I’m 39 today. I guess this is the last time I can say it and mean it. Oddly enough, I’ve been telling people that I’m 40 for the last few years. Instead of saying 38 or 39, I would just round up. I guess it was to make them feel better. Most of my friends are older than me. We all mesh very well together. Age truly doesn’t matter at this point, but to hear someone is 38 when you are 44… I guess it stings some women. So, 40 it was.
Sometimes it was a joke. Sometimes it was because I didn’t feel like opening up a can of worms about how young I was. Today, however, I am 39. I cannot say I am 40. In fact, I woke up insisting on letting everyone know that I am still in my 30s. 39. 39. 39. That’s me. Right now.
The hours are melting away. I’m looking at the clock for the first time in a long time and actually caring about what it says.
…closer and closer to the end of the day.
To the moment where I wake up and become someone new.
Someone who I’ve been pretending to be for a very long time.
Someone that I am not quite ready to meet.
Why does that number make me feel so mortal?
This concept of “over the hill” is archaic. We all know that. There’s nothing ancient about 40 anymore. 40 is the new 30 is the new 20. This is common knowledge!! Even the magazines that are literally designed to make us hate ourselves pump out this simple truth.
Women step into their power at 40.
Women finally figure out their stride.
Women stop caring about what other people think.
Women find out who they truly are once hitting this age – and I am thankful to finally join the group.
SO, why is my heart pounding? LITERALLY pounding all day? I feel like I am at the start of an anxiety attack. I feel like something is off. Like I’ve said something I wasn’t supposed to in school. As if I’m going to get in trouble. I feel sick. I feel depressed. I feel empty.
What is it about this number that is plaguing me so?
IF you look at my life, you will see a very complete one. I have three beautiful children. I have a lovely house in a great town. I love my job – with all my might. My marriage is in a really good place. I’m well traveled. I have a variety of friends. I am blessed – and I mean that. I don’t mean #blessed. I ACTUALLY just mean BLESSED. I’m no fool. All the wrongs that I have faced in my life have brought me to one place and it is a safe one that is filled with love. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Yet, here I am – watching my son play PS4 and trying not to cry as I get all of this out from inside of me. Nothing will change tomorrow. I am logical enough to understand this. The person at Starbucks won’t look at me differently. The guy who delivers my mail isn’t going to suddenly avoid my glance. Tomorrow will just be. I’m not that special. And yet, I feel like tomorrow is the beginning of a new journey that I haven’t packed for yet.
I feel so utterly unprepared to face this new decade despite myself! Despite looking on paper like I have it all figured out. I fear that once I turn 40, things will start slowing down. It’s been drilled inside of me I suppose.
I don’t want to stop traveling. I don’t want to stop exploring and learning. I don’t want to stop hustling. I don’t want to stop giving my all to everything I do. Why do I feel like 40 means I should? Such propaganda!
Some of the bravest, fiercest, bad ass women that I know are WELL into their 40s. They are powerhouses. They are claiming life for their own.
Maybe I fear that I can’t live up to this era. Thinking this through with you, I suppose that makes more sense.
I am well established for a woman in her 30s. I am highly successful. I am proud of what I’ve done with my life personally and professionally. Why do I fear that during my 40s, I won’t be satisfied? I won’t be enough? I won’t do enough.
I don’t want to view the next ten years as a test. I don’t want to view the next ten years as a stepping stool to get me to retirement. I want to live my 40s to the best of my ability.
Will I have the clarity that all my friends seem to have that are in their 40s? Will a truth be unveiled that none of this really matters? And if so, will I be ok with that? Will my priorities shift? Will my drive decrease? Will my industry still care about my perspective?
I can’t decide if I am fearful that I won’t live up to my 40s or if I am fearful that I will succumb to them.
I want to live my best life.
I want to continue to see the world.
I want to dream bigger and then hit those dreams.
I want to publish a book.
I want to watch my children go off to college and know I did the best I could with guiding them.
I want to help more people in my industry achieve their goals.
I want to come out with a product line.
I want to get control of my weight and my health.
I want to build on my relationship with God.
I want to finally fix up my house the way I’ve always wanted it.
I want to buy a summer home on the North Fork.
I want to spend more time with my family.
I want to spend more time doing hobbies and not always focus on making money.
I want to get a true grasp of the things I need to know for my business.
I want to stop caring what people think.
I want to be strong enough for my daughter as she goes through middle school and beyond.
I want to stop internalizing things.
I want to start taking bigger risks.
I want to start drinking more water.
I want to forget all the things that have happened to me.
I want to learn how to forgive and to forget.
I want to not be afraid anymore.
I want to let go of all the demons I still hold onto.
I want to be my best advocate.
I want to get off all preventative migraine medication.
I want to love myself – truly love myself – for who I am.
I want to create a life for my children filled with so much love that when they look back on their childhood, they can think of only happiness.
I want to find peace during the quiet times.
I want these things and so much more.
It’s a lot to ask of myself, but if anyone can do it… I hope I can. I have ten years to get through this list. One day at a time — that’s exactly how I am going to take it.
Tomorrow is just a few hours away. There’s no turning back now.
See you on the flipside…