Forty-one looks messy. Forty-one looks like learning to ask for what I need. It looks like acknowledging the little girl part of me–who is angry, sad, jealous, stomping her foot– and telling her, “It’s okay, I’m 41, I’ve got this.”
Forty-one looks like fighting to be anti-racist, but still screwing up and being fragile. It looks like a compass, searching for the right direction, constantly waiting for the wind or puffing up the sails myself until my cheeks hurt.
Forty-one looks like setting boundaries and limits for my kids, because they do better with some parenting. Forty-one looks like admitting I’m a work in progress and I may never get it right. It looks like grey hair and cellulite and wide hips that have birthed babies.
Forty-one looks like standing on my own two feet. It looks like single motherhood. It looks like wine and chicken nuggets and tantrums and kisses on constantly moving targets. It looks like fear — and maybe also fear of the fear. It looks like flinching when I am touched. It looks like shrinking my shoulders and struggling to own the space I occupy.
Forty-one looks like love. It looks like an army crawl towards self acceptance. It doesn’t always feel older, wiser, or “normal.”
Forty-one looks like friends who are my chosen family. It looks like my daughters’ giggles and the laugh lines on my face. It looks like me.
This is 41.