All women have milestone moments- some of them are particular birthdays. When I turned 30 I remember thinking “I’m now thirty, I no longer have to take crap from anyone”. It was less a statement on how I felt about others as it was realizing that I now had enough experience to tell when someone was full of it and that I felt absolutely no guilt about walking away from these particular individuals, regardless of their role in my life. Confidence and knowledge had settled in my being.
I turned 40 on the date of my High School Reunion. I’d had brunch with my family, spent the afternoon with friends and then re-united with those of my youth. It was fun to see that I still genuinely liked the people I liked then, even though our lives had taken us along different roads. I truly no longer cared about talking to those of the “in” crowd. I took it as a healthy indicator of my sense of self-worth that I had no desire to connect with them beyond the its nice to see you (okay there was one misplaced drink induced hug of a boy I liked in high school which if I could I would take back in an instant- but then again a bit of embarrassment always reminds me of my humanness which is a good thing). But, I truly couldn’t have cared whether I saw any of these “in-crowd” people ever again. For the most part they had unwittingly become part of those that ten years prior I consciously acknowledged as being full of it. No longer plagued by teenage angst and the need to fit in somewhere, I simply knew their past posturing and aristocratic behavior rendered them not worthy of my time and attention in the present. At 40 I was in a good place. I had been in a healthy relationship for going on ten years, our daughter was thriving, my home based business was growing, albeit slowly, but none the less growing, I was not only healthy but my body had morphed into this slightly stockier, more powerful version of its youthful self- something that both amused and pleased me. It felt good to be 40.
Then at 46 I remember the shock that I was now closer to 50 than 40. There was no denying it. I could pretend at 43, 44 and even at 45 that I was in my 40’s, had lots of time and was still young. But at 46 it was time to face the fact I was middle aged and heading towards 50. “50” is a weird place still in our culture. Today I see more and more women becoming more powerful as they near, hit and surpass 50, but culturally it is still pretty much an empty space. But that’s another blog.