Me at 40 on a rooftop in New York City

Life begins

When I was younger, I thought 25 was old. My mother got married at that age and I was told that it was already a late age to wed. Growing up, I figured maybe I’d get married at 25, too. Have a kid by 28 and probably another one at 30—a boy and a girl. When you’re younger, you think things always go according to plan until they don’t. Then the years whizzed right by and I blinked and I turned 40 four months ago. Single, without child, and with no prospects. But you know what, I’m really not old at all.

I wish I had documented the past year a little better. Small moments that would’ve warranted some passages in a notebook somewhere. Something to look back on to commemorate this milestone year, you know? During the past 3 years, I looked to my personal rituals as anchors to ground me as everything was up in the air. My tarot pulls, my weekly newsletter, the occasional bake, daily movement—markers that helped me get through the days that blurred into each other. Funnily enough, just as I turned 40, I slowly let go of all these little rituals I would cycle through year after year. Let go of what no longer serves you, make room for what does, right?

Right before the pandemic hit, I started doing Susannah Conway’s Unravel Your Year workbook. I diligently filled up the pages with goals I wanted to achieve, dreams I wanted to manifest. A lot of them part-wish and part-declaration. Most of the things I wrote in those workbooks came true. But maybe even before I wrote them on those pages, I knew in my heart I would make them happen. Maybe it was a way to make myself accountable to all the things I promised myself. Something tangible to look back on once I ticked off the boxes on my to-do list. Then at the end of last year, I didn’t even bother to look at it.

If there’s anything I learned during the last few years of my 30s, it’s that you can plan all you want but sometimes, things won’t go exactly the way you want them to. And if you’re okay with that, ready to roll with the tide and embrace whatever it is that’s coming your way, then things will always be fine in the end.

At the start of 2022, I knew I wanted to travel again. And I wanted to go to New York to celebrate my birthday. I finally booked my tickets to the US a few days before October, a couple of days after I returned from my first trip since 2019. It felt like I pressed play again after being on pause since March 2020. It didn’t feel like it until I finally exhaled, but it was almost like I was holding my breath the whole time.

I can’t tell you this is exactly where I imagined my life would be at 40 when I was 25. I don’t even remember half the things I wished for back then. But what I can tell you is that life has been much kinder to me these last few years. Maybe because I’ve been a lot less hard on myself, too. I’m still unlearning a lot of things that I’ve been conditioned to think is what’s right for me. But I haven’t stopped dreaming of a life that will allow me to be my best self. One that hopefully includes a beach house in my future.

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