From 40 with Love
And just like that...
You turn around and you're 40.
Don't get me wrong. I don't mind. Not one bit! But my 30's are going to be tough to beat. I mean two kids (to add to the one I had at 28), two houses (we got to build our current one), realizing my dream of owning a newborn photography studio in Frisco TX, and a successful teaching career before that. My 30's were pretty bad a$$, and I have so much that I am thankful for. I'm looking forward to my 40's! I'm finally at an age where I feel comfortable in my own skin. It means I've decided on who I want to be and people realize they should either avoid me or come along for the terrifying-but-entertaining ride.
Forty - just young enough to still do everything you still want to do and just old enough to not do anything you don't want to do ever again. I've learned a lot since my younger days. If given the chance, I would jump at the opportunity to travel back in time and impart some of my aged wisdom on my younger self. Here's a few things I would tell the younger me:
1. Accept yourself as God made you. He knows what he is doing. Don't fight who you are or try to be something you aren't. When you think about all the people in the world, there is only ONE you. Be true to yourself and stand up for yourself. If you don't, no one will.
2. Don't expect perfection. From yourself or anyone else. We are all imperfect humans and make mistakes. Own up to those mistakes and learn from them. Be forgiving and gracious to those around you when they make mistakes. You may not forget, but for your own sake, forgive.
3. Pray daily. Life gets busy and prayer sometimes is an easy thing to forget. Having that relationship with God will get you through some pretty dark moments. Prayer is powerful. Make sure to pray about the things you are thankful for as well. This serves as a reminder of all the good things you have.
4. Listen - to others. Don't just hear what they are saying. Truly listen. And don't offer advise unless they ask for it. Most of the time, people just need to know that they are being listened to.
- to yourself. That little voice that speaks up when something feels off - listen to it. It's never wrong.
5. Fight for love and friendships. With all that happens as you get older, maintaining relationships get hard. So much can get in the way; work, soccer games, laundry, life. It will become imperative to the relationships you want to keep to make time. If you don't, you'll suddenly realize one day that you are alone. That you have sent the message to those closest to you that you didn't have time for them.
6. Time is your greatest asset. Use it wisely fill it with those people and experiences that contribute to your growth as a person. This is a habit that will help you have fewer regrets as you approach your later years.
7. Designer mascara is never any better than the kind you buy at the drugstore. Seriously, look at any makeup artist’s YouTube videos — they’re all using cheap mascaras alongside all their fancy contouring products. Mascara is the one thing I never leave the house without applying, so it feels like something I should invest in. But I’ve wasted so much money trying out different mascaras at Sephora only to come back time and again to the same green and pink tube from Maybelline. Because sometimes, the more expensive, name-brand option isn’t always the better one.
8. You’re not obligated to do something just because someone asked you to. This is one I still struggle with, perhaps because I truly do want to be perceived as a nice, helpful person. And maybe there’s an ulterior motive of proving I have my stuff together enough to help other people at the drop of a hat. But is it always worth it? Not really. We should always be willing to help people we care about, but valuing our own time is one of the most important things in life. You are not always indebted to others; remember that.
So, there it is. And here I am. Forty. Who says 40 is old? I sure don't feel old. The world is full of new adventures, and I'm excited to see what the years ahead have in store.