Does life begin at 40? Abso-friggin-lutely!
I’m a planner by nature, but it’s totally by coincidence that my daughter would leave for college around the same time that I’m turning 40. I look at it as a time of rebirth for both of us. While she gets to create a new identity among people she’s never met, I have the chance to reintroduce myself to the me that slowly faded over time. Growing up, I was always Mary’s daughter or Jason’s sister. I had my daughter right after college and became Jordan’s mother. For 18 years, I’ve answered to that title proudly and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But for the first time since I left my college campus, I’m just Lisa again.
I made a conscious decision to move to a more diverse and active neighborhood back in May, one that fits who I really am when I’m not chauffeuring a kid around or making midnight runs to Wal-Mart for last minute supplies for a project. I’m free to go out for drinks after work on the spur of the moment or try the new recipe I saw in a magazine without worrying if someone else will like it. If I want to spend hours in the little bookstore down the street, I can. Wandering the halls of the history museum to check out the 1904 World’s Fair exhibit one more time or sitting in front of Monet’s Water Lilies for hours is no longer met with impatient glances. I’m not going to get all Jennifer Hudson on you and start singing about feeling good. I will say that whether it’s late nights or early mornings, my time is my own, and I’m cherishing every minute of it.