Last week my dear friend Eileen wrote A love letter to aging for the Being Latino blog. It was a touching tribute to all that is beautiful about growing older. It really got me thinking about my issues with my next birthday—not that it takes much—when I turn 40.
I thought that maybe writing my own letter to 40 would help me deal with these issues, so here goes…
I feel as if I already know you. You showed up uninvited to my 38th birthday party and haven’t left my thoughts since. Like a stalker who lurks in the shadows, the fear of your presence has dictated my every move.
I have tried to outrun you, only to fall short of breath and realize that you are an inevitable part of who I will become, and so I must accept you as part of my destiny. This in no way means that I will make things easy for you. You are but just a number after all, and unlike what I feared, you have no power over me. Though we will never lie about who you are, you will simply be a silent partner in the business of my life.
Unlike some whom you’ve visited before, I will not attempt to disguise you by dressing you in inappropriate clothes or putting you through surgical procedures. I will, however, ensure that you look like the best version of you by working with you to take care of me.
We will work out on a regular basis. I will sometimes go easy on you, but for the most part we’ll use every ounce of strength and endurance that is in us. You will want to say ouch, you might want to scream “Mercy” but you will have to suck it up and deal because I reserve the right to kick your ass if you don’t.
You will not put any restrictions on what I do or don’t do by constantly reminding me of who you are. I will date whom I want regardless of age, jump out of a plane, move to a new city, have a baby or not, grow my hair long, and skip down the street if it’s what I want to do.
You will try your best to remain positive about the state of our life. You will not trigger any reminders about where we should be or what we don’t have. Instead, you will regularly remind us of all the exciting places I’ve been, all the fun things I’ve done and all the laughter I’ve shared.
You will help me to maintain a sense of adventure, my free spirit, and curiosity about the world. Together we will discover things, place and people. And we will not forget that there is much yet to learn about the world, including and especially about us.Yours in hesitation,
6 thoughts on “Dear 40…”
I loved this post so much! I know exactly how you feel, Libby. Turning 40 for me was almost terrifying. As a young girl, I remember thinking my parents were old when they were 40. So reaching this milestone felt scary for the first time. But, as you often hear others say, with growing older comes wisdom, self-confidence and a clearer future. The most important thing to do is to keep going — be youthful, go to the gym, eat well, have fun, and never ever let a number define you…
Thank you! It was terrifying until it got here today, and now I’m fine. Go figure. 🙂