To be perfectly honest, I wrote a similar piece when I was 30, but only because I was just as sure that I was in my best years then. Not only this, but I sincerely hope that in another ten years you will be able to read another article with the same title, because every period in our lives has its own charm ‒ especially, when we are able to find a certain balance between our body and soul, our physical and inner beauty, between what we are presently, and what we wish to yet become. Forties are most certainly a breaking point. You realise you are no longer a girl, and if you happen to be a mother, then you realise from the start that you will never ever come first anymore. Or maybe you will, once you’re older and everything around you is in perfect order and it’s finally time for that trip around the world or a romantic couples’ cruise in the Caribbean sea. I don’t know about you, but this is how I picture myself in my seventies.
I’ve been balancing the tip of the ridge the past few days and I’m on a new island, where I get to discover hidden places I’ve never seen before, and colours that keep getting more interesting. I am finally content with what I have and don’t feel disscontent about the things that I don’t have ‒ probably because I believe they are yet to come. Little Sofia taught me a lot on this trip: she showed me the light when I didn’t see it and the exit when I thought there was not one in sight. And she taught me to send everything to hell, sit down on the carpet and play with dolls, run around the yard with a ball, and glide down the slide with many other mothers looking at me in wonder. And I learned to let go of things, especially when they become unbearable. I just say “OK, Lorella, that’s enough, just stop it.” And those are the moments my magical child is at her happiest; I get the feeling that she is fully aware that she has achieved her goal, getting me back, a hundred percent her mother without any other troubling thoughts or life questions. Just me.
I have learned to say Thank you, and not to take anything for granted; that I have a lot, because there are kind stars shining down on me from the sky, keeping me safe. There is a particularly bright star among them that knows how to reach my heart with her steady hands and blue eyes. I also learned that friendship is the most precious thing, as if you were in a mine and for once in your life found the most sparkling diamonds. Deep down you know they’re there somewhere, but the problem is in finding them. I speak less and listen more, pay more attention to details and let go of things sooner. Taking a long time to forget is in my nature, but I do know how to forgive, and I don’t ever hold grudges.
And this is my time. The time of a woman, who strolls around her favourite town without a guilty conscience, her head in the clouds, who can spend two hours inside a drugstore, because she’s in love with lipsticks, who starts a conversation with a stylist in an American store, and ends up crying with laughter. Or she stays in the hotel room, gazing at the skyscrapers and just watches for twenty minutes how the light changes almost every minute. She then closes her eyes, takes a deep breath and allows herself to feel the unbelievable calmness within her heart. And that everything is right. Because she is now 40 years old and it’s OK to say No; not just once, but sometimes more often, even if that hurts someone’s feelings. Because we are all moving, like life itself, like a wild river that swallows me up and pushes my head underwater. But that’s OK, I’m still here and I still feel extremely alive, actually, as alive as I’ve ever been.