If you know me, and by now most of you do, I am a straight shooter. I see things as they are and call them as they are. With that said, I am not going to mince words here or sugarcoat the fuckery that is your late 40s.
Everyone tells you that your 40s are AMAZING. You have a greater sense of self, you stop caring what people think, you accept and love all that you are, your beauty radiates from within, blah, blah, bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, my 40s trump my 30s and even my 20s for that matter, but fuck…no one tells you about the shitstorm that shows up in your late 40’s and the destruction it leaves behind. On the eve of my 48th birth year, I am here to tell you the truth (specifically about your late 40s): forty is not all that fabulous. Forty is not the new 20. Forty is the new reality show entitled: “What in the actual fuck is happening to me?”. I am about to share with you, what no one (that has come before me) ever revealed to me. Buckle-up, Buttercup.
Let’s examine the shit show from the beginning, shall we?
There I was, two months into my 47th skip around the sun, staring in the mirror, wondering who that person was looking back at me. My browbone drooping a little lower – throwing shade to my upper lid, crows feet looking more like craters, the colonies of gray hairs that have emerged… celebrating their independence, my favorite MAC lipstick shade (“Faux”) finding residency in my lip lines, and my 34 longs, better known as boobs, have become besties with my bellybutton. And that’s just what’s happening externally. I’ll leave the achy back, pulled muscles, and bones cracking to the beat of “Baby Shark” for another blog. I get it, we all age, our skin loses its elasticity, our bones stiffen up, etc. – it happens. However, the fuckery for me is this shitstorm seemed to come out of nowhere. There I was, basking in my new 47-year-old glow, and boom…the skies darkened, winds picked up and the storm had its way with me.
So yeah, 47 has been the most UNFUN year yet. From the moment I blew out the candles on my unicorn birthday cake, I felt like I was moving through quicksand. Along with that fleeting youthful glow, my ambition dulled on me as well. My type-A, go-getter, high-energy, spirited-self walked out on me, without any warning. No – “goodbye, this isn’t working”. No – “I think we should take a break”. No – “I am leaving you for a younger goal digger”. No – Nothing. For the first time in my life, I became idle, goal-less, energy-less, inspired-less, to-do-list-less…and with all that, came feeling less-than. My sense of self took a beating on all fronts. Insecurities I thought I put to rest years ago, reemerged. The shit talker that I sent packing a few years back, reappeared, and this time brought her bitchy sister Tina, for shits and giggles. The stories I was telling myself were familiar relics from years past: “I’m too old, too saggy, too ugly, too unqualified, too unloveable, too worthless, too-every disempowering tale you can think of”.
All year, I kept telling my friends that I felt stuck, but now that I see it for what it was, I wasn’t stuck. I was in reverse. I was a wrinkled, gray-haired, boob-sagging-47-year-old, aging forward, but soulfully regressing. And that’s when it hit me, the battle I was engaged in had nothing to do with what was happening on the outside. I was at war with the shitstorm occurring on the inside.
The good news is, I never stay on the battlefield for very long. The fixer in me gets impatient and begins to repair the situation. Furthermore, my birthday is approaching, which is when I typically get my shit together and gear up for the new year. I treat my birthday like most people treat New Years – setting goals, intentions, etc. With each upcoming trip around the sun, I deeply reflect on who I was when the birth year started, how I’ve grown (or not) and the intention (which acts as my year-long guide) I want to establish for the year ahead. I set my goals in place, manifest what it looks and feels like and then release it to the universe. That’s my yearly birthday ritual.
As I reflected on this past year, I realized forty-seven had me living life outside of myself, so I didn’t have to face what was happening internally. It wasn’t so much what I was seeing (although the mirror doesn’t lie, folks), but more of what I was feeling. I struggled to find the things I loved about myself. I focused more on what was lacking, and we know nothing ever good comes from that. So, as I turn the page, a new chapter begins, welcoming my 48th year. I established one goal (usually my list contains 5 or more) for this year. That goal is self-acceptance. Being able to tolerate and eventually approve of all the saggy, baggy, flabby, crabby parts of me. Just embracing all of it and being grateful for it…because I’m alive and healthy. Instead of focusing on aging, I am repositioning it as, maturely flourishing. Four fucking decades of maturely flourishing (except forty-seven… forty-seven, I definitely aged – lol). And my intention, which directly aligns with the goal of Self Acceptance is to embrace and be more intimate with all facets of myself – to find something to love about all my layers.
To be able to feel and hold and see the beauty and the shit that make up this gorgeous, crazy, sometimes really hard life.
To be able to look at the wrinkles forming around my eyes and mouth, the grey roots that haunt me, the softness that holds me together and feel my shoulders relax as I settle into the beauty of all of it.
To be able to make mistakes and still choose love.
To be able to know the difference between speaking my truth and knowing my truth.
To be able to gently hold the vulnerable bits. The parts where I’m learning how to ask for help. The parts where I’m trying to open up to even more love. The parts where I’m admitting that I don’t know. The parts where I’m listening more and softening judgment more and letting things just be when that is the right move.
This is my intention.
THIS is 48.
Janis Gaudelli is The Founder of The Daily Feels. She started this passion project to reveal the magic behind storytelling, and how truth-based narratives bring people together in the most heart-warming of ways. Fascinated by soul, depth, intellect, raw truths and rebellion with a cause. Often captivated by the awe of nature: star gazing, moon manifesting, sunset chasing, waves crashing, crickets singing. Fiercely curious about the inner-workings of the human psyche… she professionally studies human behavior for a living. Forever proud and grateful for being a mom to the force that fuels her life: her 7-year-old son, and greatest professor, Kellan.