Kalin Thomas is a television producer and writer who’s currently working on her first book. In her first guest post for Women at Forty, Kalin talks about an epiphany she had, on her fortieth birthday…
I started preparing for my 40th birthday 6 months in advance. I knew I was going to have a huge party and look fabulous — and I did! However, looking fabulous is not the same as feeling fabulous. Earlier that year I had been laid off of my TV job after 17 years, and at the same time a lot of the problems in my marriage were coming to a head (after being together 17 years and married for almost 9). It’s amazing how being at home everyday can pull you out of marriage denial and force you to take action. At 40 I not only expected to be further along in my career, but well on my way to my 10th wedding anniversary. I also didn’t expect the horrors of 9/11 to happen a few months before my 40th birthday. That event brought many families and spouses closer together — sadly that didn’t happen for us. But it did cause me to do a lot of soul searching.
Still, I was “40 and Fabulous!” — at least that’s what it said on my birthday cake — and I looked good, if I do say so myself. My party was wonderful, but as I was enjoying the festivities something hit me. It was like the epiphany that Oprah talks about. I was having a good time, and I realized I didn’t want to be unhappy in the 2nd half of my life. It was at that moment that I decided to get a divorce. Divorce isn’t an easy decision to come to — especially when there’s still love there, and both spouse’s parents have been married more than 40 years. But it wasn’t the first time I’d thought about it, just the first time I’d made a decision. And once I’d made that choice in my head, it felt like a huge weight lifted from my chest and I was able to really party the rest of the night. I felt free and more like myself than I had in years. It’s true that at 40 you no longer put up with bull, and you learn to not just make others happy, but to make yourself happy. So all in all, 40 was a good year!
Kalin Thomas is a television producer and reporter who’s currently working on her first book. The former CNN travel reporter and correspondent is also the owner and creator of See The World Productions, which provides a variety of travel related TV/Video Production and media services to clients.