So today I turn 40. I am so happy to arrive at this milestone. Some people dread it. I celebrate it. The way I see it, I’ve earned it. I’ve been through good and bad times. I’ve learned a lot yet have so much more to learn. This excites me. I feel like there’s a shift coming. In my 20’s I was already a mother. I had an idea of who I wanted to be, but wasn’t quite sure if I was there yet. I knew I had to figure it out quickly because I was already in charge of two little lives. Of course I would have wanted to have my kids a few years later than I did but there is not one regret. Not a single one. My kids have given me a joy that will never be duplicated. They kept me going when I thought I had nothing left to give. At times I feel like I owe them my life.
In my 30’s I unfortunately learned that, just when I thought I had been hurt and things were bad, it could always get…worse. I suffered such deep heartbreak at the hands of someone I loved dearly. Not only did I suffer that pain, I suffered the pain of losing friendships and some family ties. I learned what it felt like to be abandoned by people I cared for. For reasons that till this day elude me. Just simply deserted me. No explanation. I questioned it at first, but then it became a fact of life so I learned to do without. I closed my heart. I never lost my smile but disappointment had turned me into an empty shell. I got familiar with the notion that a lot of people are full of shit. Again, my kids were the one bright spot. In my 30’s I sought ways to center myself. I began to gather wisdom and enlightenment. I slowly worked towards maintaining inner-peace. The hurt I experienced was beginning to fade towards the end of my 30’s. I had made new friends and was trying new things. I accomplished something tremendous. I set out to write a novel and I did. It was the beginning of great things to come. At 39 I began preparing to give my 30’s the send off they deserved.
I allowed myself to be generous with the one person I had neglected. Me! I took a trip that was long overdue. It felt so good to treat myself the way I had treated everyone else. What took me so long? My age. That’s what. Yes, I am learning. The last year of my 30’s I began to pull away from things and people who were not conducive to my growth. While I didn’t eliminate them completely I learned to put myself first. It also occurred to me to stop trying to like everyone. While it is nice to get along with people it is not mandatory to like everyone. Some people you will never get along with and that’s fine. Just being cordial is enough. The message I wish to convey most in this new decade of my life is, “Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.” Watch out, because today I turn 40.