When I turned 30 I was in an unhappy relationship with someone completely unsuitable for me (oh Lord I am so grateful that never worked out!), working very hard in a job I hated and I honestly felt as if I was waiting for my life to begin. It took another few years for me to ditch the bloke, ditch the job, meet a few more unsuitable suitors and finally be completely honest with myself about what I really wanted and deserved (yes, deserved!) from life. It was only in the last few years after meeting the man of my dreams and finally stepping out bravely into the unknown world of working for myself that I started to realise that as I was getting older, life was in fact getting much, much better.
So many people dread 40 (and 50 and 60 and 70 and 80!), but why? What's so scary about it? It's just a number and life is one wonderful experience regardless of age, ability, disability or anything else. What holds us back from living the best life we can is usually fear-based ("I can't do it" or "I'll never be any good at it" are some of the negative things we repeatedly tell ourselves because we are afraid of stepping forward into the unknown) and it's this ridiculous fear of getting older that often makes us think we cannot continue to achieve all of our hopes and dreams.
Sometimes we use others as benchmarks for our own achievements and compare ourselves to other more successful/more attractive/more popular people when we are feeling unhappy in our own life. Have you ever wondered if perhaps someone looks at you and admires one of your many enviable attributes? Perhaps they love your curves, your smile, your kindheartedness, your way with people, your witty sense of humour, or perhaps they wish they had your confidence, your amazing attitude or your strengths? Some of the prettiest, slimmest or most popular people are the most insecure people.
What I've learned as I turned 40 is that I am happier, calmer and more content with myself, my body and my life than I ever have been at any other point in my past. When I was 21 I was a size 8 and about 8 stone. I could eat whatever I wanted and not put on a pound. My skin was perfect and line-free. I had just left college and moved to a new country. Was I happy? Yes, sometimes. Was I happier then than I am now? Most definitely not.
Age really is just a number, but I know that I really love the number 40!