Almost 40 & Slaying It!
It’s my birthday this month. I will be a good ol 39 years and I though it important to emphasise why it’s great being this age and why I do not have any desire to be ‘younger’ than what I am.
Too many times have I heard people moaning about their age, how 40 seems to be a crisis point and how they feel that age is dragging them down. It is really concerning because in the grander scheme of things, 40 is just mid way of 80. And in many families, people usually cross that age. If so, 40 should not be such a big deal. But why is it so important?
Well from our teens onward, we’ve been on a trajectory of learning, growing, suffering, moaning and sort of trying to wend our way through the quagmire of growing up and life. I remember the existential crisis of my 20s and figuring myself out from then to my 30s. It took a while to learn to shed the toxic people, situations, jobs and to be discerning about myself. Self worth is not arrogance and prioritising it is not a crime. But it takes a lot of guts to really be able to say no, believe in yourself and generally be able to tell the fakes to fuck off. That is truly liberating. Screw this driving your own car and wearing your own jewellery talk. Telling people to get lost is true independence. Especially family members and those who have become parasites over time. Weeding those out is an achievement. And at almost 40, I have finally been able to do that to a great extent and will continue to do so. That is why it’s great to be this age. You are the master of your mind (or getting there). I am also learning the fine art of just being content, letting my instinct guide me and not allowing social bullshit to dictate terms to me. Not easy but getting there.
It’s nice to reminisce about the past but honestly, in your 20s you do dumb things; you fall in love with idiots, you give assholes a chance, you trust too easy and you’re naïve as a caterpillar on a mulberry tree. It’s only with age do you learn that everything is not black and white, that people are complex and that grief, love, joy and contentment will ebb and flow like the tide and that there is no static achievement of anything. Life and knowledge are infinite but our lives are finite. So it’s learning to navigate that ocean of emotion and reality that is important. And that rarely happens when you’re young. Emotional intelligence and maturity will trump the idiocy of youth any day. And that is why age is important and celebrating it even more so.
The obsession with youth is the curse of Hollywood, the beauty industry and every other parasitic entity that live off people’s insecurities and perpetuates them. Today silicone tits, Botox, Brazilian Butt Lifts and other rubbish is the norm. I look at my mother, some of my aunts and grandmothers and I see women who aged with grace and beauty despite illness. And no, they were not carving their faces to suit changing fashion trends. They aged and they looked damn good at 40 and beyond. The same can be said about my father and certain uncles in my family. It’s about being content, about accepting things and not trying to be something you’re not.
So here’s to us accepting ourselves as we are – whatever the age. It is just a number. Your attitude, choices and outlook on life will define you far better than Botox & other crap ever can or will. Self confidence and esteem cannot be bought and neither can age be reversed. Accepting such things with grace is also very much a part of being a mature human being. Happiness is a choice. Age is not. So choose what you can control and accept that which is.