I am Forty and I no longer give a f*ck. Yes, I said it. The forties brings with it its own set of freedom and a sense of liberation. Most women I know have agreed on how they felt so different and carefree when they reached that decade of their life. Perhaps it is because you have grown up, experienced quite a few ups and downs, and have some knowledge about differentiating between fake and real people. Also by this time most of us have settled in life, be it career or family life, so that part is sorted mostly and we seem to have some more time on our hands for ourselves. I feel this was an ideal time to learn new skills, travel solo or indulge in.
Society and their trivial talks don’t seem to touch me much, and I am more comfortable in my skin than I have ever been. Insecurities have seemed to fade and I am a more confident person now who cannot tolerate people’s bullshit anymore and will call it out if I have to.
From my personal experience, there are some life lessons I have learned, some the hard way through trials and tribulations and some through the pure experience of trial and error. Take this as relationship advice for women or as a guide to being forty and fabulous, one thing is for sure, this will definitely let you know who your best p[eople are whom you want to keep in your life.
Here are a few things I am unapologetic for in this phase of life and I wish I could tell these to my younger self. But here it is for whoever needs to hear this.
1. Putting myself first.
This is the time I learnt self-love and the importance of it. I can’t be anything to anyone if I am nothing to myself. And if I can’t love myself flaws and all, I can’t expect others to love me that way either. So yes, I embraced my flaws and imperfections and made peace with them
2. Not answering the phone when I can’t or don’t feel like it.
With technology and communication narrowing spaces between people and literally invading each other’s personal lives and spaces, I have learnt how underrated it is to get some peaceful time away from the pings, beeps and rigs of the mobile phone. I don’t pick up calls of people who I know will disturb my mental peace, text me instead, please. And I make sure I keep the ringer on silent and keep it away for a couple of hours if I have to. The world can wait.
3. Having firm boundaries.
Nope, not oversharing anymore. Everyone does not have to know everything about myself and I won’t let anyone overstep their boundaries. I have allowed many to do so in the past but now I don’t hesitate in reminding people of their place and will tell them if they are trying to get too personal.
4. Not settling for less than I deserve.
No more compromises. That time is done and dusted. Forty onwards, I will give priority to myself because now, I know my worth, I know what I deserve and
5. Standing up for myself and not be taken for granted
No one is getting away by offending, hurting or wronging me. If feelings have been hurt, they will be told. I am not tolerating people and their snootiness anymore.
6. Saying no to something I am not interested in doing
There is something so liberating in saying no to anything you don’t want to do. I have always been a people pleaser all my life. But not anymore, no. I am not saying yes to things I don’t want to do just because others may feel bad.
7. Putting Mental Health first
Don’t hesitate to take a break from people and things when you want to, without giving explanations. If a vibe doesn’t feel right, trust your instinct.
8. Healing at my own pace
Grief, sadness, hurt, illness, feeling low- all these are valid feelings and no one needs to tell you how long you need to heal from any trauma. You get to decide that for yourself.
9. Calling out people for their sexism
You do not have to tolerate the wrongdoers. Not that family uncle making sexist jokes on marriage. Or that neighbour who is constant body shaming you by being a constant weighing scale, telling you how much you have lost/gained. Just ask them to mind their business.
10. Unlearning toxic things I learnt when I was younger
There was so much sexism and misogyny I grew up with and very frankly I didn’t realise it until now. It is not until now that I learnt that so many things I learnt were normal were actually not and were wrong on so many levels.
The forties have been a self explorative journey for me. I have become more comfortable in my skin, learnt to embrace my flaws, don’t care about my size, weight or those greys, wear what I like and do what makes me happy. I only feel I could revisit my younger self and tell her these things. But then had I not gone through my life experiences I probably wouldn’t be the confident, unapologetic person that I am today.
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