It’s coming, like it or not. It’s looming right around the corner. The next decade. Officially middle-aged. The big 4-0. Wasn’t I just 20? How did we get here so damn fast? I don’t even feel like an adult yet. Some of my friends are having grandchildren, what the hell is that about? I swear I just graduated university a year ago. I blinked and 20 years flew by.
I thought I would have done a lot more by 40. When you’re twenty, 40 seems like plenty of time to get your shit together. I was wrong. In fact, I’m thinking I probably won’t by 60 either. I may just be one of those people who wanders aimlessly forever, searching for people more adulty than I am.
But with age and the realization that this is as good as I get comes freedom. I no longer care about a lot of things that bogged me down for far too long in my youth. Quite simply, as I approach 40, there are certain things I just don’t give a fuck about anymore.
Dressing for my Body Type
I’m fat. I spent nearly 40 years trying to conceal that fact as best as I could. I didn’t buy the latest fashion items my friends were rocking because they weren’t flattering enough of me. I’m done with that. If I like it and I can cram my body into it, I’m going to wear it. I just bought my first pair of yoga pants, and I don’t care if they make my ass look big, because, spoiler alert, my ass is big.
What Strangers Think of Me
Be it random online commenters or other patrons of Wal-Mart, I just don’t care what people I don’t know or will ever have a relationship with think of me. Someone on Twitter thinks I’m an idiot for supporting vaccines? Okay. Messy hair, yesterday’s T-shirt, and some unidentified stain on my hoodie as I run in quick to the store? Judge away. I don’t know them, they don’t know me, and I do not care if I become an anecdote about the hot mess mom you saw while picking up cat food.
Biting my Tongue
For too long, I would hold in my opinions for fear of creating conflict or risking my popularity. Not anymore! I will happily debate you about anything. I mean, I’m not an asshole. If you ask me how your new haircut looks and I think it looks like your five-year-old cut it blindfolded, I’m still going to tell you it looks nice. But if you say something offensive or are spouting off “alternative facts,” I’m going to give you a piece of my mind, even if it means you get pissed at me. I am respectful, I am polite, I am fair, but I am done being silent.
Comparing Myself to Others
In my mind, no matter how well I do, I have never seemed to measure up. I’m never as pretty, or smart, or successful as the people around me. But I don’t care anymore. It isn’t that I don’t still believe that—I don’t think I will ever outgrow that insecurity—but I no longer see it as something I should be aspiring to. From now on, the only comparison that matters is me now to who I could be. Am I being the best me I can be? Yes? Then it’s all good.
Letting Lack of Self-Confidence Hold Me Back
I have turned down so many invitations because I felt self-conscious about my looks or my status or some other facet of myself. But these people invited me because they wanted me there, it’s me who has the problem with me. I’m letting go of the idea that my friends and peers are constantly judging me, and accepting that they do actually want me around. Even the gorgeous ones that I kind of hate a little. If I want to be somewhere or do something, then dammit, I’m going to. I have yet to have them cover me in pig’s blood Carrie-style.
So bring it, 40, I’m ready for you. I might be getting old, I might be getting grey, I might be starting to make noises whenever I stand up or sit down, but I am done with giving a fuck about things that don’t really matter. From now on, I’m using all that energy I wasted being self-conscious to be self-fabulous.