There is only one lesson to be learned from turning 40, isn't about age at all. It is about the world... and how I fit into it.
Over the past 90 days, I have struggled - publicly- to put myself out there. I have lived and loved out loud... as best I could. I have said things that I would never say to a soul during the previous 39 years. I've discovered that by doing so, I have become more confident in my own thoughts and actions.
It hasn't really "changed" my relationships, but it has allowed interactions to be more honest and open. The same... but better. Nothing groundbreaking yet... but things evolve, so we shall see. It has, however, allowed me to clear away some of my own hang ups and preconceived notions about people and situations that have happened in my life. I'm no longer fearful of my own truths.
I understand more now how I am just riding on a big swirling blue marble... just like everyone else. Life is like learning to keep your balance on a merry go round. The best you can hope for is to stay upright by holding on to one another. Only when we band together can we truly get our balance. Eveything else? Well... eventually, the centrifigal force causes everything to fly off the merry go round - Including us... so enjoy the ride while you can.
Turning 40, for me, has been about growing up. Not that I wasn't already grown up... but I didn't feel very adult-like. I thought that all my misgivings and mistakes were some sort of prolonged adolescence I was stuck in. The truth is... we are all learning to manage as adults in a world that expects far too much from all of us.
Speaking of which, the world at large (us included) is so incredibly wrapped up in what we "should" do and be! Companies get tied to professionalism and legal mumbo jumbo. Politicians are tied to power struggles. Religion gets tied to ideology. Relationships are tied to ownership. No one is allowed to be who they ARE. And... aren't we all just imperfect, emotional, pooping creatures searching for a place we can feel safe and normal?
Again... I haven't solved the world's problems.. or even my own. But it is more clear to me than ever that I deserve a place in this world. Wherever I find to hold on tight, and wherever I land when thrown from the merry go round, I deserve the space to live and love... to fear and triumph... to win and lose.. and to find my own place and make my own peace in this world.
40 is a precipice and a beginning... it is the first day of the rest of my life - and in some ways, the first day I truly see my past and future realistically - as the remarkable life that it is.