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Today is my last day in my 30s.

 

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Thank you Park Hyatt Shanghai for the lovely birthday cake!

I knew there would be a lot on my mind today so I didn’t write this in advance. Normally posts are done days, even weeks, ahead of time. I can polish and revise, triple check my spelling and let Brian have time to edit and make it pretty with a photo or two. Not today. Today is all me, still slightly jet-lagged with a cup of pu- erh tea, writing in real time.

Here it goes. Here is what I know about life at 39.

My life is a balance (?) of optimism and fear. They fight it out daily. Most days optimism wins, but occasionally fear has its day. The war between the two is what brings progress. It is what pushes me forward. Fear has its place but it can’t be the only place I operate from.

The only person I can make me happy is ME. I’ve spent much of my life trying to take responsibility for the happiness of others, usually at the expense of my own. When someone is sad or struggling, I try to take them on my back and carry them to a better place. The hard truth is if someone else isn’t ready to take action on their dreams, nothing I do will matter. It may sound selfish but the reality is if I am happy then those around me are happier too.

There is no such thing as playing it safe. I tried the path to a secure future. I bought a house, had a corporate job and even got married (much to everyone’s surprise). Doing the things you are supposed to do doesn’t mean it will be smooth sailing for the rest of your life. Staying married takes work. The 9-5 paycheck job brought more anxiety to my life than running my own business. While following my passion has brought me great satisfaction but it does not mean I don’t get tired and frustrated. Finding your path doesn’t mean it will always be clear. There is NO finish line in life. There are no guarantees even if you play by the rules.

Aging is a process to be slowed. I am not afraid of the number 40 and the changes it brings to the female body. I think the fountain of youth comes from clean eating and strength training. I also think they can be helped out with sunscreen, facials and a good CC cream. I will continue to color my hair to cover the grays that started in my 20s. I’m not denying my age; I am redefining what 40 means.

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No filter but good light always helps. I promise I am happier than I look.

Control is an illusion. I love to travel but I find takeoff very stressful. During takeoff, I close my eyes and try to take deep breaths as I will the plane into the air. On the flight to Tokyo a week ago, as the plane speed up to break free from the ground, tears came to my eyes as I realized something very important. I am not in control. I cannot do anything but try to enjoy the ride. I can take precautions, like buckling my seat belt and reviewing the safety card in front of me. I can make sure I have my meds, money and passport. Other than that, the journey is completely out of my hands. Such is life.

I am not afraid of turning 40. I am proud of where I stand and who I am. I am stronger than I have ever been: physically and mentally. I don’t mourn “my youth” today. I celebrate my life and everything that has gotten me here. I would never wish to go back and do it over again but I also wouldn’t change a thing.

 

 

 

 

 

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