On my forties

This year is already flying by so fast that I just today realized how close my birthday is.

I’ll be forty-three in just a few weeks. Naturally, I’ve been thinking a lot about my forties. I’ve noticed that each decade of my life seems to have an over arcing theme.

My twenties were about learning that pretty much everything I’d been taught about life, people, and right and wrong, was complete bullshit. It’s the decade that I came to terms with my atheism.

I got married because it’s just what you did. I followed the pre-programmed life plan that every good christian is taught, and of course, as soon as I realized that there was no rational reason to live in misery because an old book says I have to, that whole life plan began to fall apart. There’s a lot to unpack there, but I’m not going to go into it.

My thirties were about finding my way again, learning to be happy again. There was some fumbling, and consequently, some tough lessons learned. It wasn’t until my late thirties that I actually started living, instead of just surviving. Up until then, every year had been a struggle just to stay afloat, financially and emotionally.

My forties, so far, have been about friendships. I’ve spent a lot of time examining my friendships, learning which ones have been worth trying to hang onto, and which ones actually ran their course years ago, or had been toxic since the beginning. For example, I’ve stopped clinging to one sided friendships. Some people in my life were friends that I’ve known since high school. Back then we were great friends. Over time, we became very different people. I kept trying to contact these people, kept trying to force the friendship when these people were making no attempt to do the same. As tough as it’s been, I’ve now let all of these friendships go, and not surprisingly I haven’t heard anything from those people since. I now recognize those kinds of friendships very quickly, and I let them go just as fast.

I’ve also learned that some of the friendships I’d clung to were not beneficial to me in any way. That is to say, these people only contacted me when they needed something, even if that something is just emotional support. The rest of the time, they vanish. It’s amazing how these people will find me after not having spoken for years. I reassure them, I help them out, whatever, then they disappear again, and ignore my attempts to contact them. I’ve let those people go too. One tried to contact me on hangouts a few months ago, I just ignored her. I’m done with being that friend to people.

Likewise, I’ve learned which of my relationships continue to enrich my life. I’ve learned how to be a better friend, and consequently, how to be a better partner to my SO. To sum it up, statistically speaking, I’ve only got twenty to thirty years left. I don’t have time for bullshit anymore.

Granted, I haven’t yet hit the halfway point in this decade of my life. So who knows where I’ll be at fifty.

I feel pretty good about it though.

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