“Perhaps we spend the first 40 years hoping others like us, trying to make them like us, morphing into what we want them to see…”
We live in a society that’s guilty of putting a lot of pressure on milestone birthdays. From those ’30 things to do before you’re 30’ lists to those ’your biological clock is ticking’ comments, it can often feel like women are the ones who face these pressures most.
But a milestone birthday should be a time to pause, reflect and celebrate the decade that’s just passed and the one that is ahead. Just ask Fearne Cotton, who has shared a relatable and wise post about this ahead of her 40th birthday.
“As I rocket towards my 40th, I’ve been thinking; probably too much but I’ve been mulling over stuff,” she wrote in a caption alongside a sunny selfie.
“Perhaps we spend the first 40 years hoping others like us, trying to make them like us, morphing into what we want them to see, moulding our stories and words to fit a puzzle that doesn’t exist, desperate to be liked and accepted by others. Desperate to belong.”
“Then maybe we spend the next 40 or so years (or how ever long we’re on this planet) attempting to like ourselves,” she continued, “willing ourselves to accept every ounce of life that came before, settling into knowing we’re alright with all our flaws and previous mistakes, knowing the only person we need to impress or prove anything to is in fact ourselves. Remembering that we already belong.”
“Moving into the era of shedding more layers and letting go of the stuff I no longer need to carry.”
Her words are a reminder of the turbulence so many of us have had the strength to navigate through and learn from. They also reassure us that reaching the next milestone can bring so much perspective and understanding. Happy birthday, Fearne!