Can’t My 40s Start Today?
Tomorrow I turn 38, and I am so excited. It started at some point today when I realized I am becoming a mature woman. As with most people, my twenties were interesting – a unique blend of trying to triumph over trauma in a way other than healing and pursuing a few different careers. In my late twenties, I figured out that I couldn’t triumph over trauma without healing. Maybe you can, but I could not.
In the last decade, I pursued wholeness. I learned how to engage with people who love, value, and respect me. I learned to let the other people go. There are all kinds of poor reasons to cling to them. For years I did so in the name of religion or faithfulness, but I eventually came to realize Jesus is okay with me letting people go who have no interest in being as faithful to me as I am to them. Even in marriage, Jesus was okay with letting an unfaithful spouse go. Likewise, God isn’t asking me to be intimate with people who treat me poorly. It took me an entire decade to let that sink all the way to my core and open up my hands to release relationships with so many people I loved dearly. No control. Let them go.
What a glorious life it has been! I am now living in state number eight. I’ve traveled to two other continents, at least eight foreign countries, and at least 38 states. I successfully completed two degrees and received two diplomas from technical schools since graduating from high school at sixteen. I’ve attended schools entirely unknown and schools of some prestige. While never being admitted as a student of Georgetown University, I have the unique privilege of having a transcript from that prestigious school for classes taken there while interning in Washington, DC. I also lived on their campus during part of that experience.
My “career” has been no less varied. I’ve worked at a bank, at a non-profit, in schools, at an assisted living, in a nursing home, in gyms, in a greenhouse, on farms, in people’s homes as a nanny and pet-sitter, at a police department, as a columnist for a local paper, as a ghostwriter, as a co-writer, as a virtual office assistant, as a web designer, in marketing, and at a teenage crisis center. I’ve been a director, and I’ve been a gopher. Now I am working as a nanny for a ranch family in absolutely gloriously beautiful country. (What am I forgetting?)
It’s an eclectic mix. It creates a resume with enough diversity to scare someone who would like to look stable and reliable, but I am stable and reliable. I promise. I am also adventurous. I like to take it to the extreme and experience all life has to offer. I am a writer; and as a writer, all this life experience is indispensable.
Six or seven years ago, I self-published a novel. I never did try to get it published “for real.” It is no longer available because I no longer agree with the theology in it. That’s what I like most about myself. I grow and change. I don’t have to cling to what I believed yesterday. I can move forward and step into freedom.
My theology doesn’t have to be stuck – ever. The only thing that allowed me to step into theology I never would have considered believing a decade ago is massive amounts of Bible memorization. I needed to know the Bible well enough to know whether it was being twisted when I was presented with understandings of God different than my own. I am so grateful I memorized that Scripture and changed into who I am today.
Today I am hitting my stride. Youth-loving culture views the big 4-0 with terror. However, I am excited. Is it not in a woman’s 40s and 50s that she hits her creative stride? Don’t I get to step into that in 732 days? The best part of my life is ahead of me. I tingle with excitement thinking about it.
Can’t my 40s start today?