Feeling confident in yourself– whether that’s regarding your looks, your life path, or simply as it pertains to who you are as a person– is challenging at any age, but you step into an entirely different ball game after you hit 40. I can remember having my first child at 26 and noticing the shift in my body– it was alarming! Nothing seemed to feel, fit, or move quite the same after that, and it took me a lot of getting used to. Nonetheless, I look back fondly on my twenties as a time of self-exploration and a period when I still felt young. But, then my thirties rolled in, and all of that changed. Physically, I noticed fat that was not only new, but stubborn; my body bounce-back was much harder to attain. That was compounded by the rebellion of my knees and ankles; they not only became picky, but, oft times refused to cooperate in certain shoes, or high heels. It was frustrating, if not downright annoying!
Then, there was the mental shift that came during that decade: I became less selfish, primarily because I’d become a wife and a mother. That deccinium forced me to cultivate my ability to live for a cause greater than just me. It was a rewarding, yet, extremely tumultuous time!
Nonetheless, as forty approached, I’d managed to figure a few things out. I learned where to shop for my age, ditching my youthful favorites such as Aeropostale and Gap, for mom stores, like Macy’s and Kohls. I also mastered looking pulled together sans heels (no easy feat), and came to accept that I was party-girled out. Even my need to wear glasses (which started after having my first child) grew on me. When the “how in the hell did you go blind,” rants, gradually gave way to the, “Girl, you still look good!” affirmations in the mornings, I knew that I’d finally caught my beat. It felt good!
Now, two years into the 40’s, and yet again, I’m on a different stage. In some aspects, it’s great. With the previous decades of experience underneath my belt, an enhanced level of confidence, self-acceptance and awareness has come to me. It’s also made my four razor sharp and my goals are crystal clear! There is still a flip side: just a few weeks ago, I walked into a photo-shoot with a room full of younger women and became surprisingly insecure– that was definitely a first! I’ve also become the object of the dreaded “Mrs.” and “Ma’m” — titles I am still getting used to. And let’s not talk about looks on my children’s faces, when I recount stories of how it was “back in the day”. When they tell me that my dances are old, and can’t relate to my tales, it reminds me I’m no longer “young”.
But, that’s okay; It just means that I’m officially an adult— and I can live with that! I’m fine now, with trading in the still figuring it out phases of my twenties and thirties, for the mental clarity I have today. I’ve also made peace with 40’s requirement that my shit be together and its low tolerance for youthful mistakes. I’ve made peace with Forty being the age of reality–in how I see both myself, and others in the world also. So, having said all that, the question for some might then be, “is 40 a decade of glass half empty, or full?” Well, here is my honest answer: it all depends on perception, and is ultimately for those who make it there to decide. From where I stand, it has been liberating; watch out for a woman set free!
Tell us, what are you looking forward to by 40, or If you’ve passed that, what has the 40’s taught you? We want to know!