The “Bad Husband” Chronicles

Just another day for you and me in Paradise

Posts Tagged ‘turning 40’

It’s all relative

Posted by mozziestarlet on April 24, 2013

When I was young, I felt like I would never grow older. I was convinced that the good life was just a few years within reach. I spent hours daydreaming about reaching the magical twenty-one, when I’d be finally be independent and living life to its fullest. I’d be building a great career and most importantly, I’d be free of the shackles of adolescence. I’d finally be…happy.

And honestly, I was happy. I had a young husband, whom I loved immensely. We were building the future I’d always dreamed of and it all felt attainable. My luck had finally turned a corner and I was living the life that I felt I deserved. And then, after five years, that foundation crumbled beneath me. He left me for a new life and with his departure, he took the hope we’d built together, my faith in love and the happiness I’d spent my whole life yearning for. I was shattered, broken. I convinced myself that if the person I loved most in the world could betray me in such a monumental way with seemingly little regard, I really had no chance of finding happiness again. So there I was, staring down the barrel of my thirties like a deer in headlights, heartbroken and hopeless.

I was bothered by approaching thirty, not so much for its numeric significance, but because I felt like I’d just lost everything I’d been building in my twenties. Gone and obliterated in what felt like a massive overnight explosion. Therapists, family, and friends all had the same message: Put it behind you and move on with your life. Don’t dwell on what you cannot change. Acknowledge it, but move on. And eventually, after years of dealing with the loss, days and nights spent enduring the pain of abandonment and heartache of replacement, I emerged and shaped a new life for myself. I was happy…to a degree.

At thirty-six, I found myself again crossing the uncertain waters of another failed relationship. It was painful, heart-wrenching and deflating. Even though I felt the storm approaching, I still had to navigate the wreckage it ultimately left behind. I had to press the ‘reboot’ button on my life again and start over on my own. And the worst aspect of it was that I wasn’t in my twenties anymore, but now approaching the dreaded 4-0. How was this possible? How did the carefree days of my twenties slip between my fingers and how did I end up with what felt like nothing to show for it?

I spent the last few years of my thirties digging my heels in, refusing to accept the milestone I was approaching. I surmised that if I didn’t think about it, it would go away. But, it didn’t. In fact, the closer I approached it, the more dread and anxiety I endured. Hours spent in self-deprecation, recounting all I’d lost, all the mistakes I should’ve avoided, and how I’d failed to achieve my dreams. I was staring forty in its ugly face, overwhelmed with guilt and disappointment. My biological clock rang out so loudly I was convinced that others could hear it. I had no supportive husband, no children to call my own, and no happy utopia that I felt should’ve been in place by the age of forty. I was a failure.

That dreaded day finally arrived and with it, a surprising self-realization. What if I were still in either of those doomed relationships, feeling trapped, mistreated and unloved? And even worse, what if there were children subjected to that unhappiness? What if they had been treated with the same disregard that I was? Suddenly, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief. Despite my losses, I had managed to emerge a stronger person and ultimately, happier. If happiness is a journey, not simply a destination, I was on the right path…finally. And that, in itself, was an accomplishment to be proud of.

You see, we all ultimately reach a point in our lives when we finally learn to accept ourselves…the good, the bad, and the ugly. Yes, we’ve all made painful mistakes, but they’ve shaped us into the person we were meant to become. So, embrace it. Whether you’re 30, 40 or 60. Look at life as the ultimate game of experience and it is that experience that enriches us.

So yeah, I am 40. And I am okay with that.

“The future is around me. I’m not gonna cry for the things that never occurred. So do not remind me. I’m happy to be as I was in the first place.”
– Morrissey

“You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.”
– Henry David Thoreau

“The age of a woman doesn’t mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

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