I’m turning 40 this May and it’s alarming how quickly the last decade of my life went by. I remember before I turned 20 how slowly the years passed. As soon as I turned 30, it felt as if the years shifted into warp speed, flying by so quickly that I can barely remember what happened when. I don’t feel any negativity about entering my 40s. My 30’s were absolutely incredible. They pushes me, they stretched me and they taught me more than any other decade. In my 30s I left my 9-5 job as a Doctor of Physical Therapy directing a clinic in Harlem to becoming a full-time content creator. I had 3 serious relationships including a live in boyfriend. I became a millionaire and decided to move to Miami where I’d live part-time. I bought my first property, a townhouse a few blocks from the ocean. In my 30’s I really came into my own. I learned myself, my triggers and my passions. I grew to love myself inside and out. I took the time to care for my mind and my body cutting out stress and unnecessary negativity. I’m looking forward to my 40s assuming they will also be nothing less than amazing because I’ve set myself up for success. I’m happy for the chance to get older and I’m proud of myself for not compromising my morals and my dignity to get to this point in my life. Although, I still get a rogue comment every now and then that I’m old, aging out of my profession and with no mans, I don’t think any of those things are actually bad things. Some people are just uncomfortable with aging and society has everything to do with that and people buying into that narrative.
Life in the Age of Social Media in the Public Eye
I’m going to let you in on a little secret…I never set out to be in the public eye. I just wanted people to read what I wrote. I wrote for my college newspaper. I started this very blog in 2010 out of my sheer enjoyment of writing and having people read and enjoy my words and be able to connect and resonate through shared experiences. One of the biggest compliments anyone can give me is that they loved my writing, followed closely by complimenting my fragrance or smell. I’m a Taurus after all and we are all about the senses. My blog got bigger and then Instagram was born and I thought it would be a great way to advertise my writing. That slowly morphed into what it is today. But I never set out to be known and I wasn’t prepared to live my life in the public eye. I didn’t want the scrutiny that came with that. Can you wrap your head around 200 people a day telling you what you should wear, how you should look, how you should speak, what hairstyle actually suits you, what work you should get done, what products you should use..every single day of your life.
It’s enough to make even the strongest most self-assured person crack into a million pieces of their former self. It’s what drives some up and coming content creators to want to fade away into obscurity. Social Media is a gift but there’s a dark underside that most people never experience. Those who succeed have to somehow tackle the issue of remaining true to themselves in spite of the criticism, critiques and unsolicited advice. Aging in the public eye is no different. I know I don’t look my age. To some, I probably don’t dress my age either. I don’t have most things that a woman my age in today’s society are supposed to have (a husband & children) and I revel in that. I’m a bit of a rebel, what can I say. I march to the beat of my own drum. I’m now comfortable living my life my way for everyone to see because it provides another narrative of what a woman CAN be and CAN do, even if it’s not the societal norm. I’m happy to be an outlier. I will leave this earth the same way I came in it. I didn’t succumb to the pressures to be perfect, to get veneers, to get my body done, to get botox. No shade… I don’t feel the need to ever augment myself because I am happy with what God gave me and what God gave me, got me here.
How Did I Get Here?
Now, I didn’t get to this place in life on purpose. Did I think at 30 years of age that at 40 I’d be childless and single? No, I didn’t. I like everyone else was sold the dream. That the perfect man would come along and I’d live happily ever after. I’m absolutely sure that if I wanted to be, I could have had children and also married but honestly, I just never met someone that I thought was worth being with long term nor procreating with. My relationships have been marred by cheating spouses and general incompatibility. Not saying that those things put me off but I realized I preferred a more non-stressful lifestyle. I’d much rather be alone than to be stressed in any capacity about a relationship. I became very good at trimming the fat off my life in my 30s and standing firm on my boundaries. As I breezed through my 30s my friends started falling away into 3 categories: married, married with children and single. I know there are great marriages out there and great men out there, but my single girlfriends are just as happy as my friends who are in good marriages.
But the majority of my friends who are married, especially those with children, are going through it. I’ve been told on numerous occasions NOT to have children. But it’s not even that advice that makes me think twice, it’s the fact that I thrive by myself. Maybe that’s selfish but I thoroughly enjoy my own company. I don’t feel the need to always have someone to do things with. I will travel by myself, dine by myself and dance by myself. People mistake being by themselves with being alone and lonely. I’m hardly ever lonely. I have a very full life. I also have the freedom to pick up and do what ever I please. Which to me, is one of the ultimate luxuries in life. I’m not sure if I’d want to disrupt that element of my life especially with everything happening in the world at this time. I’m slowly nearing an age where kids will be off the table for me. Perhaps one day I will get married but I don’t know any more than you do. But I do love children and have quite a bit of them in my life with nephews and nieces that I’m happy I can give back to their parents. The years went by and although I had relationships in my 30s nothing much came from them. Maybe it will be different in my 40s when I can focus more on that aspect of my life and enjoy the business I’ve built for myself.
So What’s Next?
My next act in life will definitely involve writing and fashion but on a different scale. I could be a content creator forever though. I’ve seen fashion influencers in their 50s, 60s hell, even 70s killing it and still being relevant in the global fashion conversation. The same people who followed me 10 years ago are still following me and also aging with me. Thus, I will always have an audience and I know that the work that I do transcends age. It’s more about sharing my life and experiences and those things know no age. So I’m not worried about aging out of full-time content creation or booking jobs. Let’s not forget most women my age have disposable incomes and are looking for the things to invest in whether that’s fashion or travel. In case you thought any different, I want to reiterate that I am the most content that I’ve ever been in my entire life. I feel happy, grateful, fulfilled and excited about what this next decade in life will bring. I still have big dreams and big goals and I plan on achieving every single one. The major lesson my 30s taught me is that I’m living my life for me and not for anyone else. I have to make this the best life ever because it’s the only one I get. So no one other than God and I, gets to have a say in how it should be. Do yourself a favor and tune out the should people in your life. They will have you doubting yourself and thinking that they’ve done life twice, instead of for the first time. If you happen to be older, single and childless just know there can be happiness in that. Don’t let society tell you there’s something wrong with you. The same goes if you’re happiest with a partner and it’s been your lifelong dream to have children. Only YOU know what’s good for you and what a happy life looks like for you. I’m on my way to being 40 and fabulous darlings…and we’re going to celebrate!
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