Updated: Aug 26
Wow, here I am aged 40 and at my very best self. I would like to say it’s been an easy ride and for many years it was but you can not become a solider without the war, the grief, the fear and the rise. I remember from a young age looking through my mothers fashion catalogues, listing all the items I wanted to buy for nights out with my friends, my high powered job and date nights with my husband. This was the start of my thirst for achievement. I had a vision for my life which started with catalog clothes and household items and continued when I started reading my mothers vast Mills and Boon’s book collection. At this point, I had it all planned out. I had high expectations of how a man was supposed to treat me and what I would bring as a wife. My childhood was a bout of huge highs and huge lows and my mums experience as a single women trying to find love was all the lessons I needed to plan my relationship success. Some say you learn from successful relationships, I disagree, you learn from those that have failed. How can you advise me if you’ve never had the war and learnt lessons from the rise after the fall.
My life was pretty plain sailing up until the age of 30. For me, I had it all. All I needed was the house and my then husband and I were right there, ready and waiting. However, a marriage is a two way street. Both the King and Queen have to be on the same page, same values, same beliefs and a ride or die love. Let’s just say, I was chapters ahead of my ex-husband, to be fair, he had reverted back to picture books. They are visually more appealing and easy to read. What I had learnt from my mothers experience was nothing can change a persons mind but themselves but in the midst of waiting for him to get back on the same page, the respect I expected disappeared. I refused to compromise my self worth. Trust me, don’t do it guys. The moment you start you feel you are not respected, listened to or put down, you have to understand that the impact of that is the reduction of your self worth.
The last decade has taught me that my mindset is everything. My mental agility, my emotional intelligence, how I treat people, how I receive people and how I love. It’s been a journey that has cost me a great deal of time, ten whole years for me to get to the very place I was at 30. Content, fulfilled, in love, loved, supported, business minded, a dedicated mother and ready to take on the world. I believe we underestimate the power of our minds and how difficult it can be to really accept that everyone’s behaviours are based on their own lived experience and navigating through that may cause tension and anger. I haven’t always been nice, I haven’t always been open and I never in a million years felt that I would love again as intensely as I do now without compromising who I am. Like I said, it’s been a journey of deep and life changing growth and yet here I am.
On Friday 28th February 2020, I woke up on a high. I had arrived at the magical age of 40, next to the love of my life. I sat on the side of the bath and thanked God for my renewed relationships with family members, friends that have become family, my failed marriage that produced two beautiful daughters, my amazing partner, his two sons, his family, my career and my health. Ten years ago, I was thanking God for similar achievements but that day I was grateful for all the failures, the tears, the stress and the strength I needed to pull myself back together. Life is good when all you have to worry about is losing 10kg in weight and nagging your partner for not cleaning up. As the day became the evening, I allowed myself to be led, to really take in how much this man wanted to treat me. Little did I know, I would walk into my favourite river side hotel and enter my surprise party. The love I felt was overwhelming, the war had been worth it.
So what are the lessons I have learnt over the last decade?
Never be afraid to walk away from anything that compromises your values and beliefs.
Build a career or study while you parent so that you continue to add to your knowledge and increase your skills.
Ensure that you are financially able to stand on your own two feet.
Life gets in the way, that’s okay. You are allowed to slow down. Superhero’s don’t exist.
Study your own behaviour, your triggers, your response and how you treat others.
Love first, even it has to be from a distance.
Choose happiness first.
Anytime is a great time.
Pain is temporary. Ride it.
Fear will have you believe in lies and affect your mental health.
Travelling is great for your mental health.
Have lots of sex alone and/ or with your partner.
Get out there among your social circle
Fall in love as many times as your heart allows.
My journey has been a rollercoaster ride. My failures can be used as your learnt lessons,.there is no need to make the same mistakes but if you do, grow through them. The war is necessary for you to build resilience.
Becoming 40 is the start of a new decade, new experiences and new challenges. I’m ready for it all.