I turned 40 two weeks ago.
I was all set to write my “I turned 40 and I’m gonna be fine” blog post, and then I saw this snarky tweet from the editor of Solo-ish, the Washington Post blog that’s more ish than solo, if you know what I mean. Anyway, she fired off this one just a few days before my big day, and sort of ruined my writing mojo.
Ok then. I’m a total cliché. So sue me. What’s a blog for if not to write about what matters?
And I just turned 40! Four-zero. The big four-oh. I am officially over the hill, but thank god no one gave me black balloons, like, I’m shamed to admit, we gave my mom when she turned 40. We were young, mom, and we thought it was funny. Heartiest apologies. But my 9 year-old-brother jumping out of the cardboard cake was pretty awesome, you have to admit.
I think 40 should be titled “40?-oh-its-just-a-number.” I heard that one a lot.
Or perhaps it could be “40?-ooh-thats-a-big-one-how-are-you-celebrating?”
I like that one, actually, because this year, like any red-blooded spinster who’s facing her 5th decade, I embraced my cliché-ness and traveled as far from my normal life as I could without needing a passport.
I literally welcomed 40 from atop a mountain on the island of Oahu. In HAWAII. And PS: I struggled with posting this photo. I don’t like how I look in it. But it captures how I felt, that’s for sure.
So screw you, “society”, and all your stupid pressure to fix my “aging” skin, to find a man “before it’s too late”, to achieve that magical combination of assertiveness and non-bitchiness that a “woman of any age” needs to succeed. Screw you for trying to make me feel like I’ve failed because I haven’t born children; yes, I know “I’m not getting any younger”. Bite me for this, and all the rest of the false baggage you put on this birthday.
I turned 40 in paradise, y’all. I read books and took walks and stopped at every scenic point I could find. I sat comfortably on rocks and stared at waves for hours on end. I hung out with a good friend who’s been in my life for more than 20 years, only 4 of which involved us being in the same zip code…how cool is that?
That imperfect 40-year-old body you see up there? It hiked a bunch of miles, swam in aquamarine water, ate raw fish, ran a 10K.
I took so many photos I broke my camera. Well, in truth, I slipped on a rock and broke/drowned my camera on the dismount, but that’s a different blog post.
I didn’t check my work email. Well, not much, at any rate. 😉
And did I mention the entire ocean was my favorite color? I mean this one:
Now I’m supposed to write about how I came home and felt all transformed and newly inspired and whatnot. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works in real life. Sure, I came home to my beloved dog and cozy apartment, but also to chilly temperatures and trees that haven’t yet sprouted spring buds. I’m not gonna lie, I miss the dreamy teal of the Pacific.
But spring is coming, and there is Boston to explore, and hikes to take, and adventures to plan. And I really do feel like I’m going to be…no, I already am…just fine.
So, Lisa, I was turning 40 and I felt anxious about it and I realized I’m going to be ok. Am I a cliché for writing about it? You betcha. Do I care? Nope.
Life is too short not to climb mountains on your 40th, or to not write about whatever damn birthday you want.