I am officially “grown” or so I thought! I turned 40 on 9/13/16 and I am not quite sure I have completely absorbed the fact that I am no longer in my 30’s but I am trying to look at the brighter side. I’m alive! I made it this far and I still feel like I am in my 30’s! Nothing broke or stopped working when the clock struck midnight so whew, so far, so good. Every time someone calls me old, I am going to remember that some people didn’t make it to 40 and be grateful! That is how I will cope with reaching this milestone. It is a good way to knock the fright and edge off of “getting old”,at least I think it is.
I lost 3 close family members to cancer in the last 5 years, all at relatively young ages. The youngest, my little cousin Sharniese Reynolds, that I once babysat, was only 25 years old! My aunt Debbie Reynolds, the best, sweetest, Aunt EVER died in 2014 at 52! Those are both really young ages. None of us knows when our time on earth is up but through their deaths, I have learned to look at life differently. I don’t care what milestone I reach from now on, I will not complain.
There is a certain element of youthfulness when you’re “thirty-something” that I am not sure is as prevalent in the “forties”. Well, I didn’t think so until I ran into a colleague in the office the other day who is 60. As I approached her in the hallway, I said proudly ” I turned 40 last week” as if that was going to give me a new ranking or level of respect, you know, my “grown” card. She looked at me and said” Oh, you are still a baby!” I was so confused, although happy that she still considered me to be a “youngin”. I said “Oh my goodness, you mean to tell me that I am still not grown”?! She said “Child, naw!”.
I don’t know when some will consider me officially “grown” but I am looking forward to the 40 ride! In my 20’s, I made tons of mistakes and was so clueless on so many levels. Clueless about how to be a wife, mother, responsible adult and totally financially illiterate. In my 30’s, I made a lot less mistakes but some pretty profound ones in my career. I learned that pride comes before the fall. If you don’t know what that means I urge you to ask someone and try to find out. The biggest lesson I learned in my 30’s is to remain humble in all things. No matter what title or level you obtain professionally, remain humble, treat people with respect no matter what and assume the BEST about people.
40, I hope you are a much less bumpy ride. I hope you take me to new places and to new experiences that grow me in every area. I hope that I enjoy everyday with you, in both good and bad times simply because it is a blessing to be alive! I hope to continue to be comfortable in my skin, even more so than I was in my late 30’s. It took me to reach my 30’s to finally start to be comfortable being my authentic self, not worrying about impressing anyone else or living up to their standards. I hope you make me more confident and remind me to always be true to myself, no matter how uncomfortable my truth may be for someone else. My younger years have prepared me for this moment and I stand ready to march forward with gratitude and joy for what is to come. 40, let’s ride!