I know for some people this wasn’t a big deal. Maybe 30 was a dreaded age or maybe they really feel “age is just a number.” I think because the women in my family tend to die around 78 to 83 it really does mark my midlife. Also, I have an adult daughter and could technically be a grandmother, which that thought in itself is terrifying.
In many ways I feel like I have a great amount of knowledge. I have lived thru things I would never wish on anyone. My childhood family life was complicated. It had its good times but also some very dark moments. I learned to figure a lot of things out on my own. I was a victim, along with others there, of armed robbery as a teenager. I also had a stalker that would call my dad every Thursday night that I never found out the identity of when I was 17 for over 3 months. Like a lot of girls, I’ve been cheated on, used, made a fool of myself, went back to a horrible relationship for no good reason and finally found true love after it all. I’ve been a single mother. After lots of time spent working a dead end job in retail, I decided to go back to college with the support of my husband, while working full time and having two small children to get a BA degree. Proudly, I graduated with honors. In my current career, I’ve worked my way up to supervisory position and haven’t looked back.
My current job exposes me to many different life situations. Some that make you want to give up on the world and others that make you feel you make a difference. I guess I would say I have a unique perspective on people as I get to see what goes on behind closed doors or in the shadows. But, I also get to hear why and what some people are running from or the bizarre things they are trying to deal with. In some ways this job has aged me; however it has made me wiser about humans. What they are capable of, how messed up they can get, how broken a person can be…. But also how much people are capable of change, how new opportunities and people who support and believe in someone can make all the difference in a person’s world and how much some people just desire for that chance.
I have been blessed with a husband that sees me as something special. He is the only one that sees me as I truly am: vulnerable yet resilient, fierce yet fragile, poised yet anxious, introverted extravert, strong but exhausted and loving yet withdrawn. Honestly, he doesn’t know what to do with me all the time. So he does the best thing he knows to do when things are not going well, nothing. Maybe he listens but he wants to do nothing to make whatever it is worse. My husband over the years has seen the reality of how my parents and sibling dynamic truly work. As patient as he is, the last year finally was the breaking point of him saying he doesn’t want to deal with them anymore than absolutely necessary. I think I have desired someone to “see” me for much of my life. To see thru the fake veil that my family can put out there and just be able to feel like I don’t have to pretend too.
Turning 40 I feel like I should have things “settled” and not be dealing with the same things I did when I was younger. However, with life at times you can only control so much. I guess the difference is that as you age, (ugh that word), you learn to deal with it in a different manner. You learn to say “no” louder. When you walk away, you do it more dignified and on your terms instead of theirs. Although part of you may want them to chase you, you don’t expect them to or really wish they will, like you did when you were younger. You learn to be the parent to your inner child.
So what if I don’t have it all figured out? I don’t have certain things settled or in place that I thought I would by this age. I’m not happy about being 40. In my mind it is mid-life, or half of my life or more is over. However, I guess I am trying to remember that maybe the better half is still coming. Or maybe I’m just in the middle of the best part of figuring things out. The wisdom that I have I get to pass along and help others.
So, yep I have to embrace that I am a woman now in my 40’s. Breathe in and out. Okay smile for the world…..