If I am granted the opportunity to reminisce in old age about my youth, I feel like I will point to my thirty-third year as one of great turmoil, pain, change; but also ultimately a year of tremendous growth. With that said, I’m going to cut myself some slack deem it wholly acceptable that my annual 40 by 40 update is an entire month late. It’s 2020.
Anything goes y’all.
To start however, I feel compelled to look back briefly to last year’s birthday celebration. I went out to dinner with friends. We ate, laughed, opened presents, and shared cake. It was casual, but nice. I knew that my world was up in the air but I still longed for the status quo to return. In the days following that celebration however, I was unexpectedly served with divorce papers and my life was upended in more ways than I could imagine. Looking back now, I scarcely recognize my former self and for that, I am surprisingly grateful.
The gloriousness that has been 2020 began soon after and so many plans I made — including plans to mark scuba diving off my 40 by 40 list — got cancelled. And while a lot has been taken from me (and quite frankly, the entire world) in the past year, I feel like I have personally been gifted with so much more. Clarity. Resolve. Love. And as of late, deep Peace and Acceptance. I’m hopeful that my thirty-fourth year will find me diving deeper into this new life of mine and committing more fully to the path I long to pursue. But for now, an update:
Put a Wild Color Streak(s) in my hair (even if temporary) (Level 1)
When April rolled around and it became very clear that normal 9 to 5 office hours would not be taking place, I decided there was no better time to truly mark this one off my list. I did some research and ended up ordering Overtone in Pink for Brunettes. I already had several lighter portions of my hair from previous highlights, etc. The Overtone color accentuated these and became the most pleasant rosy pink. I rocked the pink for nearly three months (most notably in the COVID-friendly porch photoshoot Holland and I did before we sold our other home) and then decided to chop all my hair off and start fresh. It was a lot of fun for me and I would not rule out using another fun color in the future. Who says that you can’t be a little wild in your 30’s?
Get a Holland related tattoo (Level 2)
Last December I finally took the plunge and got the ink that had been on my mind since the early days after #LittleLadyHolland was born. One night while nursing at some ungodly hour, I stumbled across a poem on Pinterest entitled On Children by Kahlil Gibran. I remember rocking Holland while I read it and tears streamed down my face. It was the most stunning depiction of the weight of parenthood that I had encountered. I knew immediately I wanted to have something to remind me of my sacred duty — as the stable bow — inked onto my skin. I’m so happy I finally did it!
Officially speaking, those are the only two additional items I can truly cross off the list this year. I know. I’m running behind. That said, I do have high hopes for 2021 and without giving too much away, I’m hoping that my Year 34 update will include notes about my progress (or completion) of the following items on my 40 by 40 list.
Write a (good) short story or novel
Read 3 “classics” I haven’t read before
Perfect homemade biscuit recipe
Purchase and display original artwork from a local artist
Writ/Send Letters to 3 mentors who have impacted my life
Invest in luxury bedding
Pay off all student debt
Celebrate New Year’s Eve in a big city
Go scuba diving
Do an unassisted pull-up
If that seems like quite a bit to work on during my thirty-fourth year, well, it is. Perhaps it is a little too ambitious. But that’s okay. I’ve done so many things this year that I never thought I’d have to do in my 30’s including surviving a divorce, buying a new home alone, and solo parenting while working full-time (and remote!) during a global pandemic.
If my 33rd year has taught me anything, it is that I am — eh, we — we are capable of the impossible. So let’s speak positivity and light into 2021 for ourselves and our loved ones. I’ve got this. And so do you.