As a woman over 40, I often hear other women in this decade of life bemoaning that their glory days have passed them by and they will never be desirable or sought after again.
There’s this myth that women at this age don’t turn heads, make hearts skip a beat, and won’t ever make someone tongue-tied again. This baffles me when I hear it, since I am desperately in love with the woman I am right now and am enchanted with the one I am becoming.
My friends, let me tell you why this decade is so amazing.
Admittedly, I didn’t appreciate everything being as perky as it was when I was in my 20s, while I was in my 20s. What I can be proud of now, though, is that every curve I have in my 40s, I earned. My body has carried and given birth to two wonderful humans, one of whose birth experience proved near fatal.
My lips have kissed the foreheads of the dying, and my arms have held those melting in grief. My feet have stood their ground and walked away from what no longer serves me. I have a wicked sense of humor, a temper I have finally mastered and can use to my advantage, and enough life experience that I can relate to the precious group of friends I have curated.
Being in my 40s has given me a chance to develop and refine my core values and beliefs, and to learn how to assert boundaries. This is the stage in life where we stop chasing things we think we need and start deliberately acquiring the things we deserve. We’ve learned that intimacy goes beyond sex, our friends can be our soul mates, and we can be attracted to and connect with someone without it needing to be ruled by rigid social standards. We’ve lost patience for superficial, vapid, instant gratification; we now insist on quality, depth, focus, and genuine connection.
This is the point in life where I freely admit that I may not be eye candy anymore, and I couldn’t be more okay with that. Not saying that I don’t appreciate the occasional “slow sunglass slide down the nose” gaze—but I don’t need it.
In this season of life, as a cisgender, heterosexual, married woman, I compare what I’m becoming to more of a bottle of bourbon. One that is rare, hard to find, and held onto fiercely—an acquired taste, and something to be sipped and savored. I am, without question, top-shelf at this point in my life, and I own that.
I want to be a little intimidating, mildly elusive, wildly discerning, and set my standards at a level where you have to make an effort to get access to me. I’ve earned the right to set those parameters for myself.
I don’t want, nor do I need, rescuing. I’m a woman you go to war with—not for. In my younger years, I would have seen someone slaying dragons for me as the ultimate act of love, but now I’m more interested in being friends with the dragon.
Your 40s are an amazing time to fall wildly in love with yourself, and it will be a romance for the ages. It’s a time to say screw sexy, give me strong—physically, energetically, mentally, and emotionally strong. Give me healthy, assertive, genuine, vulnerable, passionate—surrounded by people who know, without question, that I will hold their hand or kick their ass, as needed.
Trust me, 40 is the decade we’ve been waiting for.