Countdown to 40
I'm not even gonna lie, writing that and putting it out into to world makes every cell in my body FLINCH.
Why is 40 such a milestone?
Much of this is societal expectation coupled with the whole "Over the Hill" cliche that only seems prevalent in western civilization, amplified by the patriarchal and misogynistic double standard that men become more distinguished with age and women just expire.
For me though, 40 also has a deeper significance.
My mother was killed when she was 39 years old. She was just a month shy of her 40th birthday. Those who knew my mother knew she had hoped to be eternally young. In some ways, because of her untimely death, she was.
My mother's death shaped my life in many ways.
I was pregnant with my son when she was taken all too soon. To BE mother without the privileged of HAVING a mother is a heart ache all it's own. I could write an entire book on the ways her passing effected me, and maybe one day I will. Recently, however, I am uncovering a whole different layer I didn't realize was there.
Every day seems to have this sense of urgency.
Each moment; a grain of sand slipping through an hour glass. Each grain a pearl.
All I can say about it is ... none of it went according to plan.
* * *
"If you fail to plan, you can plan to fail." ~ Napoleon Hill
Although plans have always been derailed, I think it is of great importance to continue to have a plan. As someone who has dealt with depression from a very early age, I find that planning gives my day a sense of purpose. Planning gives the journey a sense of direction, and makes the walk more meaningful for me.
I've tried aimlessness. I always feel like Alice falling down the rabbit hole.
Even if I know nothing will go as planned, until the moment the train derails ... at least I am on a track.
* * *
Recently I have been sifting through old goals, long standing visions, outdated belief systems and expired paradigms. The question I have been asking is:
"Is this STILL true for me today?"
To my surprise, to most of what I once held so fiercely the answer is:
"No. This is no longer true for me".
What I find to be even more interesting is that I am able to let go of these old "truths" more easily than others. People have an idea of who you are, and often they decide how that idea can serve them best. If you change, and challenge their IDEA of you, it threatens how you can continue to serve them.
Lately, many seem threaten by my purge of old paradigms.
To quote Clark Gable "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
And maybe some of that audacity and "IDGAF" comes with the entitlement of turning 40.
Who knows? Seems like a good enough reason though, I'll take it.
* * *
Although my mother's life was stolen from her, it was HER choices that ultimately lead to her untimely death. Like Alice, falling down the rabbit hole, my mother's life spiraled out of control and she was unable to wake from the nightmare of Wonderland which she created for herself.
As I get closer and closer to outliving my mother, my goal is simply her juxtaposition;
BE the happiest, healthiest, most stable version of myself possible ...
and simply put
Year 40 ... I'm ready.