The end of an era has arrived and now I am looking down the throat of a milestone. 40. The Big Four Oh. Tomorrow at precisely 10:17 am I came into this world 40 years ago. My dad always says well you are actually already in your 40th year… yeah, yeah Dad…

My dear mother always called me at the exact time and would tell me the story all over again, as how it was raining like crazy, thunderstorms and she stepped out of the car into a water puddle. How she was drugged, even though she gave natural child birth, she was in and out of it. I guess that’s what they did back then. She had long beautiful hair, down to her waist and the nurses were all fussing about it, “what are we going to do with this hair?” She, in her drugged state, was terrified they would cut it off. They didn’t.
I cannot believe I am at this major milestone in my life and she isn’t here to share it with me in person. She is in my heart and on the tip of my tongue all the time, but she isn’t here to laugh with and hug and tell her thank you. She would always make my most very favorite dessert for my birthday, Boston Creme Pie, and no one can make it like she did. Not even me, not that I won’t try. She used an iron skillet to bake the cake in and came up with a magical concoction for the yummy rest. She’s done that for as long as I can remember. I miss her terribly.
I have decided that in my 40’s and forever more… I am going to do what I want to do to please myself and not care about pleasing everyone else, which I think most of us do. I’m not going to become this uncaring person, but I’m going to try to let myself be free to act the way I feel inside and dress the way I feel inside and not worry about my body not being the ideal size. I want to truly be myself and I think time is the only thing that will allow us to do that. To be true to oneself that is.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!

Shakespeare. He had it going on. Or at least he had a whole lot of meanings floating around and pretty ways to say them. Either way, I like this one for sure.
I’m not nearly as deep as this all sounds. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a jokester more than a deep thinker. But I do think deep sometimes… more now than ever. I think about life, death and my son and his life for the future. I think about how I wish things to be different but know that in 20 years or even less… things will be different. I think about how my mom lived just a few months longer than her mom and wonder if I too have the same fate and my son who is an only child will bury his mother at too young of an age.
Yes, 40 brings with it a certain freedom. Freedom from trying to be something I’m not and the freedom to re-create myself to what I hopefully will like. I like to think I’ll be free with myself to be who I am in my heart… maybe I’ll be like one of my most memorable and earliest influential art teachers, Mrs. Schenk, who was such a free spirit and obviously didn’t care what anyone thought of her as she wistfully floated around the classroom with her scarves to “A Starry starry night”. I hope I feel that sort of freedom.

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