Hola, amigos! Guess what? I just celebrated my 40th birthday. Whoa! Yes, I’m not kidding. Am I freaking out? No, not really. When I was 20 years old, the thought of turning 40 terrified me, but now I think this is the best age there is. And honestly, I’m not just trying to make myself feel better. You see, at this age, I’ve come to feel proud of everything I’ve learned and accomplished, which is a lot. I have plenty of reasons to celebrate! These are just some of them.
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They say life begins at 40, and I don’t know yet if that’s true, but I do know that life is definitely better at 40. You see, when I turned 20, I began a new adult life, full of dreams and hopes, but without any experience or wisdom whatsoever. Now I’ve turned 40, I’m starting another phase in life, full of hopes and dreams too. Only this time, I also have plenty of wisdom and experience. Awesome, right?
The lessons I’ve learned in 40 years have given me knowledge that is more valuable than gold, and these are just a few of them.
12 Awesome Reasons Why I Love Turning 40
1. I have confidence in my own decisions
I remember a time when making a simple decision was agony. And if it was an important decision, I would usually just freeze. Sometimes, I would think about it for hours, days or even weeks, unable to make a choice. I believe that was due to my fear of making a mistake that could screw up my whole life. Silly me! Now that I’m 40, I can make any decision without so much drama, even if it’s something important. The thing is, I’ve learned that the only way you can make a mistake is by being scared of making one.
2. I’ve learned to trust my instincts
When I was 20, I never paid attention to that annoying little voice inside my head. But you know what? I always regretted it. The little voice inside my head is my intuition, and I’ve learned to pay close attention to it. Sometimes, the little voice tells me to do exactly the opposite of what everyone keeps telling me to do, but you know what I do now? I listen to it instead of taking the advice of anyone who is obviously not qualified to know anything about me. I’ve learned that the only one who knows what’s best for me is me. You do you, right?
3. I no longer care what other people think
Twenty years ago, I was sure I didn’t care what other people thought about me. But I was wrong. Very wrong! The truth was I did care about my friends’ opinions, about my mother’s opinions, about complete strangers’ opinions. That was such a waste of my energy! Now that I’m 40, I’ve learned that the people who truly care about me will still love me no matter what. Therefore, there is absolutely no point in caring about other people’s opinion. I’ve also stopped trying to fit in. I’m way too cool for that!
4. I know just how strong I am
I’m not going to tell you a thousand sob stories because that would take too long. I just need to say that I’ve survived them all, and now I’m stronger for it. After facing some brutal life tests, I’ve found it’s really true that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. That doesn’t mean I am not afraid of anything. It just means that I’m not going to chicken out when it’s time for the next life test. Besides, another thing I’ve learned is that nothing lasts forever, neither the good nor the bad. This too shall pass, so enjoy the ride!
5. I can say yes or no without feeling guilty
One too many times, I let other people talk me into doing something I didn’t really feel like doing. Or maybe into not doing something I was dying to do. And you know what? I always ended up thinking about what could’ve been. Nowadays, I no longer let people talk me into or out of stuff. I make a conscious decision or go with my own instincts, and I don’t look back. It’s strange how something so simple can be so difficult to learn!
6. I’m wiser
Don’t laugh! I’m truly a lot wiser now than when I was 20 years old. This wisdom is the result of a thousand good and bad things that I’ve been through and the lessons they taught me. The other day, I overheard a couple of twentysomethings agonizing over their problems, and I smiled because I’ve seen that movie and I know how it ends. I’m grateful that my hard-earned wisdom will prevent me from making the same mistakes again, although I can’t promise I won’t make new ones. I’m ready to acquire some more wisdom!
7. I can control my thoughts
I read once that thoughts are like clothes because you decide which ones to put on in the morning. If you decide to wear your negative thoughts, you’ll have a bad day for sure. On the other hand, if you decide to wear positive thoughts, you’ll have an amazing day no matter what. I no longer let circumstances or the morning news ruin my day. I decide how it’s going to go and I don’t let anything or anyone stand in my way.
8. I no longer stress over every little thing
Sometimes, I get surprised when I think about the sort of things I used to care deeply about. For example, the other day I went grocery shopping without a drop of makeup, something my 20-year-old self would have never done. But who am I trying to impress? I’m just going out for some milk, that’s all. Also, I’m not a member of the whatsapp class parents group. It stresses me out, so I’m not in it. But what if there’s some important announcement and I miss it? That hasn’t happened, but if it does, then it wasn’t really that important. I only care about the meaningful things now, not about the stuff that will only give me worry lines.
9. I’ve learned to take care of myself
I believe this is one of the most important life lessons I’ve learned so far. If you don’t take care of yourself, nobody else will do it for you. I’ve learned to listen to my body to know what it needs. I no longer eat when I’m not hungry, or starve myself to death. I take a break when I’m tired and go to bed when I’m sick. I workout and eat right so I can be strong and healthy, not skinny. I know what’s bad for me and what makes me feel good. Loving and respecting my body has put me in better shape than when I was 20. It’s incredible, but it’s true!
10. I no longer want to change myself
I used to dream about being taller and thinner. I also wanted to have lighter hair and a smaller nose. Now, I wouldn’t change anything about myself. I finally feel at home in my own skin, and that is priceless. It took me 40 years to look this good, people! I have laugh lines and wrinkles on the corners of my eyes because I’ve cried hard and laughed harder. I have a scar on my belly because I’ve had three wonderful kids. My breasts are saggy because I’ve breastfed my beautiful babies. I have stretch marks because I’ve wrestled with my body and now I’ve learned to love it. Every line is a victory, and I wouldn’t change a single one.
11. I know how to dress myself
I don’t own designer clothes, but I don’t need them. I know what looks good on me and what doesn’t, and I no longer feel the need to chase the latest, must-have styles. Believe it or not, that used to be one huge concern of mine! I’d rather have classic, good quality pieces that I can wear for many seasons so I don’t have to shop for a new wardrobe every six months. I prefer to open my wallet to create meaningful experiences instead of buying expensive clothes that I’m never going to wear. Not that I don’t dream of a huge, walk-in closet!
12. I’m not young anymore
And you know what? That’s actually a really good thing. Gone are the days when nobody would take me seriously. Gone are the days when I would run away from commitment and responsibilities. Gone are the days when I was trying to find myself. Gone are the days when I kept trying to impress someone else. All of it is gone! Now, I finally feel free to live my life however I want to, and I don’t need to explain myself to anyone. True, I have big responsibilities on my shoulders, but that doesn’t keep me from living my life. Quite the opposite! I’ve also learned to enjoy the good times and treasure life’s little moments of joy. Best of all, now I know who I am, and I know what I’m capable of. That is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
I never thought that I would love turning 40, but it’s true!