Volume 68: On Turning 40…

Posted on 05/11/2012

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Tomorrow is my birthday. I’m not sophisticated enough to say tomorrow is my born day; so I’ll stick with saying that it’s my birthday. More specifically, it’s my 40th birthday. It’s a funny (aka ironic) thing that I’m turning 40. When I was twenty, I thought it was light years away and I had no comprehension of how my life would be when/if I got there – ummm, here. (Note: If you knew me in my twenties, you know why I said “if”, LOL!) When I reached my thirties, it was closer and loomed ominously at the end of that decade like an imaginary finish line. I was supposed to be following my dreams and living them by now. If I wasn’t, life would be a failure – or so I thought. Forty is such interesting age. It’s an end and a beginning all wrapped up into one. It can be both devastating and liberating. It can cause you to recollect the past and project into the future. It is, as they say, the “new thirty”. Then again, what if I don’t want it to be the new thirty, or even the old one, for that matter? What if I like my life just as it is? What if I said I don’t want to be any older, nor do I want to be any younger? What if I said, I’m okay with who and what I am right now…at this very moment. Could life be better? Sure, depending on how you define “better”; but I know it most certainly could be worse. So, tomorrow is my birthday, and this is my reflection On Turning 40…

From Cowardice to Confidence

As I sit here reflecting on the past 39 years, 364 days of my life, I can only think of how far I’ve come. I had a rough beginning because, you see, my father is an alcoholic. He was abusive both physically and verbally. He was neglectful and damaged my self-esteem more than anyone will ever know. Growing up, I was unsure of myself and never really felt I belonged. There were times that I was self-destructive and even contemplated suicide on occasion. Yes, there was a time that I allowed my external existence to overshadow my potential. I didn’t like who I was and therefore I felt as if I didn’t deserve a good life. Then, something happened. I began to look around and take inventory of my life. I realized that, even though I was missing the love of one parent, I had one that loves me unconditionally. I realized that I had intelligence and my confidence started to grow. Ultimately, I realized that God had given me numerous gifts under the Christmas tree of life. All I had to do was open them. Confidence doesn’t come from without. It comes from within. I realize that now, at 40 (almost).

Blessed and Highly Favored

There are seminal moments in all of our lives. Some of those moments are small, like learning to ride a bike or the first time you get that damn yo-yo to come back up. Some of those moments are ones that forever change the path of your existence. I’ve had the fortune of having a few of those moments, big and small, and I remember them all. When I see people lamenting their lives, I used to feel sorry for them, but now I don’t. Why? Because they are still alive. And, because of this fact, they have the opportunity to overcome whatever adversity they felt hampered their success. They have the opportunity to seize the moment and follow their dreams. Yes, as long as you are alive, no dream can be lost, no goal unreached, no mountain unclimbed. The biggest obstacle I’ve found to be in the way on my path to success was me. I listened to the nay-sayers. I let doubt, and insecurity, and low self-esteem place barriers in my way. In my twenties, I denied their existence. In my thirties, I used them as excuses. Now that I’m 40 (almost), I choose to learn the lessons from my mistakes, put the past behind me, and blaze a trail towards a newer and brighter future. Yes, as I reach 40, I realize that my new beginnings have new beginnings and I’m securely and maturely in the driver’s seat.

Conclusion

I thought I would be more depressed or upset about reaching this age, but I’m not. I’ve been blessed more than most men that reach 40 could ever be. I have my health. I have incredible friends that are surreal in their loyalty and support. I have a wonderful family with two sisters and a mother that taught me how to be a man, because they taught me how to respect women. I have a beautiful wife and two wonderful children, whom I love more than life itself. You see, life is more than degrees, or careers, or material things. Life is about experiences and the people you share them with. I asked the question earlier, “Could my life be better?” And, again I say, “Absolutely.” But, for now, I’m going to appreciate the first 40 and use the next forty to work on improvements.

That’s just my three cents…

Sillethoughts

“Peep my ver-na-cular cuz I don’t know how to act…”

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