Expectation vs. Reality: A Look Back at 40
I don't envy youth. I mean, I'm not letting go of it anytime soon, but I don't envy it. When I meet someone who's 28, I'm not jealous of them. I've already been there. That would be like being jealous of someone who's going on vacation to New Zealand. I've been. It's amazing. Have the best time.
I turn 41 next week. I'm super into it. While turning 40 felt like some sort of heavy deadline to be met, 41 feels chic, sophisticated, light. I've been thinking a lot about the past year. What did I think 40 would feel like? How did it actually feel? What did I think 40 would look like? How did it actually look?
Just a few highlights from my 40th year:
- Hired a life coach and together we created pure magic - I gave words and actions to my goals and intentions and my world completely exploded in a series of amazing breakthroughs
- My mom came back into my life in an incredible and beautiful way
- Promoted to Senior Vice President in my incredible job working alongside my best friends every day and truly loving what I do
- Moved into a beautiful home on my dream street in my dream neighborhood
- Featured on the cover of the Beauty & Style section of the New York Post
- Launched this blog
- Keynote speaker at a luxury travel event in NYC
- Hired the best financial planning team to align my life goals with my financial choices
I'm not listing this to brag about the year, but to show you that ANY year can be a magical year and can shift the entire axis of your life. I've been thinking a lot about this year and the lessons I've learned. Sharing a few with you:
Lesson #1: Words have power. Hiring my life coach was magical for so many reasons. She is magical. We are magical together. But one of the things that made our partnership so powerful was that it gave me a place to voice and identify my goals and dreams. And she believes in me wholeheartedly, without reservation. I never realized how much power existed in simply identifying what you want in your life and speaking the words to someone who believes in you. You know that thing you want in your life? Say it. Write it down. Tell a friend. Just don't keep it to yourself. Your words alone will move mountains.
Lesson #2: Your future isn't simply an elongated version of your current situation. The life you know today won't be the same life you live in the future - huge things will change. For many years, my relationship with my mom has been very personal and private. This year my mom showed a level of strength and courage like I've never seen and came back into my life. Now when I picture my future, a relationship with my mom is a wonderful part of it. If there's an element of your life that you don't love right now, but it's out of your control to change it, believe in the magic of miracles and a new vision of your future.
Lesson #3: Creating beats consuming. I needed a creative outlet. After some conversation with my life coach, we decided a blog was the perfect place for me to write, play with my photography and have a voice. There's something that happens when you become a creator. It taps a part of your spirit that is begging to be seen and heard. You know how you can be doing something and time flies - you look up and it's been hours and you didn't even realize it? That's what creating feels like. There's a creator in all of us and it's part of the calling of the human spirit to create.
Lesson #4: With age really does come fewer f&#cks. There's this peace that has come with 40. I legitimately care less now than I ever have. I care less about a few extra pounds or a Friday night with nothing to do. I care less about what is conventionally popular and I do what feels authentic and right for me. Home by 9 pm on Saturday night to watch Dateline? Heaven. It's not that I don't care at all. I just care less. I care a normal amount. Looking back at my 20 and 30-something self, I would tell that girl to care less about so many things.
Lesson #5: Everyone should be forced to completely start over once in their life. You're probably sick of hearing the story about my move to NYC so I'll spare you. But in a nutshell I liquidated my entire life's possessions, sold my car, gave away my dog and moved to NYC about 2 years ago with my life packed into 9 boxes. This 100% made me a more aligned person. Most times when you hear stories like this it's after a personal low point or a major crisis. I did this during a rise in my career and an easy, happy life in Southern California. I was at cruising altitude. But I listened to that little voice in my soul that said I wasn't living the best life for me. It's not realistic to ask you to sell everything and start over, but what about one area of your life that you're holding onto? This could simply be a storage unit filled with things you haven't seen in years. I can tell you from experience I don't even remember 95% of the things I got rid of and I'm much more intentional now with everything I choose to bring into my life. Lightening up feels so good. It feels like freedom and choices.
Those are the larger lessons that I've learned this year. Some of the smaller ones:
- Nobody really notices what you're wearing or if you've gained a few pounds. Wear what you want and eat dessert.
- Less makeup looks better than more.
- Good skin looks better than great makeup.
- Money spent on meals with friends, books and travel is money well spent.
- Saying hello to strangers is fun and can completely shift the axis of your life overnight - my life today is overflowing with loving friends who I met as strangers with a simple hello
Kind of crazy. The year I was sort of dreading became one of the best years so far. Here's to 41 and even more magical moments.