Welcome to forty, shorty.

I woke up at 5 am on the nose this morning.

At first, I was pissed being that I had another hour and some change to snooze. But then I rolled over smashing a boob and groaned. Oddly enough the pain went from annoying (because I know better) to kinda hilarious.

Today is my birthday.

One I never thought I’d see, let alone find the humor in.

With breast in hand I whispered;

Welcome to forty, shorty.”

Because at thirty-anything, rolling over onto your own boob isn’t funny. It’s just another staunch reminder that your body isn’t what it used to be. That you aren’t what you used to be. We believe this, fear this and deny this when we should be embracing this.

So a few hours ago, I didn’t lie there with it in my hand suddenly pondering the worlds problems or what gravity, alcohol and lack of exercise has done to my body; I just looked down and grinned.

I earned this shit.

I earned the right not to give a fuckity-fuck what anyone else thinks. I like that I’m changing. That my face doesn’t look like it did twenty years ago.  I love that my friends and I have built relationships based on mutual respect, trust and really bad decisions. Jealousy, envy and spite have no room to grow because we’ve moved beyond it. This did not happen over night.  It was a long and difficult process that started with scars the teen years gave us. Those painful years where the bitches sharpened their claws on your fragile soul using it as practice for their future failed marriages.

And you know what? It sticks with us, hardens us.  Forcing us to keep our circles small because let’s face it; no one likes nails scored down their back.

Sadly it doesn’t end when you’re 30 or 40, either. The predators are still there in the shadows waiting to pounce. Except I’m older now, armed with weapons that time and experience have given me. Solidified by the strength from those that love me, that I love in return.

Simply put, I’m powerful.

When I see 20-somethings and 30-somethings struggle I want to tell them; relax girl, it’s all temporary.

I want to beg them to stop buying the magazines, watching the reality shows and believing the hype. It isn’t real, it isn’t healthy, duck lips are never appropriate and photoshop should only be used to remove flaws in a background, never your face.

Then I exhale, reminding myself their time will come. One day they’ll wake up after smashing their own jugs and worry about more important things like, happy hour, cotton underwear and pizza.

You can’t explain forty. You can’t even explain life leading into forty.

You can’t explain that every success, every failure, each pound lost, every five gained, was all leading you to this moment when you wake up and realize you’re thirties were good but this is better. At five in the morning looking your absolute worst with a sore boob you shrug it off, tuck it in and pour your coffee. Just yesterday you thought you were killing it at thirty nine.

But, you were wrong.

You’re crushing it at forty, shorty.