I dreaded turning 40. I started obsessing about it when I turned 37. 40 was always old to me. I know that being in my 40’s, I’m considered young by older people and old by the younger set. It’s smack dab in the middle, 40’s.
Once you hit 40, you’re standing on the precipice and you’re looking straight down into your grave.
Earlier on, I considered lying about my age because the thought of waitresses calling me “dear” or “honey” the way they do to their older customers…it terrified me.
39 came. I was standing in a restroom, washing my hands and applying lipstick. A younger girl was standing next to me and we got into a little conversation. This happens a lot to me, people like to confess things to me in restrooms. No clue why.
Anyways, this girl was turning 25 or 26 and she was freaking out because 30 was fast approaching. I laughed gently. 30 never scared me. 30 is young. 30 is still vibrant, taut, firm and wrinkle free.
I told her that I was moments away from turning 40 and that was horrifying to me. She looked at me with shock. I might have raised one eyebrow in question, had I known how to raise one eyebrow. But, she read the questioning body language and went on to tell me that she prays that she looks as good as I do when she is about to turn 40.
She made 40 a little less scary for me. So, nameless young lady who by now has turned 30…thank you.
I have a few years of being in my 40’s under my belt now. I’m just starting to get used to it.
I’ll admit that 50 scares me far worse than 40. And 60…oy. My mom died at 68. Young by todays standards despite thinking of 40 as being old.
I used to measure my age by whether or not I was still young enough to have babies. In today’s world, I am. Not that I would but, I could. Women my age are doing it. I’m perfectly happy with the fact that I’m beyond the baby stage…by 9 years now.
Life is getting easier and yet, more complicated.
40’s brought with it an age identity crisis of sorts. While my body insists it’s not young anymore, my mind begs to differ. It’s a push and pull of internal epic proportions.
The one defining factor of 40’s for me, though, is a sense of confidence in who I am. Something I never experienced before.
I know who I am and I really like myself. I do. In a so NOT arrogant way.
I’m finally comfortable in my own skin. This is me, take me or leave me. I don’t need to be the center of attention out of insecurity. I don’t need to know that everyone likes me. It’s OK. If you do, great. If not, great too.
I’m finally able to voice my opinion unapologetically. Unless I hurt someones feelings, I’m still very sensitive to that because I don’t ever want to intentionally hurt anyone…unless they cross me or my family.
My 40’s, my middle age, hasn’t gotten rid of the me I used to be. It’s just redefined who I am.
I think it’s made me a better me.
I’m still a giddy teenager but I am able to be a giddy teenager with more confidence. Because, when I was a teenage giddy teenager, I lacked the backbone…the nerve…to back it up.
My friendships have become deeper and truer. I’ve learned how to be a friend and I know what I expect friendship to look like.
Being in my 40’s…I’ve learned to have realistic expectations. I can still fantasize…dream…but I’ll never be a princess living happily ever after with my prince. Or, in my case, John Taylor. In real life, I’m living my happily ever after. I love my life, minus the money problems.
I’ve also learned to never say never. Because you just never know. And I’m not referring to John Taylor, I’m saying life in general. Curve balls, fast balls…whatever other kind of balls the whole baseball metaphor throws…sometimes you actually, shockingly, catch them. It’s good.
The whole mortality realization hit hard though. Death scares me and I suppose that is natural. But, as I move further into my 40’s, health related issues do scare me more. Instead of thinking flu or virus, I think cancer and heart disease. I worry about who will take care of my children if I die young. It’s nuts, I know. But it’s real life, people die young these days.
40’s brought more chiskars and strangely long eyebrows. It has colored my hair 100% grey which I pay to fight. It’s made bubbie underarms. I’d need a girl-bit double if I were ever to be in a porno…which I wouldn’t but I’m just saying.
40’s made me more comfortable sexually, despite a tiny drop in my sex drive.
Perimenopause is a word bleeping like crazy on my radar now. As is irregular ovulation and birth control…because of the irregular ovulation. And GOD FORBID I ever hear the word pregnancy and my name in the same sentence.
My skin isn’t as taught. Fine lines have formed around my eyes and mouth, deepening when I smile.
Things are falling down, things that were never very high to begin with but now adding to the list are areas like my chin, jowls and eyelids…all starting to look tired. Well, because they are.
I have to work harder at things that used to come easy to me, like holding my pee and being limber.
But. I am in my 40’s.
This is what 43 going on 44 looks like, inside and out.
I am unapologetically me…unless, of course, I need to apologize…
For me, at least.
And, I think I’m finally OK with it, not that I have much of a choice.