So today is the day – I am officially 45!
I have a few friends who are my same age, but most are either younger or older than I am.
So it has been interesting to witness how they approach so-called “milestone” birthdays.
Some say nothing – whether because they don’t really care much, or perhaps because they are busy pretending they are a different age and don’t want to blow their own cover.
Some make a big deal about it – but usually not in a good way. For instance, turning 40 tends to be one where the reaction has been what I call “negative positivity” – such as, “Well, 40 is the new 30.”
Personally, I wouldn’t be 30 again for ANYTHING.
I was a single-celled organism well into my 20’s….at least mentally and emotionally-speaking. I knew much less than I thought I knew and felt hardly any of what I did actually know.
I was still stuck inextricably in the thicket of depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder, hopping from school to school, then job to job, then country to country.
I had no idea “me” was comprised of a body, mind, heart and spirit – I thought “my body” was “me” (which also explains why everything revolved around a number on a scale instead of something both more substantial and less simple).
Those were not easy years.
Things got easier later in my 30’s….somewhat. I had an early midlife crisis, in which I realized in a flash one day that life the way I had lived it until then was simply insupportable.
In other words, I had to change my ways or die.
I chose to change. I began to really take charge of my own choices. I experimented with leaping and trusting myself to catch me. It was an interesting, colorful and very dramatic time. The needed and desired transformation did unfold, but oh boy, I sure am glad that corner has been turned.
I was SO excited when I turned 40. Oddly, my 40th birthday party was a total bust and I spent the next several months feeling depressed and discombobulated. Maybe I was more excited about turning 40 than actually being 40. Who knows?
But 45? Well, shoot – I am excited in every which way and then some.
All the hard work and elbow grease and heart-breaking, soul-wrenching choice-making is now finally showing me for the late bloomer my psychics and astrologers and energy healers and psychologists and life coaches and friends and family members and mentors have always assured me I am.
Forty-four was a really neat year in so many ways – not because it was easy (it wasn’t) but because I am little-by-little finally beginning to feel (and not just think) the fruits of my 30’s and 40’s-to-date.
I am taking charge of me – but from the core-outward, from a place of meditation and intuition and gut instinct and self-confidence.
Perhaps that is why often I am told I look younger than I am – because I definitely feel younger than 45 years. I feel younger than nearly all the years I’ve lived, because somehow I feel like I’m just really beginning to learn the real lessons – the really good stuff that is kept back behind the bar for special VIP guests – that life has to teach.
For example, I am learning to hold my space. I am learning to empathize without either walls or codependency. I am learning how it feels to really, really love – in a hands-on, practical, it’s-not-all-about-me-getting-my-needs-met kind of way.
I am learning to let my fears have their say and to engage in interesting conversations with them rather than yelling, crying or calling for backup.
I am learning to choose my closest company based on factors that have nothing to do with popularity, social networks or species.
Perhaps most tellingly, I am learning “me” is actually a pretty cool role to play….and I’m starting to feel very glad I got offered AND accepted the part!
Today’s Takeaway: In past (or upcoming) “milestone” birthdays, how have they affected you – if at all? Have you ever found yourself struggling with how your close friends or loved ones deal with their own milestone birthdays? Do you wish you had a different reaction to these birthdays yourself? If yes, what do you think might assist in the transformation?
Birthday candles photo available from Shutterstock