From a housing project…..
to my very own Wheaties Box….
40 IS like WHOA because I swear I didn’t think I was going to make it.
I usually spend every Friday highlighting a rock star woman in my life who has made transitioning to my 40’s sound appealing. After sharing parts of my story multiple times this week, I felt like maybe people really didn’t know me and maybe I needed to go into the places that hurt me so deeply and stop being afraid to say, “I’m proud of what I’ve done.” Because I am.The first reason I’m surprised I made it to 40 is because, over the years, I’ve thought so many times of taking my own life. The pain, the secrets I thought I had to keep, the depression, the deaths, the debt, the feelings of inadequacy, the feelings of not being wanted, the lonlieness, the despair. Why do I believe in God? Nothing or no one else could have saved me.
I could write things on this blog right now that would blow the heads off of the people who are the closest to me; family included. I learned to keep quiet and fight back with my brain. I was a straight A student. It didn’t take long after hitting puberty and feeling lost in what seemed like a lifetime of my only sibling’s problems to realize that people didn’t like smart girls so I played less than to fit in. It’s a trait I carried well into my adulthood, that is, until I turned 40 this summer.
Something about 40 changed me. It was something about 40 that made me cut out my braids the day after my birthday because even if I had to sweat and fix my hair a million times, I wanted to look and feel like short-haired, sassy Tasha. It was something about 40 that made me look in the mirror and think that the big legs I’ve hated for so long now looked amazing. It was something about 40 that made me stop trying to explain myself to people who didn’t have to live in my skin. It was something about 40 that made it o.k. for me to have that extra glass of wine and not kill myself at the gym the next day. It was something about 40 that made it o.k. for me to take an Uber way across L.A. to a restaurant I’ve always wanted to try or sign up to go dance in Vegas and do other things that scared me to death or roll the windows down and sing and not really care who was judging me. It was something about 40 that made my feelings valid and allowed me to cry and ask for help again. It was something about 40 that made me want to LIVE. Oh, God, I want to live!!! Many things still hurt me but TOO many things inspire and excite me!
I’ve seen death. I’ve seen divorce. I’ve seen foreclosure. I’ve seen hate. I’ve seen bankruptcy. I’ve seen betrayal. I’ve seen failure. I’ve seen illness. I’ve seen injury. I’ve seen redemption. I’ve seen grace. I’ve seen restoration. I’ve seen mercy. I’ve seen love. I’ve seen health. I’ve seen success. I’ve seen 232 pounds. I’ve seen 138 pounds. I’ve seen myself through others’ eyes and opinions. At 40, I see myself through my own eyes. I see myself as God sees me: fearfully and wonderfully made. That’s a shouting moment!
The next time you see me jumping around in a Zumba class looking like I’ve been hooked up to a caffeine IV or lifting weights like my life depends on it, remember that I wasn’t always here and if you’re “there” and you stay the course, you’ll be wherever your “here” is too. Not just at 40, but whatever God designates your turning point to be.
But I have to tell you: 40 feels AMAZING!!!
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