I’m 40 now, you guys.
And yup, this one feels different, for a number of reasons.
One, I’m sure, is because it’s a milestone birthday and for that reason I want it to feel different and so it does. Another reason is that going through Covid – and coming out of Covid – has changed my perspective and my priorities. Another is that I emerged from the worst depression and anxiety of my life this past year. Sitting here and now, I can remember just how shitty I felt and how content I feel now by comparison.
My life is changing. This past Fall, I finally started job searching. I interviewed for jobs the week before Christmas (do not recommend) and accepted a position in January. I start in two weeks. I haven’t worked outside the home in NINE YEARS y’all. Holy crap, do I miss it. And, as I told one interviewer, this long break from doing therapy has simply reinforced my feeling that this is what I want to do professionally. I’ve craved it.
Backing up for a second, another indication that I’m feeling different these days is how I approached interviewing for this job. Granted, my position in life is different since I last interviewed for jobs 15 years ago. Back then, I was out on my own for the first time, attempting financial independence. I needed the income to live. I felt I had something to prove. Everything to prove, in fact. I felt like a kid playing house, playing dress up. Mommy’s too-big heels and stolen smeared lipstick. This time around, I find myself with more privilege. I’m financially secure, I don’t need this job, and I don’t have anything to prove.
One job opening asked for a cover letter, and I hate writing cover letters, so I just sent in my resume and wrote a short email introducing myself. They requested an interview. During interviews, I blurted out true answers and I wasn’t afraid to be honest about what I’m good at and what I’m not. I was still thoughtful and respectful, of course, but I was also authentic. I don’t want to work for anyone who wouldn’t respect me and accept me as I am, here and now, anyway. Here I am. Take it or leave it.
It felt so liberating.
I’m all the feels about going back to work: excited, terrified, anxious, curious. I know it’ll be a big adjustment for everyone in my house. We’ll have to see how it goes, but I know we’ll all find a new normal sooner or later.
Working aside, lately I’ve been mindful about not making room for bullshit and drama. You have feelings about how I conduct my life? Cool, you get to keep those. They aren’t mine.
I suppose I owe 40 a huge thanks. Thanks for giving me permission to be myself and to experience joy and to set healthy boundaries regardless of how others may feel.
So far, 40’s been pretty great.