So, it happened. A couple weeks ago I turned 40, and I did not stumble gracefully into it. Heck, I didn't stumble at all.
I have been strategizing, worrying, planning, stewing and freaking out since the minute I turned 39, hanging on to my 30s like the kitten in the "Hang In There" posters from my youth.
Last year, on my birthday, I was not in a great place in my life. On the night of my birthday, I sat down (a little wine-soaked from dinner with some friends) and had that life assessment that birthdays seem to bring. It's the gift that nobody wants or asked for.
After a pretty rough assessment, I made a promise to myself in that moment that a year from now I would not feel the way I felt then. I was in one of the toughest times in my life. I wasn't sure what that "different" was going to look like, but I knew I had to try because I couldn't live in the headspace I was in.
Out of that "try" came a new life coaching site for singles and a six-week solo road trip that took me halfway across the country, reminding me that I am way more tough than I think I am.
Reminder: All of us are.
I would definitely say I am still "a work in progress" when it comes to all of my goals -- professionally and personally. I will be for a long time. But, as I got closer to 40, I started to notice a trend in my attitude towards life. An attitude that at first I thought might be kinda like Grumpy Smurf, but as I have moved forward, it has become my new mantra.
This amazing, life-changing mantra? "I am getting too old for this crap."
"But, wait Kira, you're a life coach! Where are the funny life lessons? Where is the contagious optimism and positivity that makes you like Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake and Funshine Bear all rolled into one?"
Stick with me, I think this one has some legs...
Here is what I'm getting too old for. An ode to my 40s...
I am too old for this game-playing crap.
I feel like in my 20s and 30s, so many conversations with friends were spent wondering about what people were thinking and talking around the obvious while doing anything to not have tough, awkward or scary conversations with people.
"Is he interested?"
"Is that person upset?"
"What do they mean by that?"
I would spend hours trying to decipher behavior or conversations like they were a Rubik's Cube. Figuring, if I let it run long enough on the hamster wheel of my mind, I would somehow figure out the complex puzzle's answer that must be hidden in there somewhere! Looking for the "a-ha moment" that just didn't exist.
Ain't nobody got time for that.
At this point, I only want to be as real as possible with the people in my life. That starts by expressing myself well and asking for what I need: Having the tough conversations, but in a kind and honest way and letting go of the confusion by asking questions (even when I am scared of the answers).
Knowing that the truth always is better in the long run, even when it hurts (temporarily).
Here is what that looks like to me:
- To always be confident enough in who I am, to let the person I am interested in actually know without playing ridiculous and exhausting games.
- When I choose to let people into my life, and it is the right time, to let them know I am on their side. That I am going to do everything in my power to be great for them. That I won't expect them to be a mind reader and will tell them what I need and when something is wrong. They'll know that I am here, as their partner in crime, to work through the hard stuff and that I am not just in this to confirm that I am loveable, but to learn, grow and build a life-changing relationship. That is where all of the gooey goodness is!
That all starts with me and being healthy enough in who I am to hold up my end of the bargain. Who's with me?
I am too old for this drama crap.
People, listen up! There are no work emergencies. There are no friend emergencies. And there are no dating emergencies.
The only emergencies that exist are life or death emergencies.
Let's put it this way: The only 3 a.m. call I want to be getting at this point better be attached to a last-minute flight to Italy with a guy named Paolo waiting for me with wine and Naples pizza at the end of it.
Everything else is just a temporary, pain-in-the-butt inconvenience.
I realize we all have moments, but if you are calling friends with "emergencies" all of the time, you need to check yourself, your choices and your coping strategies. Because, honestly, life is pretty amazing and it doesn't need to be so hard. Trust me.
If you are constantly riding the roller coaster, most likely you are also building it. Take a moment to look at the story you are telling others. Is it a tale of fun, happiness and adventure? Or is it a sad, upsetting, total downer tale of terror? Why is that? What are you doing to change it?
I am too old for this trying-to-be-perfect crap.
I am so imperfect it isn't even funny. If I actually sat down and started to overthink and critique myself about my life, someone would find me in a corner, curled up in the fetal position, simultaneously drinking champagne from the bottle while eating chocolove bars and yelling for George Clooney (the only man who could fix this disaster, obviously).
Here is what I know: I would rather keep trying for the life I want and falling down awkwardly sometimes then trying to control every part of my world around me and end up freaking out every time things don't go as planned.
If I make a mistake, I fix it the best I can. If I offend, I apologize. If I fall flat on my face, I may whine a bit, but then I pick myself up and just keep going... trying to not repeat too many of my past mistakes.
My goal for after 40? Wake up every day and do my best, riding life as the adventure is.
I am too old for crappy friendships.
Looking back over the years, I've had lots of amazing friends. However, I have also had a lot of "what the heck was I thinking" moments.
As a person who likes to fix things, including people, I have taken on a lot of projects. I tend to see the potential in people that they don't even see yet. It is what makes me a good life coach, but doesn't create great friendships. Because of this, I have learned the hard way again and again, you can't be with people, on any level, just for potential.
Not only is it unfair to them (since they shouldn't be hanging around someone who is waiting for them to change), but ultimately, I was prolonging them from changing themselves. The only way true change can be made.
Here's the truth: I chose those friendships. I built them up to what they were, continued to stay in them long past the time I should have and then victimized myself on how I never felt heard, appreciated or supported.
Not my shining hour.
At this point, I want to be in friendships that feel good. Where I feel heard, supported and they are in it to win as much as I am. That way, I can be really great for them, too. Mutual admiration societies rock!
Also, isn't that kind of the point?
Here Is Your Adventure for the Day...
- No matter if you are 25 or 65, what are you getting "too old" for in your life?
- What needs to be kicked to the curb?
- How are you going to change it?
Need a little help? If you are single and getting too old for crap, join me for The League of Adventurous Singles. A whole new life-changing group coaching experience. Get ready for the awesome.
For more by Kira Sabin, click here.
For more on emotional wellness, click here.