I recently celebrated my 40th birthday. It didn’t sneak up on me, I knew it was coming, I had my eye on it for quite some time. I have had several moments within the past few months of anxiety, fear that I hadn’t checked off the things one is supposed to have checked off by this point.
I know this is cliche, what forty year old doesn’t freak out a little bit and reflect on what they have or have not accomplished in their life. I always thought I would be married to a loving husband with adorable children who would jump on our bed early on weekend mornings, glowing in a big bundle of pillow fighting love despite my fatigue. I would sit in churches proud of my young friends as they spoke their marriage vows, but was always wondering, “when is it my turn, why can’t I find that kind of love?”
In the past I made it my job to tell myself that I had somehow failed by not following the traditional life path, I felt ashamed, like I somehow made a misstep, chose the wrong fork in the road or worse yet that there was something drastically wrong with me.
I remember a conversation with a good friend of mine the week of my birthday, I was ticking off all the things I didn’t have; a husband, children and a home, you know the American Dream, I was sad, morose and he smiled at me and said “but you don’t really want those things right now, so why is it bothering you that you don’t have them?” It was the verbal slap/hug that I needed, he was right I was happy without those things.
I find myself constantly vacillating between what I truly want in life and playing nice with what society expects of me. I did at one point want to follow the rules of the road, but through time and experiences I have adapted and today, continue to tweak things to create a life that is one that I want to live.
Cheers to the next forty and to continuing to follow the path to health & happiness!
P.S. – I had a “Wigging Out” 40th birthday party, the pictures below give a glimpse into some of the spectacular people I share this life with!