Over all, my life so far has been pretty charmed. When compared to a large percentage of the world's population, I am living the dream. Still, I've had my ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade any of it or wish it away. Not one moment. Each moment has brought me to right where I am, and to be honest, I like where I am headed.
I am cresting that proverbial hill, but I still see a lot of life ahead of me. I feel as if I am finally settling in to who I truly am and what I am called to do in this life. The puzzle pieces are at last coming together and I am beginning to see a clearer picture of myself.
And I look pretty darn good!
Since I'm 40, my kids are older and much more self-sufficient, so I have more time to devote to my passions. Lately, those passions have taken less of a hobby type role and more of an Oh-my-goodness-I-can-make-money-doing-this type role. Just a few years ago I never would have considered such a thing. I didn't see myself as a real artist because I didn't have the confidence to put myself out there and share what I created. I began slowly and anonymously, but over time I have learned and tried and worked to hone my craft.
I am grateful to the community of artists and kindred spirits who helped me find my way. I am also enormously grateful to my husband who has been so supportive of my journey. He has had a huge part in helping me get over my crippling fear of failure and gain my confidence. I spent such a long time feeling unworthy and useless and he helped me to at last feel as if I have a voice and a purpose.
I look at turning 40 not as the end of my youth, but as a positive turn towards finding myself and my raison d'etre. There are so many things I want to be and do and see. This is not the beginning of the end; it's only the end of the beginning.
I remember when my parents turned 40 and I thought they were ancient. I see now that 40 is not nearly as old as I thought it was when I was a teenager. And as much as everyone likes to joke about everything being "downhill from here," I just choose to view it differently.
Standing here now, at the top of THE HILL, I have a clear view of what's ahead and do you know what I see? I see another hill. You see folks, Life is not a hill at all. It's a freakin' mountain chain. I choose now to move on from this hill to the next one and climb it like it's a jungle-gym.
I may moan and groan at times about being old, but I really feel as if my best years are still to come. There's a lot of life left in this gal and I'm not going to let a number like 40 make me slow down.
I am just getting started!
*A very special thank you to Leann Hill for the amazing photos. Check out her portfolio here.