So today's the big day: 40.
The first thing you should know is that I don't care about turning forty. I'm not scared of it. So please don't bother to lament my youth or future aging.
When I turned thirty, everyone called me, encouraging me to freak out about it. What was there to freak out about? It's natural. Everyone who lives past that certain point passes the milestone as they move toward the next one.
Thirty was the age I didn't have to pretend to care what other people thought anymore.
Forty is the age I can afford not to pretend to care what other people think.
I am who I am, and so much of that is because of the crazy and amazing experiences I've had since the hot summer day when I launched out of my mom, all six pounds and six ounces of me determined to get going, a month early.
Good, bad, crazy, and boring—there have been a lot of laughs and tears and breathless giggles and blank stares of utter, incomprehensible disdain. More of that than not has been spent with my BFFs, with the girlies who turned into women, right along with me. This weekend I was blessed with the ability to go to my hometown of Birmingham and see these women, to spend the weekend with them while we ate and drank and cackled boisterously at each other, causing a raucous public scene. (Turns out people are very forgiving of your obnoxious laughter when you're wearing a pink glittery hat and carrying a glowstick wand.)
There were moments when we were all sixteen again, giggling about some boy or some twenty-year-old memory. But now we are wives and mothers and teachers and friends in ways we could never have imagined in our brash youth. We are grown, and we are women who can own our lives, whether or not anyone else likes it.
But being a grown-up doesn't mean we have to stop being who we are deep down. There's no reason to suppress the essence of Me, just because society thinks we should act our age. And that's just it—I will act my age, as I think it applies to me and regardless of what that means to anyone else.
As we said all night for Pretty Pretty Princess Night, "Fuck 40!"
Thank you to everyone who has helped me to get here. Thank you to everyone I've ever met or known, who took a moment to impact my life and my path, even if I didn't know or like how it was happening. I wouldn't be in this place, in this Me, without your having touched me in some way.
Now go find yourself a yummy delicious cupcake and make a wish—for you, for me, for world peace. Whatever you choose, wish for it in your heart like you were a little kid again, and never, ever let go of how that feels.