So it happened. Last week I turned 40 and man, I did not stumble gracefully into it.
Heck, I didn’t stumble at all. I have been strategizing, worrying, planning, stewing, freaking out since the minute I turned 39.
Last year, on my 39th birthday, I was not in a stellar place. In my life or my business. On the night of my birthday, I sat down a little wine-soaked from dinner with some friends and had that life assessment that birthdays seem to bring. It’s the gift that nobody asked for or wants.
After the pretty brutal assessment one thing was very clear. I needed to get my shit together. Or the PG version that my high school band director would say, “I needed to get my poop in a group.”
I made a promise to myself in that moment that a year from now, I would not feel the way I feel now. I was in one of the toughest times in my life, feeling lost and heartbroken. At that time, I had no idea what that “different” was going to look like, but I knew I had to try because I couldn’t live in the headspace I was in.
Out of that “try” came this site and a six-week solo road trip that took me halfway across the country reminding me that I am way tougher than I think I am.
Reminder: all of us are.
I would definitely say I am still a “work in progress” for all of my goals personally and professionally. I will be for a long time. But as I got closer to 40, I started to notice a trend in my attitude towards life. An attitude that at first I thought might be kinda Grumpy Smurf of me, but as I have moved forward have adopted it as my new mantra.
This amazing life-changing mantra? “I am getting too old for this shit.”
But wait, Kira! Where are the funny life lessons, contagious optimism and positivity that makes you like Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake and Funshine Bear all rolled into one?
Although when I think of someone saying “I am getting too old for this shit,” I too think of a wrinkly older woman, smoking a cigarette in Paris cafe describing how pissed off she is by most things in the world.
However, I think this one has some legs for awesomeness.
Here, is what I am “getting too old for.” An ode to my 40s.
1. I am too old for this game playing shit.
Dude. I feel like in my 20s and 30s, so many conversations with friends were spent wondering about what people were thinking. Talking around the obvious. Doing anything to not have tough, awkward or scary conversations with people.
“Is he interested?”
“Is that person upset?”
“What do they mean by that?”
I would spend hours trying to decipher behavior or conversations like they were a Rubik’s Cube. Figuring if I over thought it enough I would somehow figure out the complex puzzle’s answer that must be hidden in there somewhere! Looking for the “a-ha moment” that didn’t exist.
At this point, I only want to be real and that starts by expressing myself well to all people in my life and asking for what I need. Having the tough conversations but in a kind and honest way. Letting go of the confusion by asking questions.
Even when I am scared of the answers.
Knowing that the truth always is better in the long run. Even when it hurts temporarily.
Here is what that looks like to me:
To always be confident enough in who I am, to let the person I am interested in actually KNOW.
When I choose to let people into my life and it is the right time, to let them know I am on their side. That I am going to do everything in my power to be great for them. That I won’t expect them to be a mind reader and will tell them what I need and when something is wrong. That I am here, as their partner-in-crime, to work through the hard stuff. That I am not here just to confirm that I am loveable, but to learn, grow and build a kick-ass relationship. That is where all of the gooey goodness is.
That all starts with me and being healthy enough in who I am to hold up my end of the bargain. I think I got it. Who’s with me?
2. I am too old for this drama shit.
Listen up people! There are no work emergencies. There are no friend emergencies. And there are NO dating emergencies.
The only emergencies that exist are life or death emergencies.
Let’s put it this way, the only 3 a.m. call I want to be getting at this point better be attached to a last minute flight to Italy with a guy named Paolo waiting for me with wine and Naples pizza at the end of it.
Everything else is just a temporary, pain-in -the-ass, inconvenience.
I realize we all have moments, God knows I have had a few, but if you are calling friends with “emergencies” all of the time you need to check yourself, your choices and your coping strategies. Because honestly life is pretty fucking amazing and it doesn’t need to be so damn hard.
If you are constantly riding the roller coaster, most likely you are also building it. Take a moment to look at the story you are telling others. Is it a tale full of fun, happiness and adventure or is it sad, upsetting and a total downer. Why is that?
3. I am too old to for this trying to be perfect shit.
HA! I just laughed at myself for even typing that! That is all I can even say about this, I am so not perfect in any way. If I actually sat down and started to over-think and critique myself about my life, someone would find me in a corner, curled up in the fetal position, simultaneously drinking champagne from the bottle while eating Chocolove bars, yelling for George Clooney. The only man who could fix this disaster!
Here is the dealio, Milio. I am seven-layers-of-ridiculous at most times and my life kind of oozes out all over the place.
And honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I would rather keep trying for the life I want and fall down sometimes, then trying to control every part of my world around me and end up freaking the fuck out every time things don’t go as plan. Because rarely does anything ever go as planned.
If I make a mistake, I fix it. If I offend, I apologize. If I fall flat on my face, I may whine a little but then I pick myself and just keep going. Try not to repeat too many of my mistakes. Keyword in that sentence, try.
My after-40-life goal? Wake up every day doing my best and riding life as the adventure it is.
4. I am too old for shitty friendships.
Looking back on my 20s and 30s I had lots of amazing friends, but I also had a lot of “what the fuck was I thinking there!?” moments.
As a person who likes to fix things, including people, I have taken on lots of projects. I tend to see the potential in people but as I learned the hard way again and again, you can’t be with people, on any level, just for potential. Not only is it unfair to them (since they shouldn’t be hanging around someone who is waiting for them to change) but ultimately, I was just prolonging them from changing themselves. The only way true change is made.
But here is the truth. I chose those friendships. Built them up to what they were. Continued to stay in them LONG past I should, victimizing myself on how I never felt heard, appreciated or supported.
I am me and don’t get me wrong, I am pretty flawed. But I want to be in friendships that feel good. Where I feel heard, supported and they are in it to win it as much as I am.
Isn’t that kinda the point?
Adventure of the Day:
*No matter if you are 25 or 65, what are you getting too old for in your life?