface. God’s love felt awfully conditional despite them preaching it was unconditional. I had to come to terms with the fact I had anxiety and depression issues. I fell in love for the first and only time to date. I had my heartbroken. I experienced true loss in the form of my Papa and then an aunt. I learned that I did have real friends and started to figure out the life I had always expected, marriage and babies, was maybe not for me. At least, it wasn’t happening in my 20’s as it had for my mom and cousin.
In my 30’s, I started to get comfortable in my own skin. Not entirely, but more than I ever had before. I let the idiot ex have way too much space in my life. I was hung up on the fact I had been wrong and didn’t trust myself when it came to dating because I had ben so sure that the ex was the one. It wasn’t even that he turned out to be a disappointment, it was that I had. My judgment had been woefully wrong and I didn’t want to be wrong. There were a few ‘almosts’ that happened in my 30’s but for one reason or another they didn’t fit. My friendships changed a bit, some people falling off, others appearing. For the first time in my life I had strong, healthy friendships. I started to set boundaries. I also experienced more loss, my grams and then an uncle. I became a homeowner, one of my biggest goals in life, in a totally unexpected way. After grams passed, I ended up buying her home from my family.
As I approach 40, I’m feeling good, strong, in ways I haven’t before. I’m more comfortable setting boundaries. I was able to reconnect with a friend and have a healthier relationship with them now. I no longer operate in a desperate, attached way with the ones I love. I have left guilt behind as a manipulation tactic (or I have certainly tried to). I am open to letting life unfold, knowing there are no guarantees or constants. I have to trust and have faith. I’ve been making changes and investing in myself. I’m creating space and reconnecting with my inner child. I’m trying to look to my niece and my critters as a reminder to find joy always and to live in the moment. I don’t know what this next year and decade will bring, I have some ideas, and I know it will be good.