I turned 40 last week. It was uneventful. I don’t feel any older than I did when I was 39, or even 29.
I purposely did nothing to celebrate. Not because I’m denying my age. I’m 40. (Yes, it feels strange to say it.)
So, I’m 40. I’ve been on this earth for 40 years. And that feels pretty significant, the number of years, not the age. I’ve been stumbling along in this life for 40 damn years. It’s kind of crazy when you think about it.
I’ve learned a lot of things in my life. I’ve done a lot of cool things. And yet, there are so many times when I sit and lament the time I’ve wasted, not doing the things I wished I was doing.
The irony is that for years I did lots of cool things, but they weren’t necessarily always what I wanted. Sometimes they were. So, I’ve learned that life is only truly worth living when you do it on your own terms. Not a big secret, but it took me years to truly understand that.
Because of that this number 40 that, the number 40 is one of the best years I’ve hit so far.
And it’s not what I’ve learned. But the time it took to get here.
There are things I’ve learned that I really and truly understand now. It wasn’t that I didn’t know them before. But now, I feel them in my bones. And I wonder if true mastery came with aging into it, as if my brain did not have the ability to comprehend until I had gone through the dimension of aging.
For years now my inner vision of my life has been that I’m on a path, a journey, a timeline.
Hitting 40 somehow feels I turned this corner and was surprised with a small piece of wisdom. It was gift that I could not have been given until I got here. I needed to earn it.
I purposely did nothing on birthday to celebrate. Offers were made to take me out to dinner. I declined. Not because the offers weren’t appreciated, but because there was something inside me that felt like I just wanted that day to not be special. I didn’t want to celebrate because right now, for the first time in my life, I’m feeling pretty fulfilled.
My life IS the celebration. I didn’t need anything extra. In fact, to have something extra would have denigrated the peaceful commonplace of my life.
As someone who’s baseline for years was depression, that fact that it’s changed to contentedness is my birthday gift.
I did do one thing to celebrate. Annika and I went and got a cupcake. They were fucking fabulous $3 cupcakes, worth every penny. We sat on benches outside the cupcake trailer on South Congress. We ate our cupcakes and then we went home.
It was exactly what I wanted. And nothing that I needed.