Still, 40 is scary.
A ton of medical screenings start at age 40.
My mother was 40 when we were planning my wedding. I clearly remember her being my age. 40 is my mother's age, in my mind.
There's no more pretending that I am hip, young, and cool. Society expects, instead, that I should be patient, calm, and wise.
Society should prepare for disappointment.
I am holding on to my youth, planning social gatherings and spending more time with people who are likable and less time with jerks.
I am moving, every single day.
I am exploring new flavors, especially in chocolates and coffees.
I am speaking up with the same spunk that I had at 20, but my topics have evolved to cover justice, peace, and planners. My tone has evolved, too, to be more inclusive of and understanding of others.
(Yes, I carried a planner at age 20 and used it almost every day. But it was my secret instead of my source of pride.)
I am reading new books, making new memories, and letting go of the negative.
Looking back at my 20 year old self, I like her, for all her faults. But I am not her. She wasn't brave, kind, and open. She was nervous and closed.
Upon turning 40, I will love my past self, but as I live through middle age, I will be more authentic. I have enough age to get away with quirks, but am young enough to enjoy being different and, dare I say it, special.
So, how to handle your 40th birthday?
Just like me! Let go of your insecurities and embrace your true self.
I am 40. And I am no longer afraid.
As my birthday present, consider Liking my Facebook page.