I recently turned 40 years old. And I love my age. On my birthday I practically shouted to the roof tops about it. In fact, I did shout it out on Facebook. My friends and family graciously congratulated me.
And I think congratulations are in order. Not for reaching this milestone so much as for choosing happiness.
I’m a much happier person at 40 than I was at 20. It’s too bad I didn’t have the self-confidence and drive back then to make my own happiness. I probably would have made some different life choices.
Like opting not to wear chambray shirts.
I see those hipsters trying to bring chambray back into fashion, and I ask you – why? Nobody over the age of 10 looks good in chambray. Nobody.
But perhaps my chambray wardrobe choice of days gone-by has helped make me who I am today. Because eventually I looked at photos of myself in my sleeveless, button-down chambray shirt and said no, there must be a better way. And that’s the path I pursued. And it’s all about the journey, right?
Since I like who I am and I love my life, than maybe it’s a good thing I made the decisions I did (good and bad).
Who knows, people of the world. As much as I loathe the look, your chambray shirt choices of the past — be it 20 years ago or 20 minutes ago — may be life-changing.
Slight exaggeration of course but there’s something to be said about looking back at how you got from point A to point B. Acknowledging the detritus you left behind and the awesome people and experiences you’ve held tight. How it’s made you better. Stronger.
It took me a good long while to learn that happiness is a decision I need to make. A choice of how want to live and who I want to be. I say this with a strong understanding of depression and it’s ability to take over a person’s life. Depression runs in my family. I’m not oblivious to its toll.
But there is no one holding me back from living the life I want. I’m not molding myself to fit anyone else’s expectations. Wasted effort.
I’m keeping to my own truth and establishing how I want to live from there.
Often, we are asked about those pivotal or life-changing moments that flip our outlook and perspective. Those moments that change everything. Our personal histories are full of these moments, and there are two that stand out for me:
- breaking my back cliff-diving in 2001 and the associated pulmonary ambolism (good times were not had)
- the birth of my daughter in 2009 (definitely good times)
Both experiences flipped my life completely. Beyond what I ever thought possible. And they’ve made me appreciate my past. They’ve helped me to be present in my present. And they’ve helped me to look forward to a future I am creating for myself.
Yes, bad things happen. A terrible truth. And we all make mistakes. I’ve made some seriously bad kick-me-in-the-ass choices (chambray shirt example to name one) but I’ve learned from them. Failure is okay. Being happy is okay too.
And you know what? This outlook gives me a sense of relief. Because I get to be who I want to be. Who I am. Without worrying about the expectations of people who frankly don’t matter.
Whether you’re 20 or 40 or somewhere in between, I hope you do the same.
(That said, if you choose to wear chambray, I will mock you. Mercilessly.)
[update: April 26, 2013] – Per Amy’s comment below, I’m clarifying that chambray = denim. So all you denim-shirt wearers…I’m calling you out! (Including you, Amy. Including you.)
8 Responses to “Some life choices include wearing chambray”
You know I had to google chambray shirt to know what you were talking about. Turns out it’s the shirt I’m wearing while reading and commenting.
Amy recently posted..Cranberry Sauce
LOL – I guess I should make an edit to the post to clarify that it means “denim” shirt. I’m telling you though, it was called chambray back in the day!
Coffee with Julie
Seriously? I swear it was called a “jean shirt” back in my day. And now it’s fancy and chic to wear a “chambray shirt”! 🙂 I love your new banner … really beautiful and cool!
Ha – Julie. So true. Fancy-schmancy chambray. Whatever – it’s denim! Thanks for the compliment on my new banner. I take zero credit. It’s all this guy – http://www.mathiole.com/portfolio/ (used with permission of course).
You look awesome! Life is a journey and if we let it it just gets better 🙂 Happy 40, Mel.
ayala recently posted..Boston Strong
Totally agree, Ayala. 🙂
Melany, this is a great blog! I LOVE my 40’s. It’s the happiest I’ve ever been! I only wish I’d been this happy and confident in my 20’s also. But like you, I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I used to dwell on those mistakes but not I look at them, and yes, the bad things that have happened to me, and I realize they all make me who I am today. Lol..I also used to wear chambray shirts, but like many things from “back in the day” I’ve left them long behind me. Cheers to your 40th year!
Sandy recently posted..Canadian Gardening ~ DK Canada Books ~ #Review #Giveaway
Hi Sandy – thanks so much for your kind words about my blog. It’s been a bit neglected of late since much of my focus has been on helping to organize the Social Capital Conference. I’m eager to get back in the swing of things. As for turning 40, I love it! I think this will be the best decade of my life thus far. 🙂