A few days ago, I turned 40, and to be honest, I never thought this day would come. Yes, I know you’re born, then you grow older, and then eventually, you die. But I always felt I would stay “forever young,” and the thought of reaching this four-decade milestone meant that it was the beginning of the end. So that birthday has come and gone, and I must say that I feel so much better than I did twenty years ago. I may not be able to run as fast as before or understand what some of these hip hop artists are rapping about (I’m looking at you “DaBaby”), but now I know what my purpose is and the path I need to take has become abundantly clear.
And so as I look back over the highs and the lows of the past thirty-nine years, I’ve learned many things, but these three things will be the foundation for me as I start my new chapter.
Verse 1: Happiness is being authentic in your life and choosing to do the things that make you happy. You have earned the right to be the person you want to be in this world without having to apologize. I’ve taken jobs that I didn’t want to take that made me miserable and ultimately failed. I’ve also surrounded myself with people who thrive off of being negative and brought me down to wallow in that space with them. I’ve now mastered the art of discernment; to rely on my instincts for what and who is right for me and the direction to where I need to be.
Verse 2: Love is when the ocean meets the shore. There is a constant flow of giving and receiving. Sand is washed in and washed away. I was the sand abrasive, unyielding, and although an abundance of love enveloped me, I was unable to reciprocate what had been so generously given to me. I learned to enter each new relationship with a vulnerable heart running the risk of being hurt or riding a warm beating wave that is love.
…but in the end, the best testament is the one where you overcame.SJW
Verse 3: Life is a submersible experience. I lived a good portion of my life living on the surface with no purpose or feeling and navigating very carefully. They say “life isn’t easy” and “life is what you make of it” -yes, that is true, but it’s not one or the other. Life is designed to take you on a journey of joy and loss, love and heartache, triumph, and failures. There were times I wanted to give up when times were tough, but in the end, the best testament is the one where you overcame. And so going forward in this life, I’m taking everything that comes at me with gratitude. Grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned and all the ones I am to learn.