Being, Loving
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This Is 40

There is so much I am looking forward to learning in my next forty years.  So far, this is what I already know:

You can confide in your mom without judgement.

Now that I am an adult and my mom is in her seventies,  I find that I can talk candidly with her about my life, my thoughts, and my fears and she no longer makes any judgement.  She worries less about what she thinks I should do and is more concerned with what will make me happy.  She now taps into what’s in my heart and holds it lovingly in her hands.

You can be your sister’s hero, and like it.

My sister has always been independent and self reliant.  I lived through my youth with her telling me what to do.   Now she calls me for entertainment and inspiration, for venting and for seeking my two-cents.   I often come to her rescue as she always has to mine.  I am her confidant and godmother to her children.  I am proud that I am someone she can count on.

You can have more than one soul mate.

My best friends keep me focused on what is best for me, but remind me that my heart is worth listening to.  They push me to fulfill a purposeful life, but also teach me how to make concessions when emotions trump logic.   We cry when we say hello and cry when we say goodbye.  They redefine the meaning of ‘soul mates’.  We are soul sisters.

You will continue to evolve during your marriage.

We oftentimes suppress who we are or who we have become in order to fit into the mold of what we think our lives as wives should be. It’s not only marriage that changes us … life does too.  We must be  honest enough to acknowledge personal change while working with it not against it.  A couple can still grow in the same direction, even if you fear that in changing, you may grow apart.  Be brave.  Be you.  Paths can re-converge, but in case they don’t, at least you know you are on the path you paved for your truest self.

You can make new friends as an adult.

I hear all too often that it is impossible to make meaningful connections after college, and I acknowledge that it is a challenge.  But I know first hand that really good friends can be made as an adult.  I can’t imagine my life at all without the incredible new people joining my adventure today.  I would not have met them unless I were this age, in this place, at this time.  New, genuine friendships can be made as an adult, I know that for sure.

You can be deeply sad, depressed even, and it will not be the end of you.

Tomorrow is another day.   Loss of loved ones and disappointments make us stronger.   Moreover they make us softer, more sensitive, more patient and more understanding of life and of others in it.   The sun will always shine.  Always.  Just you wait and see.

You can learn how to use what you know and make a life out of it.

I thought I would have to go back to school in order to determine what to do next in my life.  We don’t realize that at this age we usually have the tools for the next chapter in our careers.  We just need to take inventory of what’s hiding in the box, replace some parts, oil what’s rusted, and find modern ways to use what we’ve got.

You can have an exciting time living a life you never expected to have, but secretly always wished for.

When I was fourteen I used to look out the window while being driven to school for forty minutes every morning.  Thoughts would come to mind and I wondered if one could ever just write about what’s goes through her head, what she thinks of in her day and the musings that come from seemingly ordinary observations in her life.  Look at me now.  Who knew?

You can still look in the mirror at forty and recognize the girl you were at fourteen.

… if not exactly on the outside, she’s still there inside.

This is 40.

Taken the evening of my 40th birthday. Forty calls for a selfie.  09-11-2014
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