Today I turn 40. It is not how I expected and now how I envisioned and yet that is how I am finding life and it is so much sweeter than I could have imagined, this life. It has had its fill of disappointment and pain and expectation lost and yet I wouldn’t trade any of it.
40 felt a bit looming and yet I am pretty excited about it. I turned 21 in Paris while studying abroad and it felt a bit anti climactic although I sat with a glass of wine along the Seine and loved the sweetness of that broke college student moment with a backpack on my back.
At 25 I was in the midst of a budding career and what felt like an adult life although I really knew very little of myself and the world although I felt as though I knew quite a bit. I was just coming out publicly and realizing some things for myself that I was scared to admit…like dreams lost of the traditional view of success and what my family might look like. I am so grateful I did become more fully myself.
I had a huge party at 30 where friends made lots of food, 80 or so people funneled through our little house and there was so much wine to last for years after given to me. I lived in wine country and the house and garden were sweet. My partner and I at the time were becoming friends more than lovers and it was ok! I was more fully myself in ministry and finding out who I would become. 30 had some pressure attached to it, it felt like and yet who knows what success really is?
At 33, I held a last supper with friends originally in an upper room but it was so hot that we held it outside. I turned 33 on a Thursday, Maundy Thursday for me. I was in a new relationship that was all really high ups and really tragic lows and ultimately not healthy at all but at 33 it was still budding and exciting.
34 brought me my own Good Friday where I ziplined to my metaphorical death although I saw that death was coming for a number of things…like a relationship and ministry as I knew it was happening.
35 happened on a Sunday. I expected Easter but felt the Holy Saturday-ness of it and on 36 I was on the Camino, realizing my life needed Resurrection and I was finding it in sweetness of what is now my partnership and my soon to be wife. I found walking healed my heart and gave me clarity. A year later I was happy to spend 37 with a few people and at the end of the day a big bonfire to bring in the season of Pentecost. I moved to Berlin a few weeks later.
38 was spent in France again, on my own, and full of beauty and goodness and gratefulness which has leaked into the last two years full of a life that has turned towards a pandemic in weird and unexpected but tragic and beautiful ways.
Here we are at 40. A new decade. A new world. A new normal. I couldn’t imagine spending it in Berlin under lockdown so since I am now half vaxxed and Ana needed her second dose (yay yesterday!) we have arrived to Belgrade to spend my birthday with my soon to be in laws. It is good to be in nature, with family, unexpected and yet welcomed. I feel confident in what 40 will bring. I can’t predict but I am excited. I am proud of the grey streaks that have become part of me and I smile more even though it causes wrinkle lines. I am proud of them. I have noticed my face has gotten longer and thinner and I like how it is aging. I am proud of my curves which carry me, strong and fit even in their own largeness. My curves are now known as excellent cuddly features for the little people in my life. They run to them to be held. They hold people well through all sorts of life. I am proud of my wild hair and my weird ways. I like singing and won’t let up. I don’t apologize as much for my opinions or wild ideas/ideals and like immersing myself in whatever comes even when it feels less than success but more about who I am.
I love where I come from and where I might go. I am grateful for healed relationships and better ones with people I love. I am ok to create boundaries with those who cause harm or won’t show up when needed. I put value in places that I see as deeper wells and try to show up for the divine when I can. I am clear about what I am called to more and more. I care less about shoulds most of the time. I am ready for this.