They say your 20s are for making (and living through) life’s mistakes.
Your 30s are for learning from those mistakes.
And your 40s? I am convinced that your 40s are the launch pad for figuring out who you are, what you want, and how you want to live your life — no one can tell me otherwise.
All of my friends (don’t call them “older”, you will be slapped) have a great life: they’re well on their way up the career ladder, pay their bills on time, and have all the bikini-filled #vacay photos on their Instas of which any influencer would be jealous. And yet, despite their fabulousness, they’re still asked the questions they thought they’d outgrown and left behind long before their 40th: When are you getting married? Don’t you want to have kids? And, everyone’s personal favourite: I know a great guy — do you want me to set you up?
Of course, these embarrassing cross examinations generally take place at the most inopportune times; during dinner at a family gathering, for example, or by some gregarious co-worker who has no boundaries. And each time, we – the burgeoning middle age — are forced to smile, show strength and grace, and explain our way through the most distressing thing to happen to modern civilization: be a single 40-something woman who goes home to her empty bed, childless life, forty cats, buckets of ice cream in the freezer, and her plastic surgeon on speed dial. (insert eye roll emoji here.)
But what no one ever says during these inopportune cross examinations is what they really mean: that we’re old and we’d better get a move on living our lives because soon it’ll be too late (for marriage, kids, and whatever else we were supposed to nail down in our youth).
Our interrogators never stop to think about the big picture: that perhaps you should simply own your 40s and stop dwelling on your wasted or wonderful youth and all the things you could/would/should have done. To constantly look to the past for validation — or to try to prolong your lost decades – is a quick race to the bottom.
It’s time to accept that your 40s could very well be the start of the best of what’s to come. And yes: there will be frown lines, extra pounds and jiggles, and those annoying gray hairs that sneak up on you. But here’s the thing: you could either look at those as signs that you’re (getting) old or you could choose to look at them as signs that you’ve lived.
I, for one, am choosing the latter.
I can’t wait to settle into my 50s, 60s, and beyond. Whatever life’s got planned for me, I have a feeling it’s going to be fabulous.
Let every hair flip be fabulous.
Original photo by Marion Michele. || Manipulation by Le Snobbery