I am 27 days from turning 40. Even as I wrote that number, I was almost shocked at how quickly 40 came. I vividly recall playing tag, duck-duck-goose, and double dutch with my sisters, cousins, and friends in my adolescence. The tears at the elementary school graduation, junior high school dances, high school antics, and everything that college life brought; I can recall it all. Now, decades later, I reflect on my feelings and thoughts around turning 40.
In my 30s, the messaging I received around reaching this milestone was mixed. There were warnings of regrets that there would be regrets around relationships and career choices, shame if I wasn't yet married, and many things that almost made me feel like I should've created a checklist in preparation. There was also a noted celebration of reaching the age where the insecurities of your 20s and 30s were no longer relevant.
So, here's where I stand. I have already begun self-reflection on where I am, what I have accomplished, and what's next, and I FEEL GREAT. While there are choices that, in hindsight, I wouldn't have made, I don't have regrets, professionally or personally.
Here are the parts of my life that stand out most:
Romance: I am not yet married, and THAT'S OK. I've been single for 12 years, and THAT'S OK. Someone told me that I needed to get a man. In my 20s, "needing" held a different meaning than it does as I approach 40. I am not single because I can't "get" a man; I am single because the last 12 years were not spent in tears, but in celebration of every door God allowed me to walk through. I've worked too hard to heal from my past to give my future to just anyone.
Spiritually: I don't know where I'd be if I didn't have God. Because of Him, I can carry joy and a pep in my step as I approach this milestone. Getting to know Him is my most significant relationship, and each day on Earth allows for a deepening in Him and the pursuit of the purpose He put over my life with vigor and consistency.
Parenthood: I am the mother of an amazing 15-year-old son, and as I watch him grow and mature, I'm amazed at this gift God loaned me. Regrets and sorrows take away time to be his healthy mother, so I refuse to have them. As I approach 40, the baton I'm creating will be ready for him when he is older.
I am 27 days away from 40, and I FEEL GREAT. I am grateful, blessed, humbled, excited, unapologetic, and eager to build in this next phase of life.