I have always been a people-pleaser. I go with the flow and I don’t make waves. I have been breaking my own heart to keep everyone else happy. But since turning 40, like literally, the day I turned 40, I started to feel this shift and I just knew it was going to be a big deal. There’s going to be a change.
There’s a slight shifting that happens when you turn 40. Something starts to stir deep in your guts. It starts to feel like you’re shedding your skin. The caterpillar turning into a butterfly, it’s kind of like that. Only it’s not that you are changing into something beautiful. You are just beginning to feel OK with revealing what was always underneath.
We start to realize that we may have been hiding. We have been holding back.
We start to accept that the world does not revolve around us, at all. People just don’t care as much as we think they do. We used to spend 20 minutes deciding on whether or not to post that Facebook meme because God forbid, someone might be offended or think less of us. But guess what? People really don’t give that much of a shit. And if they do, we really don’t give a shit anymore. And that’s a glorious feeling! Share post now!
We no longer have the time to compare ourselves to everyone else. We have had 40 years of our own damn experiences to make up the person sitting right here and there is only one of us and we start to see that “hey, I’m kind of awesome!” Who has time to focus on someone else’s life and want what they have and feel envious and blah blah? Seriously, who has the time? It’s a waste! We’re fucking 40 now!
We know that we’re not the hottest, the youngest, the skinniest or sexiest but that’s OK because we NEVER HAVE BEEN! Difference is, now we just don’t care. We no longer need to stalk people online and stare at photos and throw things at the television while sobbing and yelling “LOVE LIKE THAT ISN’T REAL!” because we know that everything we DO have is really, honestly everything that we need at this moment in our lives. We simply don’t have time for jealousy.
We also know that, no matter what happens, we are going to be alright. When you’re 40, you kind of realize, “dude, I’ve been through some shit” and then you smile because you got through some shit.
We know that we deserve to be treated with respect. I can only imagine what might happen the next time someone grabs my ass. Watch out. And head games? Don’t even bother. We will not play along. We no longer have patience for narcissism or manipulation and we can spot it a mile away. Don’t even.
Family and friends are more important to us, now more than ever. No, not because we’re old now and our time with them is limited, but because our priorities are where they should be! We have had enough experiences to know that all that really matters in this life is that you love people. We feel the need to tell our friends and family how much they mean to us now, because we have gone through so much loss already. We know that time is so valuable and each moment matters.
We know that 99% of the things we worry about won’t happen. We can pump the brakes when we find ourselves obsessing about something. We get that MOST of the time, worrying is pointless and if something bad does happen, it is out of our control anyways. Why ruin a perfectly good day worrying about something that’s either going to happen or not going to happen no matter how much we worry about it? We’re still going to have melt downs, but they won’t be as traumatic as “pre-40” because we know that life goes on.
We won’t settle. We won’t settle for mediocre or anything less than what we truly want. We have settled long enough. We have given our hearts over and over again to men, who truly didn’t deserve it, but they made us feel special for a moment and that was good enough. Well, it’s not good enough for us anymore. We will do the choosing from here on out, mmk. We no longer feel like this desperate, pathetic girl who clings to the first guy who gives her attention. We don’t NEED the attention.
Sometimes all we need is some lipstick, high heels and nail polish, even if we have nowhere to go! We all go through phases of feeling frumpy and just “not hot”. It can make a girl really depressed. We know now that we can feel better by feeling sexy and getting a little dolled up and acting like we have our shit together.
We know that we do not have our shit together. We’re totally nuts. We all are whether we admit it or not. We all have our quirks. The key is to love the quirks. Laugh at yourself. We can do that now.
The people we look up to have changed. We no longer look at celebrities and want to be that. We want to be the woman who is just herself. I no longer powder my nose in a private room because I’m worried someone will see me and think that I’m vain. Ya know what? I AM vain. And I’m cool with that. I like to look good. I will be 87 and dyeing my hair and wearing lipstick and heels just like my grandma still does and she rocks it, because she owns it. She is true to who she is and she always has been. THAT is who I look up to!
We start to like who we see in the mirror. This one is probably the slowest process in all the shifting. It didn’t happen overnight for me. But today I looked in the mirror and saw the laugh lines and thought “huh, I’m getting wrinkles, because I have lived!” You gain this confidence in knowing you have truly lived. You’ve made it!
I think turning 40 has made me a bad ass. I look back at my losses and my gains and I appreciate them so much. I think I’m finally getting to know me. And I really like me.
About the author:
Laura Scott is the person behind Looping Laura, a writer who hopes to spread some lightness in dark times. She is on the wonderful journey of self-discovery and is very passionate about love, laughter and music. In the past year, she has decided to make some of her writings public, in the hopes of encouraging others to share their story and find their peace.
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