Growing up I would often hear that I was different. Such statements were, luckily, always made in positive contexts. While a lot of Latinas enjoy a good telenovela (soap operas also known as very long, never ending dramatic stories), I couldn’t stand sitting in front of the TV to watch an hour of my life go wasted. I never looked at wedding magazines and I dreaded the idea of having a Sweet 15 Party. Instead, I wanted to travel the world. I thought that was money well spent. I suggested that to my dad. My father just gave me one of his looks and well…that was the end of that conversation.
As I grow older, I realized that I am still different but more grounded than ever. Tonight at midnight I kiss my 40 good bye and I’ll get ready to welcome 41. Many people dread turning 40 or finding it a big deal. It IS a big deal but not for what the number represents but for the strong emotional context that it brings. At least that’s my truth, my story.
So how did this year of turning 40 go? I’ll probably get more out of this journey than you would. But there are some lessons that are universal. Some that may apply to anyone. Maybe some of these insights are useful to you. Maybe you will feel inspired to try some new things. Maybe you won’t. Either way. It has been a heck of a year. Here are some insights in no particular order:
- I started learning how to draw. Simple things. I have always wanted to learn how to draw. After seeing the Picasso Exhibit at CMOA, my best friend gave me a sketch journal and asked to start small and just give it a try. I still find it hard. I don’t know much about it. But I keep showing up.
- I donated 40% of my closet to a cause dear to my heart: The Free Store on Livingston Ave. The results? Of course, I have much less clothes to wear. My friends would see the same outfits more often than before. Heck, I feel like my friends know my closet now. The best part? I cut down decision-making time in half. No more dumb moments wasted asking myself, “What do I wear?”
- I added three stamps to my passport. I can’t even describe the joy that this brings me. Three countries in one year. Bam.
- I got to cross three items in my bucket list: The Iguazu Falls in Argentina, The Virgen de Guadalupe Basilica, and Friday Kahlo museum. Be still my heart.
- I donated ALL my scrapbooking supplies to the YMCA so that homeless families can enjoy some art and craft during the holiday season. I can’t think of a better place.
- My Blog For The Love of Cbus grew so much, gave me so many new joys and connections. As I share the love for our city, I get so much in return.
- Let’s talk about Love shall we? I dated this year more than ever. So grateful that every dating experience was a good one. There are enough creeps out there and I’m so glad that they didn’t cross my path. And the love search continues.
- I learned more than ever where I want to put my energy. I learned that when it comes to business, some people will disappoint tremendously. That the meaning of “support” is an action verb that is not understood by many. Because of these reasons, some relationships had to go. I wish them well. Hopefully someday they’ll understand that we’re stronger when we lift each other up. If that doesn’t resonate, we won’t have a relationship. It’s very simple actually.
- Love is patient. Love is kind. What a great reminder.
- Love the ones you love with all your heart. No conditions. And travel. You don’t get to take that expensive purse when you die. So just make memories. Every day. All the time.
I love my year of being 40. I love the love I felt. I appreciate the many tears as each one made me stand stronger, made me love deeper and make me appreciate the simple things like being able to hold my own cup of coffee. Cheers to my 40 and welcome my lovely 41.