I recently celebrated my fortieth birthday.
I have had a few people tell me recently that I don't look 40, and maybe they mean it and maybe they're just being nice (and for the fact that they are trying to be kind I appreciate them), but here's the thing. I don't care. The truth is that these 40 years have brought me a multitude of experiences and those experiences have made me kinder and wiser, more compassionate and more comfortable in my skin. My 40-year-old body has birthed babies and nurtured them. This body has contained my joy and my sadness; my love and pain and strength. Every curve and wrinkle and scar tells a story, so many stories, and I wouldn't trade any of them. My sturdy feet, my strong thighs, my comfortable hips, my rounded belly and breasts, my sun-browned shoulders, my capable fingers, and my laugh-lined eyes; they all serve me well.
Some days I can hardly believe that I'm an adult and some days I feel every bit of my years, and those days aren't even mutually exclusive. What if as a culture, we deeply valued the aging process? What if we saw the grace and gratitude in it? I am a 40 year old woman and I am proud of that fact. I am deeply grateful for my years. I am looking forward to my forties and whatever years beyond that I am granted. Cheers to the aging that brings understanding and appreciation, patience and forgiveness (of self and others).
photos by my love and partner in this life journey