Woah. That’s hard for me to believe, let alone declare with confidence.
It happened a couple of weeks ago, without a lot of pomp and circumstance, which, honestly, I preferred. As the day approached, friends and family kept insisting I had to do something special. You need to have a party, or a big dinner out with friends! My answer was the same every time: “No. No I really don’t.”
I remember when I turned 30 I couldn’t wait to have an awesome party. Several of my friends who also happened to be approaching this milestone number were doing so with dread. Many of them felt like they were somehow behind. They still weren’t married and the number 30 was a huge reminder from their eggs that the cobwebs were indeed starting to form. I, of course, resonated with these feelings, at least a little bit. But I was going to be different. I was going to have a different attitude. So while my friends were all, “I can’t believe I’m 30. I’m not going to celebrate cause this means I might never get married and have kids and I’m going to die alone”, I was like, “Let’s have a party! I’m still young and I’m in the prime of my life. And while I’m at it, I think I’ll take a trip to Africa and then go to Paris for New Years. Bam!”
And I did.
Then I turned 31.
Gone was the thirty-and-flirty-go-conquer-the-world-attitude. I was just “in my 30’s”. I had those fears that I might never fall in love and get married. I wondered if when I finally did, would I be able to have kids. There was so much unknown.
But approaching 40 was different. I did meet the man of my dreams, fall in love and get married. And the kid thing, well…. if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you know that we are excitedly anticipating the arrival of our own little peanut later this year! (If you didn’t know already, go ahead an freak out for a minute. It’s pretty exciting!)
So why is it the number 40 makes me cringe so? The two things I most feared never happening have happened. It’s not like I think my life is over or that it’s all downhill now. No way. There are so many adventures ahead, and in some ways it feels like I’m just getting started. It’s just that it doesn’t seem possible that I could be 40 years old. That number just can’t be describing me. Where has the time gone? Can it really be possible that I have lived 40 years? When people find out my age they can’t seem to believe it either. They say there’s no way I look 40, which, of course, is nice to hear.
But what is 40 supposed to look like? Am I supposed to have gray hair and wrinkles? Well there definitely are some wrinkles, but I do my best to cover up the multiplying silver strands. Am I supposed to wear mom jeans and act differently than I do? “You don’t look 40”. Thanks. But I don’t know what that means.
Maybe I’m exactly what it’s supposed to look like. Maybe it looks like someone who is passionate about life. Someone who loves their spouse like they’re newlyweds (mostly because we are!). Someone who is constantly learning new skills and finding new hobbies. Or someone who desires to learn new ways of being and relating to the people and the world around her. Maybe 40 looks like a woman who feels like a young girl most of the time and who is just now starting a family of her own. Who wants to see as much of the world that she can, starting with the adventure in the world right around her. A woman who is just trying to figure it out as she goes, and who realizes, that even with 40 years under her belt, she still has so much to learn.
You know what? That’s exactly what 40 looks like. In my world at least.