I understand all too well what it feels like to be rejected, runner-up, second best or someone’s second choice. I know that ache in your chest of not being quite good enough in the eyes of someone else. But my feelings about it all changed when I turned 40.
Whether it was through sports, jobs, relationships — I’ve experienced it in my forty years. It shapes you in ways you don’t fully realize until you’re this age.
When you’re young it can lead to lack of self-confidence and sense of self-worth. But the thing about getting older is you start to see life a little differently. You don’t let yourself get defined by others so much.
As a young girl we think we need to live life to satisfy society’s expectations of what a girl should be and do.
As a young woman we think we need to live life to satisfy a man and his expectations of what a woman should be and do.
But here, after 40, we start to see we need to live life to satisfy ourselves.
Maybe it’s about that point when some might think we’ve become bitter “old” women. Or maybe it’s more like at 40 we realize we’re done putting up with everyone else’s shit.
Young girls and women are taught from an early age to give so much of themselves to others, and then apologize when they feel they can’t keep up with impossible expectations. Come 40, we say screw those impossible unrealistic expectations.
As women over 40, we’re done saying we’re sorry for speaking our truth; we’re done apologizing for doing what’s best for ourselves.
Some might call us more difficult because we’re done tolerating the things we once did. But here on the other side of 40, we’re a lot more sure of who we are and what we stand for.
If you thought we were emotional as young girls wait until you meet us now. We feel everything with ridiculously strong emotions. Though sometimes it’s love and joy we can rain down, when it’s anger we’re going to come at you like a Category 5 hurricane.
We’ll be as loyal and faithful as they come but we also don’t fear standing our ground anymore. We will dig in our heels and hold our ground even if we’re the only one standing.
We’re not afraid to stand alone any longer.
We’ve become women who aren’t afraid to grab a problem by the horns and wrestle it to the ground until we’re satisfied it’s been dealt with while everyone else is still standing around, afraid to even step in the ring with us.
Here on the other side of 40, we’re not living this life to appease everyone else. Some may admire our new resolve to live life more bold and strong. Others aren’t sure whether to be our best friend or just run away. The one thing you should know about a woman over 40 is you don’t want her for an enemy.
Here on the other side of 40, our thinking has shifted. Now we know we won’t be “not good enough,” second best or second choice to anyone or anything, especially ourselves.
We see it’s time to spend our time with those who see our value. We want to chase our own dreams and ambitions. And we’ll answer to no one but ourselves.