Editor’s note: Tricia’s approaching 40 and she’s on a roll. Literally. No really, literally. She’s recently decided to follow her life long passion for writing and literature wherever it leads her. This week it’s taking her to a place of letting go of anger and a failed marriage and replacing it with forgiveness and love. All this as she approaches the age of reason…
As I count down the six weeks to my fortieth birthday, it occurs to me how my thinking has changed this year. I’ve let go of many ideas that were holding me back, keeping me cocooned in immaturity, and am approaching the rise to many others.
I’ve let go of anger toward my parents for not protecting me enough, for not being there for me when I needed guidance; instead, I now see those days when I battled it out on the streets, in the schools, and in my relationships in the Bronx as fertile ground for the strength I needed to overcome emotional, mental, and physical difficulties. I appreciate now the tools my mother gave me to survive when she was unable to teach me herself: books, and my love of the written word.
I am finally coming to that long dreamed of place in my life in which my passion for literature and writing are coming to the fore of my existence, earning me peace and contentment. To my father, I am grateful for the lesson that men are, as my mother has said, “a luxury, not a necessity,” and that I’d always had enough love. Early and consistent abuse from a relative taught me that I now have the ability to protect myself and others. It taught me, too, to look closely at my family’s dynamics, wherein I have gained revelations that feed my being.
In the past month of my journey to forty, I have let go, finally, of my failed marriage. I no longer lay blame at my ex-husband and his wife’s feet. Like so many other women in that realm, I have, over the years, gone through every phase of the healing process, only to find myself angry and bitter, tearing my soul out of its skin in the end. Now I know that really, there is nothing left to be angry about; I needed a life without that man in it, but the years I spent with him taught me some very valuable lessons about what is important to me in this life. It’s been so hard to get there, but I learned that I am an entity of and unto myself, that autonomy is the best of all worlds for me, and the freedom to be who I am is worth its weight in what I didn’t or couldn’t earn inside that marriage. I am grateful that his wife took him out of my way, lightening my emotional space so that I could exist there as I am—good AND bad.
Perhaps because I’d always idealized the age of forty, I am discovering what it truly means to grow into my elder consciousness as well as my aging spirit. No, I don’t look like I did twenty years ago, but that’s cool—beauty is different at this age. Beauty is how I feel, what I think, and how I put my thoughts into words that sustain me. My laughter is a song to me now, rather than a long, loud façade over my pain.
Forty is everything I imagined it to be, and many things I did not. Most of all, forty is the me I always wanted to be, with room to grow. Hello, forty. I’ve been waiting for you like a long lost love. We are me, and I am almost exactly who I want to be.
Is/was 40 your age of reason? Share your reflections on 40 in the comment section or on our Facebook Fan Page.
Tricia Amiel on Tricia: After ten years of teaching English, I’ve finally begun to live my dream of being a working writer. Lucky me. I have three children 19, 19, and 9…a little poetic. Life is good. I’m also a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader available for work. For additional information or to contact Tricia, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.