Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Than Just a Number...

When I was 29, I wrote a piece about what turning 30 means to me. It seems as though I just blinked, and here I am at age 39 reflecting upon what turning 40 means to me. At age 29, I felt like I had come full circle. I married my prince, had my first child, purchased my first home, and my career was moving along nicely. My life was blessed more than I ever dreamed it could be. In my thirties, more blessings came my way...the birth of two more children, a move to a new city, the purchase of a second home, and a major career shift...my blessings have been abundant, and I am grateful everyday for each and every one of them...

As wonderful as life has been…my thirties taught me that there is no such thing as a fairytale…There are battles and struggles we all have to go through. I learned that loss and change are a part of life...During my thirties, we experienced illness and death and all of the scars they leave behind. We lost a parent, a matriarch that was in many ways the glue of my husband’s family. We had no idea that the journey of healing from such a loss would be just that...a journey.

In addition to that loss, so many of our loved ones experienced illness, and in some cases death, and again we were left to figure out "why", and how to fill the spaces that were left empty from their passing. The experience of loss has taught me to value every day as a gift, to not live life in fear of whats to come...but to enjoy the NOW as much as you possibly can. This is a work in progress I must admit.

Over the last 10 years my husband and I have survived many of life's ups and downs, and have somehow managed to grow stonger through it all. Actually it is not “somehow”, it is our commitment to keeping “God” at the center of our life and relationship that has gotten us through the many valleys of our 30’s…A supportive network of family and friends also helped. As we both approach our 40's we remain best friends. However, we are both unfolding into a different level of understanding of ourselves and all of the pieces that surround us. We see so many things through different lenses than we did just ten years ago…even two years ago…It is an awesome experience to grow together and support each other through the transition into another decade of our life.

Turning 40 is filling me with this overwhelming desire to figure out God’s purpose for my life. I have all that I ever wanted…so I thought...I look and feel good, I have an amazing husband, phenomenal kids, a job I love, true and loyal friendships, and an extended family that loves and supports me in all that I do…but for the last year or so, I have been in such a state of discontentment…why? I keep asking myself the same question…The only thing that makes sense to me is that there must be a larger purpose for my life. God is stirring in me like never before, and has made me restless in all that I do and think.

Recently, I decided to take some time to work on ‘me'. I am working on forgiving myself for my inadequacies, and learning to accept myself as I am with no apologies. This is probrably one of the toughest challenges I have faced in a long time. I am learning to value each day as if its the last. Turning forty has made me realize that I don’t have as much time to figure "it" all out, so I am going to stop trying, and maybe "it" is not for me to figure out in the first place. I am learning to live my life without a plan. Anyone who knows me, also knows I always have a plan. I don't have a plan right now, and I am ok with that. ok...I have a few mini plans, but not a master plan. As May 26 quickly approaches, I’ve decided to take life one day at a time...My greatest desire for my 40's is to experience joy and peace from the inside out. It is in this place that I am confident that God’s plan for my life will be revealed.

I will keep you posted…Stay tuned…


  1. Alicia, this is beautifully written. While your reflections are intimate and specific to your journey, you have a way of weaving common threads that so many of us can relate to. I too cherish my family more than ever, grow closer with my soulmate with each passing day and see every day as s gift. I'm working on seeing my gifts each hour, and each minute...thank you for being so vulnerable in your writing.

    I can appreciate how you are waiting for what the Creator has in store for you. It is a wonderful journey when we decide to pursue our most ideal and compelling life. I would encourage you to shift your anticipatory equation just a bit...consider the idea that the Creator is sitting in a place with access to every resource imaginable, waiting to hear your request. Upon receiving your request, the Creator would then deliver all the resources and opportunities you need to develop action steps that lead to your compelling life's vision...

    YOU decide...HE provides...
    Looking forward to your next post!

  2. Hey Alicia!! What a way to approach turning 40. I enjoyed reading your blog especially since I will be turning 40 myself this year. Actually, most of our graduating class may find this relatable. This is our year-the 69' babies-to reflect on our lives while turning 40 as you have done via writing!! Keep up the good work!

    Peace & Blessings,

  3. Alicia,

    I am so proud of you for channeling your creative energies into such a thought- provoking, expressive, soul rendering piece. You are gifted in this area, and it's in more than the craft itself, it's in the parts of your heart and soul tht you embed within the lines. "You" are expressed in these words and it is so wonderful to see you doing that which brings you solace. A part of what you wrote reminds me of a saying that connects with me "The journey is the reward." As you move into this next stage of your journey I know that many jewels will come to you.

    Love you!

  4. Self-reflection is a beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing this, as the insight gained from your personal experiences is (and always has been) an invaluable gift to countless others. A phenomenal mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, godmother, and perhaps above all, woman. We are all so very blessed to have you in our lives and share your journey in some way.

    I look forward to seeing what exciting plans God has in store for you as you embark upon this next phase in your life! Your light is contagious and your heart filled with so much love. Keep shining:)


  5. Leesha :-)....your timing w/ this blog is PURELY IMPECCABLE. Words cannot describe how much reading this has inspired me (and put quite a few things in perspective). I’m a few years away from turning 40 & I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately (wondering where my life is headed & what will it look like in 5 years). Thanks to my big cuz (smile), I’ve learned that I don’t have to plan it, & I certainly don’t have to worry about it. God’s plan is better than any plan I could ever create. I love you & I thank you so much for this blog. Please keep writing…I appreciate it more than I could ever express in this post. Love Always, Salima :-)

  6. Your growth and self-reflection is sometimes painful and oh so AMAZING to witness... painful only because it is and always has been my natural instinct to protect, nurture and make everything better for you and at this juncture in your life that is the one thing GOD forbids me to do... he has shown me that his expectation and my responsibility is to love you, support you, encourage you and "keep it real" for you but that I can only accompany you on this journey - not buffer it or temper it for you - a very difficult feat I must admit :-) Amazing in that you have all of the ingredients to take an already blessed and charmed life and take it to another level.

    Remember to be patient with yourself and to always be true to who YOU are, to what YOU believe and LOVE yourself with your whole heart!!! Most importantly however and as you know all too well, keep our Lord at the center of your very being, especially during times when the enemy is working hard to distract and dissuade.

    Know that I am SO proud of YOU for simply being YOU and that as my sister, best friend, confidant and hero all wrapped up into one, you continue to inspire, motivate and challenge me to be a better me!!! Know also that The Plan... GOD's Plan is already laid out for you. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride!!!

    As you travel the twists and turns toward 40 and beyond, I can only tell you from 1st hand, personal experience that it only gets better and better... sweeter and sweeter... you learn to love, appreciate and value yourself in a way that you never knew possible and then take that love, appreciation and value and give it back to others as GOD would have us do!!!

    Keep writing... Keep dreaming... Keep loving... Keep praying... and NOTHING is impossible!!!

    Love You The Most!

    April 8, 2009 2:15 PM

  7. Alicia,

    It took me a minute to read your piece, but you have skills girrrllll!!!! You know I recently turned 40 so I could relate to what you were saying. Turning 40 for me was no big deal, it just made me reflect on my life and what I have been through thus far. I realized there is plenty more living to do, but time goes by so fast. I also believe in living life each day to the fullest because as you know tomorrow is never guaranteed.
    I enjoyed your piece and suggest if you have a passion for writing you find a way to follow that passion. So many people never truly realize what makes tham happy and therefore are always searching. I'm looking forward to your next article, much love!!!!

    Jeff T.

    May 21, 2009 12:14 PM