That is until I got to be 40. I haven’t talked to many people who were excited about turning 40. But for me, 40 was to be a turning point. A new chapter. A new beginning. A fresh start. It was the age that I was finally going to be able to be selfish, take care of my wants and needs above anyone else’s.
My 40th year was to bring about, what I was anticipating, an awakening. My son had graduated from high school two years prior. I was finally able to move to the city I had wanted to move to for years. Because my son had graduated, I no longer felt the need to stay in a loveless marriage. In so many ways, I was going to be able to start a completely new life. A life full of possibilities.
Then six months before that big day, I lost my job. I was completely shocked, devastated, angry, bitter….all those things that go with an unexpected job loss. On my 40th birthday, I was jobless, had gone through my savings, still married to a man I had been separated from for years and I would have to remain married to so I didn’t lose my health insurance.
It definitely was not the dreamy start I had anticipated. That 16 months of unemployment was devastating. I went through so many different emotions. My depression was the worst it had ever been. I got so much of my self-worth from excelling at my job so once that was gone, I wasn’t sure what my purpose was. My son was doing well but not having him in the same state with me added to my depression. Not to mention I lost a relationship that was incredibly important to me; and I lost it in the one of the cruelest ways possible.
But, during that 16 months, I grew as a person more so than I have at any time of my life. I read even more self-development books; highlighting and marking things that would help me or provide comfort to me. I worked on manifesting what I wanted and tried hard to focus less on my sadness. I worked out hard. I made some new, amazing, fierce and strong female friends. I took the time to do the hard work. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was terrible. It was uncomfortable. I saw things about myself that I could no longer deny. I had to get real with myself and who I was as a person. There were days that I couldn’t get out of bed. Times I would be in my bed, curled up in the fetal position and cry on and off for days. Times I really would have been fine had a meteor came and landed on my house and took me out. Overall I lost about 20 pounds along with a ton of hair.
I heard a saying once that said something like “time heals nothing, it’s what you do with that time that matters” I believe that. I am thankful for where I am today. I have a good job, with an awesome team and I feel more valued at work than I have in several years. Many of my relationships are stronger than they have ever been. My lady tribe has grown and I am so thankful for them. I have allowed myself to remove some toxic people from my life without feeling guilty about. I’m doing more things I want to do because I want to do them and turning down things when I don’t truly want to do them. And I’ve been able to ask people for help; that was huge for me.
And maybe the biggest change I’ve experienced during that time is that I have learned to really like myself. I no longer feel the need to make apologies to people for who I am. If you don’t like me, cool, we can go about our day. It’s not the end of the world. We don’t need to force something that’s not there. This is really huge for me and has taken me way outside of my comfort zone. And most of all, I have learned and finally believe that there is WAY more right with and about me than there is wrong. I’m awesome, all parts of me, the good and the not so good, they all make me who I am. And finally, that is just fine.
Love, Peace, and Gainz,