I’m 40, Now What?

I’ve been 40 for a little over two months now and I am not quite sure where to go from here.

That photo is the one I posted on Instagram this morning after driving to work contemplating my life and how it’s just not where I want it to be. I posted it with this caption about how great my 2 hour commute was when really I’ve had a lot of heavy stuff on my mind lately. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy my Starbucks and the Taylor Swift songs on the nice speakers in my new car, but like everyone else… shhhh… Sometimes I lie on social media about the true state of things in my life.

If you look at it from the outside, it seems good. It is good. Really, in the grand scheme of everything that could be wrong, I have it pretty easy. But something is missing. More and more lately I feel like I’m not accomplishing things I hoped I would have done by now. I’m not growing. I feel stuck.

Maybe I shouldn’t write about this publicly and I should go see a therapist instead, but I feel like I don’t really have time. I sit in traffic for 3 (sometimes 4) hours a day so the time I could spend talking through my problems is wasted sitting in my car contemplating whether or not I should risk the $500 fine to hop into the HOV lane and breeze by everyone. Yes, some days I feel that desperate.

What do you do when you feel like certain things haven’t come to fruition even though you know you tried? Or maybe you have opinions you just feel like you can’t express? Maybe you do express them once in a while and are then quickly reminded why you are better off just keeping your mouth shut… even if you are pretty sure you’re onto something? What do you do when you feel like things are passing you by and you look back and think you’re better off in some ways but in other ways you’re just not living your dream anymore?

I can pinpoint some of the things I think I’ve done wrong. Some are things I haven’t done that I never really thought about doing until recently and now it seems too late to start. Is it fear, lack of confidence, or maybe just lack of direction? Is it all my fault? Have my character flaws stunted me? Whatever the reason, what do I do now? How do you shift your priorities and get back to a place where you feel like you actually belong and can contribute?

I know we’re all supposed to do like the #qotds say and be positive and focus on the good and count our blessings but I also think it’s healthy and normal to feel this longing to be and do better sometimes. When life is so filled with responsibilities and routine, how do you break that? Especially when you have to accept that maybe certain things you thought you were great at and destined for just aren’t meant to be…

How am I 40 and I don’t have it all figured out? I think I had more figured out 10 years ago than I do now! Speaking of 10 years ago… I was doing something I had always wanted to do and it was ripped away from me… By someone who years later called me to apologize for robbing me of the opportunity. I guess I’ve forgiven that person (honestly not really), but sometimes I think back on what I was doing then and where it could have led vs. where I’m at now and I wish I could turn back time and do something to fix it. Knowing it was out of my hands helps I guess, but it still sucks. In some ways I feel like I was stifled when that happened and so much time has passed but nothing has compared to that experience. I suppose I should feel shame or like I am weak for still thinking about it, but it’s OK to sometimes wonder about what could have been.

One of the things I’ve lost along the way is this whole writing thing. I have people in my life who remind me on a regular basis that I’m good at writing, I’m relatable, I should be making something big out of this, yet it’s been months since I’ve written. Typically I sit in bed for a good hour before falling asleep scrolling Facebook and Instagram and checking out what everyone else is doing or saying. I think about picking up my laptop and writing a blog post but all of the reasons why I shouldn’t do it tend to stop me.

The biggest reason why I stopped writing is fear. I started to worry about what other people would think about my honesty. I worried that my truth would come off as weakness. I worried about certain people in my life criticizing or questioning the things I would write about. And now of course I have to worry about someone being offended by something I might say because we live in a time when people thrive on ripping others apart and ruining them because they might have a different opinion or say something stupid. Writing on eggshells is not fun.

So maybe the first step for me is putting this out there. I am frustrated by a number of aspects of my life right now. I think it’s only natural to stop caring and start giving up when you feel like you’ve been there, done that over and over and you’re not getting the results you hoped for. It becomes a vicious cycle. How do you recharge and reboot?

Anyway, I am now being a bad mom with Rocco sitting in my bed still playing Snake vs. Block on his tablet when he should have been in his bed (actually the floor but that’s another blog post for another night) 30 minutes ago… So I am going to post this and see what happens.

There were a few other things on my mind today that I wanted to write about but I hesitate to say them because I don’t want to deal with the questions… One involves the Titanic and the other involves my previous motivator.

Have a lovely night and thanks for reading.

 

 

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