I’ll be honest, I’ve been dreading this week. It’s my last week in my thirties and being forty just hasn’t been something I’ve been looking forward to.
I wanted this birthday to just never happen. But so far I’ve glided towards the big day, in three days time, will what feels like grace and dignity. 2018 has already been amazing and things are starting to change, or rather I’m starting to change, again.
I wonder if we ever really have our shit together, or it’s simply just something that we move towards, life changes, people change, we change.
At the end of 2017, I felt like it was the beginning of getting old. I liked my job but did I really want to do it for much longer? Life was good but was this all there was til retirement in 27 years time?
I read a book, I’ve mentioned it before, called the Four Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferris, and although the four hour work week is a distant dream for me right now, it really triggered me into thinking “what do I want out of life?”, “do I need to stay on this plodding path?” and most importantly, “what’s the worst that can happen?”.
Well, the last question turned out to be really motivating. What’s the worst that can happen? Sure, if I took a leap of faith, and it went wrong, I could lose a lot, but would it kill me? and would it be as bad as I imagine it could be? There’s a whole load of degrees of failure, and the worst case scenario relies on 100% failure. This prompted me to realise how much control I feel I need to have, and it is a lot. It challenged me to let a bit of that control go, and I have! I have never 100% failed, because 100% failure means you don’t try again. I’ve long believed that success is found through failure, or rather learning the way not to do things. Every failure should teach you something.
So, I went for a job that was so far out of my comfort zone, it was exhilarating and petrifying when I got the call inviting me to the interview. In my new head space, I sat outside the office, and promised myself I would not put my best foot forward, I would simply be myself. Being authentic is something 2017 has taught me to be proud of, not to hide away from because people find me direct and too honest. In fact, I think the first thing I said to interview panel was something like “I’m going to be brutally honest, I say it as I see it, I don’t believe in being diplomatic, I believe in getting to point and then working together to fix things, if that’s not what you’re after, then lets stop here”. They were intrigued! For the first time ever in my career, the interview ran over, not because I was talking, but because they were interested in me and my creative approach. We talked and talked and talked and I left feeling like that was the best interview of my life. More importantly though, I really liked the feeling I got from the individuals on the panel. I felt they “got” me.
Good interview or not, there could always be someone better, although I told myself not to underestimate myself or over estimate others. A few days later, I had the most wonderful feedback on the interview, the interview where I was not out to impress, just to simply be myself. I was asked questions about things that had been on my mind like the massive change in fields, whether I was ready to leave a role that I love and this further assured me that they “got” me. I was offered the job!
It was so hard resigning from my current role, leaving an amazing bunch of people but I’m super excited about this new adventure. It’s not the four hour work week, but its interesting to do something new and this will give me a new lease of life whilst the main plan develops and evolves into being.
Another thing that has happened this year already, I was finally able to have refractive laser surgery. I’ve been turned down so many times because of my prescription but now they have Relex Smile. My vision went from -9.0 with astigmatism in both eyes, to -0.5 with no astigmatism within 24 hours. What I cannot convey to anyone, is just how massive this change is. Sure, I have had glasses and contacts before, but I have NEVER seen what I am seeing now. The goal was never to not need glasses, just to get to a level where I could see my glasses would have made me happy! Amazingly, I no longer need glasses, which I have worn since I was 3 or 4. It’s emotional every time I look at something, I see it much clearer, and much sharper and I can see at least twice as far as I used to be able to with glasses. This is truly miraculous to me. I have a check up with my surgeon next week and three weeks later, I’ll have a full eye test with the optometrist. The price did make the control freak in me worry, but my new approach to life meant I just went for it, and I’m so glad I did, I’d happily pay three or even four times as much, maybe more for what I have now.
I’ve also noticed that I care much less about things that used to bother me about my body. This is a really big thing for me too, it’s given me a lot more space in my head and much less negative self talk that needs to be kept in check. I simply accept my body as it is and that’s it. It’s liberating!
So, I’ve still three days to go, but already forty is looking really appealing. Being myself is good, and people like that. Being able to see is just miraculous, I hope I never lose the wonder I have, sight is a precious thing and good sight really should be appreciated. And, if I care less about the niggly things about my body, I have more time to develop my dream life over the next few years.
Now, very excited to be forty!