WHERE DID THE TIME GO?
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Holly sh*t!! I’m 41 years old today! Did I just admit that out loud?
This after I completely refused to acknowledge a milestone birthday a year ago! Yes, I really had a hard time accepting that I was turning 40. There was plenty of reason to celebrate but I was not in a celebratory mood. You see, that number, 40, was quite staggering and I was definitely feeling the pressure from society on the expectations of what a 40 year old woman should be, have accomplished etc
It took me a while to realize and accept that I am really not the average 40 year old! My circumstances, experiences and desires have made me different. I am a unicorn in a field of horses! Not to brag but each of us is unique and we shouldn’t have to fit into any societal norms. I’m glad I changed my mindset.
But where did the time go? I feel like I blinked at 21 and here we are 20 years later! Finally able to acknowledge that aging is inevitable and I’d rather be alive, thriving than dead. This is the youngest I will ever be moving forward so why not celebrate and have the most gratitude for all the amazing things happening in my life? Being 41 is a privilege that some people don’t get to enjoy.
20 year challenge anyone? Young Sally at 20 – very reserved, shy, kind, funny and gullible. Sally at 40 – confident, outgoing, go-getter, taker of no bullsh*t, still funny, fun loving and delights in sharing knowledge acquired.
I had to look back memory lane. There have been triumphs, many loses, good times, sad times, adventures, heartbreaks and many more that have shaped me into who I am today. Allow me to briefly indulge you in the last two decades of my life:)
TWENTIES – DECADE OF DOING THE MOST!
Oh twenties! Where do I even begin? This was the decade of stepping into adulthood, having my first real job, first passport stamp – hello Tanzania, move to the USA from Kenya, first love/first heartbreak, college, internships etc.
I met my first love soon after landing in the states and it was magical! A beautiful romance that swept me off my feet. I remember this with fondness. This was also the time that I was going to school, doing an internship and working two jobs. I barely had the time to nurture the relationship. I thought just loving someone was enough. Little did I know that one had to make the time and work at a relationship. He was patient with me for a few years until he wasn’t anymore and things had to end. Not quite amicably.
I did get a great internship in radio in one of the top urban stations in Atlanta. I was going to school for Broadcast Journalism and wanted to focus on television. My path to radio was accidental but turned out amazing. I loved being in that space working in the programming department. Thursday sessions were my favorite. This is when new artists would come in to showcase their talent in Rap/Hip Hop and R&B for a chance at airplay. My opinion actually mattered in shaping the wannabe artists lives. Atlanta is a hot spot for talent and we saw a lot of artists who are your favorites today come in! Hi Chris Brown:) He was 16 when I met him and he has since risen to be one of the top artists of our time.
On my 27th birthday, I remember being sad that I had not accomplished half the things I had set-out to have done by that age. I stayed home with the blinds shut, phone off and mopped around. It was really ridiculous! Such wasted energy. I should have been out and about celebrating and dancing the night away while my knees had the strength!
I barely did any traveling during this decade due to my busy schedule.
A hot greasy mess in a taxi cab on my first trip to New York City
20s are the years where you can truly live it up! Granted you may be broke. This is the decade to try new things, make mistakes – you have time to recover. Examine what you really want in life. Create and maintain good habits. Discover who you truly are outside all of the noise, travel as much as you can. Backpack/couch surf if you must! Read a lot. Go on dates – please note I did not say activate your hoe phase! Just live the best way you can before serious responsibilities kick in.
THIRTIES – DECADE OF SELF AWARENESS AND SOLO TRAVELS
This is when I truly started living! They say that there’s a sense of self assuredness that comes when you hit 30 and I felt it right away! I stopped seeking validation from irrelevant people and started trusting my own decisions. I also started taking better care of myself mentally and physically. Seeing a therapist was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The amount of clarity I received during the sessions was astounding! I started to work out with a trainer and was in the best shape I’ve been in. This brought on confidence. My career was also starting to take off.
When I was 34 my dear dad passed away suddenly. I was devastated. I don’t think I have fully come to terms with the loss. The bizarre thing is that I had dreamed of his passing two weeks prior and woke up in a cold sweat. I called him immediately. This after not talking to him for about a year due to an issue that affected me indirectly. It was so refreshing to hear the enthusiasm in his voice. I was a daddy’s girl. Little did I know this would be the last time we spoke:(
During the viewing session at his funeral, many thoughts crossed my mind. Laying in the casket so peacefully was a man who was full of life yet lifeless. None of the possessions he worked so hard for were with him. None of that matters in the end but how you lived your life, the legacy you create and the experiences had. This struck something in me. I vowed to live a full life and pursue dreams that seemed impossible. Tell people that I love them and give roses/accolades to people while they are still alive.
I started traveling more and had my first ever solo trip to Paris. That was pretty scary but I did it anyway with less than the basic French speaking skills recommended. A shame for someone who had studied the French language for 14 years in school. I have never felt more liberated than I did during that trip. Figuring out my way on my own in Paris streets was quite the experience. I cried the first time I saw the Eiffel Tower from the train. This trip changed me. I have done many more solo trips since including quitting my job and selling my possessions to travel the world full time for an indefinite amount of time.
30s were the beginning of me becoming a bad-ass and stop doubting my greatness.
Good vibes only!
True freedom is not revenge, but letting things unfold in their own way and time. After all, what matters is not the first, but the last chapter of our life which shows how well we ran the race. So smile, laugh, forgive and love all over again.
FOURTIES – A DECADE WHERE THE BEST IS YET TO COME
I’m new into the decade. I am still young – at heart you pesky record keepers, healthy with lots of accomplishments waiting on me. I am also loved fiercely by those who matter and I love them back immensely.
God has been so good to me and I lack sufficient grace to thank him for the all the opportunities coming my way. I can’t wait to see what this decade holds for me.
Don’t brood! Get on with living & loving. You don’t have forever.