Tomorrow I turn 40. Surprisingly I’m not even freaking out about the age (sorta, maybe just a little). I know it’s just a number, and truthfully, I don’t feel 40 (whatever 40 is supposed to feel like) but I do have some feels.
“40 is the new 20” or so they say. Well, to me, 20 was innocence, naivety, fun, late nights, and way less bills to pay. I think about how my biggest concern was which shifts to pick up at my waitressing job, and which bar we’d be going to that Friday night. I would meet the man I would eventually marry, and start a job that would turn into a 15 year career.
And then my 30’s happened. Ten years ago right now I was thinking about how to spend the last night in my 20’s. No idea that the next day I would be getting engaged in front of my friends and family, starting off what was supposed to be the best decade of my life. I was getting married, we’d buy a house, have kids, live happily ever after. Getting engaged at 30 (check), married at 31 (check), first baby at 32 (check), second baby at 35 (instead I was burying my first baby). You know the rest. I literally began the first moments of my 30’s the happiest I had ever been. I was so innocent and unknowing of the world I was about to live in. So naive to the emotions and feelings I was about to experience.
That is what brings all the feels to this whole turning 40 thing. It’s making me realize just how different of a person I was exactly a decade ago. How different the journey of the last 10 years has made not only me, but everyone in my life who has been a part of this life with us. They are the same people who were with me 10 years ago, watching Bear get down on one knee when our journey began. It’s making me feel ignorant to how clueless I was as I embraced my 30’s, because why would I have a child who would be diagnosed with a super rare disease, and die at the age of 2 years old. I can honestly say that was never a thought that crossed my mind as I was saying “yes” to marrying Bear.
This last decade has changed me, but I don’t want to think it was for the worse. I’ve had the most amazing times in my life over the last decade. As much as I’ve gone through heartache and pain, I also experienced the most amazing feelings I could ever imagine. Feelings that go way beyond what my expectations were on that day 10 years ago. I not only married the love of my life, but created two additional loves of my life to share my world with.
So, yeah, I’m turning 40. I’m not necessarily excited about it (it just sounds old, no offense to anyone reading this over the age of 40) but I’m more okay with it than I thought I would be. I’m entering this new decade in a different mindset than the previous one. I’m no longer innocent and naive to the world, but I also know when to allow myself to feel grateful and hopeful.
That’s what this last decade has gifted to me, a confusing mix of emotions I never thought could go together, but have learned to carry at the same time.
Well, that plus more anxiety, a little PTSD, an extra chin, and a few extra pounds. Happy 40th to me.