Fumbling Into Fabulous Forties

Fabulously Fumbling — I unintentionally apologize for every creative movebirthday-candles-2 I make, every second thought…and step I take. In exactly 1 day, I’ll be stumbling into a new age realm; the fabulous 40s. I remember as a teenager thinking being 40 meant your life is over, your toes will become crooked and your smooth skin will start peeling. I equated aging gracefully to a woman standing on the cusp of her late 30s giving into nights drinking wine, talking to her pets, sulking over hidden dreams and neglected days of pampering the mind, body and soul.

All summer, I’ve looked at the approaching month of November as the day of reckoning when I would have to step on a bed of coals and accept my impending surrender to my thrilling thirties. My full body scan has forced me to take a deeper look inside my flawed mind, and understand that I still have a lot of growing up to do.

In my 20s, I was fearless, reckless and in some instances…I was a hot mess. I was focused on college and working to feed my shopping addiction, but anything else that demonstrated responsibility for my true purpose, I avoided. I feared success, and the hard work that would follow to reach it, so I dodged a lot of responsibilities of reaching my full potential. As a writer, a natural born lover of words and description, I bailed on my true gift. I secretly stashed my two-pocket binder full of short stories, script ideas and theater plays and took a break from pushing my craft to the limit. I found myself working in corporate America for a team of people that preferred to hold back my progress because my creative light shined bright, blinding all opportunities of progress.

In my 30s, I began to regroup and refocus my objectives for my purpose in life, and eventually gave into the words pressing against my brain, seeking an exit strategy. I created a blog, wrote two books, and completed grad school. I began feeling like my fearless self that I once devoured, and regurgitated the drive and motivation to complete a second round of discovering my true creative self.

I have been counting the days before I step over the threshold into my 40s. I’m scared, excited and most of all grateful that I made it this far. Just this past weekend, my family surprised me with a fabulous birthday party, where all control of being part of the planning team was taken from me. My devoted family grabbed the reigns from me, told me to sit down, and to mind my business…with love. For six months I poked and prodded every thought, action and abnormal routine taken by my family. I began to realize I was unable to function in an environment that restricted me from controlling everyone and everything. I was loosing my mind, and stressing over thoughts of being ambushed with sweatpants and tennis shoes, and no eyebrows. I stalked people on Facebook and begged for details, and when no one paid me any attention, I was haunted by nightmares of faceless clowns and haunted party cruises. On Saturday, I was driven to the location of the surprise party. I said a little prayer and let my mind clear, and decided to embrace the unknown. Looking back, I realize that was my last lesson of my thirties. To learn to let go, trust and pass the baton of control. I’m so happy I did, because as soon as I walked into the venue, my mind was blown away. The surprise party was everything I wanted, endless booze, great music, a photographer, and most of all, a room full of people that genuinely love me. I was overwhelmed with emotions, especially when I looked around the room and saw faces of friends that I hadn’t seen in over ten years, and family members that traveled from Philly, New York and Atlanta just to be in my presence. Every intricate detail of colorful decorations and centerpieces, topped off by the fabulous cake made my heart glad, pumping pure appreciation of the love that surrounded me.

So here I am…39, one day away from my 40th lap around the track of life. As I looked forward to opening the door to the big 40, a rush of emotions took over today without warning. A meltdown crashed through my day, and I found myself sniffing and crying, scarring myself in the mirror with the ugly cry. I had to get my self together, but not before struggling to cut off the flow of emotions out of my tear ducts. As I coped through implementing coping mechanisms of chocolate, leftover cake and wine, I successfully soothed myself. The realization of the root of my emotional outbreak became clear. My steps into the next phase in life was inevitable, and would arrive with uncertainty, fear of failure and the fact that I will no longer be able to mouth the words “thirty something”. My raw truth is that I’m afraid there is no longer any room for unexpected missteps that could change my world. If I did endure a tragic collision by taking a wrong turn in my life, I fear that the rest of my forties will be spent racing in the wrong direction to the finish line; trying to reenact my youth while avoiding my 50s.

After hours of sulking and pouting, I had to put on my “soon to turn 40 panties” and shake the unknown off my back, channel my inner spirit and lean on my strong faith. I stood in the mirror, wiped the snot from my nose, and moisturized my dehydrated lips. I began to see the true beauty starring back at me, that didn’t reveal my true age. A smile takes over my mood, which prompts more smiling, primping and puckering my lips at quick flashbacks in my mind of the many, many instances of surprised reactions from people who don’t believe my age. I’m tickled at their responses as they insist I’m 20 something…followed by, “you are well preserved or you haven’t aged a bit”. So what better way to pay tribute to my early 20s than to rekindle that “go hard or go home, fearless attitude” and grind my way to my true self in my 40s?

In just a few hours, I am going to welcome that bitch with open arms, with a heavy cocktail, and a full “to-do-now-that-I’m-40-list” so that I keep my eye on the purposeful prize that I’ll proudly fumble into…as I embrace my 40th birthday.


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