Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Finding 40: Nothing To Be Afraid Of

I spent all of my thirties, the entire fucking decade, being afraid of turning forty.  Having ages 35, 39, and 40 on the horizon made me swell with discontent, fear, and sorrow.  I cried and panicked, thinking life would end at 40 if I didn't reach certain life goals before that clock turned midnight.

But as a result of that fear, I was a deer in headlights.  I stood still, staring at the countdown, motionless, for years.

I failed to live.

But do you know what happened when I turned 40?  

Well the day of, I was numb for most of it and had a break down in the afternoon.

But the next day at age 40 and one day, I was fine.  Actually, I was better than fine.  The week that followed was really nice.  

I'm still incredibly heartbroken that motherhood seems impossible for me now.  I didn't wake up the day after my birthday with a magical cure for my life-long desires.  I haven't figured out a way to let go of that dream.  But I think a lot of the fear that lived in me during the entirety of my 30's has slowly been dissipating.  

Instead of being sad and scared all the damn time, I've now taken to absolutely owning being a 40-something.  And oddly, I kind of love it.

I'm all, Well in my 40's.... Or now that I'm 40....  And my 40 year old self is flat out of fucks to give!

But like, I said all of this the day after I turned 40.  Because I'm weird.  Or I turned a corner.  Or both.  Who knows.  It feels good though.  It feels good to genuinely care less.  Because I'm not just saying that.  As strange as it sounds, I suddenly but actually do give fewer fucks.  

For example, I've used the word fuck countless times in this post and just do not care.  At all.  A friend asked me to do something the other day and I said no.  I didn't give a lengthy, swirly dissertation on why I was declining.  I just said no.  And I've become obsessed with sensible shoes.  I just put all of my monogrammed Bonannos and Jacks in the thrift store pile because I'm not about to spend a lifetime trying to sell my monogram on eBay and I just cannot wear those back destroying things anymore.  {Confession: I'm keeping two pairs because old habits die hard.}  

I've found a bit of freedom in my forties that I could only dream about in my thirties and I am just going with it.  I do wonder though...what I might have done...or not done...over the last many years if I had known that 40 wasn't a death sentence.  

If you are on the cusp of a big number and dreading it because you haven't checked off the boxes that everyone else around you checked off, please know that first and foremost, I get it, sister!  I know that fear and heartbreak and feeling that you are not just late to the party, but wholly uninvited.  YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  You feel alone, but you aren't.  And second, your birthday isn't a death sentence.  It's just a day.  That might be hard.  But let me tell you a secret.  Lean in.  The joy that comes from wearing cute but sensible shoes and drinking more water than wine and doing daily yoga and saying fuck as much as you please isn't something to be scoffed at.  It's not a family.  But it is a bit of an exhale that you didn't allow yourself for all of your 30's.  

Next up on my personal agenda is to channel the body positivity and adorableness of The 12ish Style. Do you follow her on Instagram?  She's amazing and I want to channel a bit of her in a bathing suit this summer.  I've already told District that I will be joining her at her country club pool {40 year olds just invite themselves to things} this summer.  I've also ordered a bunch of new sundresses.  Something I used to wear six out of seven days during the summer but rarely wear now because I no longer fit into things.  But I'm tired of not fitting in.  So I ordered bigger sizes.  And that's that.  {40 year olds stop hoping to squeeze back into old frocks and just order new things that will be comfortable and cute in their bigger and better size.}

I found 40 and it's not at all the scary, dark place of my wild imagination.  So far, 40 feels fun and freeing and fabulous as fuck!



MCW said...

It really isn't that scary at all!

And you know how I feel about motherhood at 40. Just do it.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

It’s not off the table. I just haven’t figured out how. But cheers �� to us being 40 and fabulous!!

Ruth said...

Forty didn't end bothering me. I was worried since 25 almost killed me.


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