On July 11, I turned 40.
Over the last ten years, I wrangled a lot more grief than I expected - and learned how to drink that particular cocktail without choking.
I learned how to feel.
I adopted Sally, my stuffed therapy otter.
I learned that I was an empath - and how to take care of myself so that I wasn’t spending all my time trapped in other people’s emotions and completely drained of energy.
Instead of doing what I expected to do - get married, have kids, maybe buy a house - I learned that riding the grief roller coaster clears space for joy. I learned that if a stuffed otter makes you happy, take her with you when you go. I learned that if there’s something you love to do...do it.
It wasn’t how I expected my thirties to go, but it was exactly what it needed to be.
I learned who I am and how I operate and what I’m here on this spinning blue marble to do. I learned that I'm happier when I'm exercising and sporting colorful fingernails. I learned what love looks like and what joy feels like.
Not too shabby for a decade.
So for my next ten years, I’m surrendering all my ideas of how I think things should go and allowing things to happen as they do. I’m making joy and following my soul the priorities.
So this is what I want my forties to be:
Riding giraffes and writing love notes (and more books) and snuggling Sally and going on adventures and allowing the chips to fall where they may. Because that feels so much better than trying to wrestle the world into doing my bidding.
I'll keep asking for what I want, of course, and doing anything it occurs to me to do to help it happen - but I'm going to be so grateful for what I do have and so fueled up by random delight that whether or not I get it will be barely a blip on the radar.
Because that's what freedom looks like to me.