The big 4-0
I remember being 29 and getting ready for work one morning. In my bright yellow bathroom on Bentley Avenue in Los Angeles, I was putting on my mascara. I looked at myself, the tears started to well and I said out loud, “Oh my God, I’m going to be 30!” For some reason I was terrified.
My 30’s turned out to be pretty damn good. I spread my wings when I moved to Japan, and without a doubt, those five years in Shizuoka made for the best chapter of my life. I was fulfilled on so many levels. The last three years of my 30‘s have been full of transition and constant change… returning to San Diego, getting caught up with family and friends, taking off on world travel and then searching for the next step in my career before heading to Vietnam. Obviously, 39 has been a crazy year filled with both minor and major adjustments.
I’m not sure that I have yet welcomed this next decade with open arms. I haven’t had that moment in the mirror where it has really sunk in that I am now 40. I have had several moments in the mirror recently where I thought about a neck lift and a nose job, about getting pregnant by some handsome stranger just to move along Project Shanna, but I don’t think that that means 40 has sunk in. Does it?
What I hope is that this decade is kind. I hope to find my dude, perhaps have a child (Project Shanna 2009 has rolled over into 2010). It would be nice to share my life with someone and have a family of my own. (My parents would be thrilled with this idea, too!) I’d like to continue to explore new and fantastic corners of the world. I am an adventurer at heart and I don’t yet feel settled. Although I’m not sure how well that goes with the project. I guess at 40 – I want it all, damn it!
I hope I worry a lot less about what people think of me. I’m overly considerate and too concerned about others. While I always want to be a kind and giving person, I’m tired of sacrificing myself for everyone else. I need to get a healthy dose of selfishness. I need to be kinder to me. I have to take care of myself first and foremost.
I suppose that my lack of worry that I’m 40 is a bit of an indication that I am on the right track headed into this phase of life. The fact that I haven’t had that “Oh my God” moment may actually be the sign that it has sunk in and I am accepting this. Besides, aren’t we as young as we feel?
I’ve often said that my ideal age is 28. That was the year I traveled to Italy, my first solo travel. That trip changed my life and that year was just a fantastic year for me. But with all the life experiences I’ve gained since then, I don’t identify as closely to 28 as I once did. In turning 40, I was looking for quotes about the milestone and I found this one – I’m not 40! I’m 18 with 22 years of experience! And you know what? Bingo! That’s how I feel! So here’s to 18 and letting the counter on the years of experience continue to roll over. Bring it on!