A Weirdo Looks at 40


 

I promise I’ll get back to my regularly scheduled horse-ing posts. But I felt compelled to write this today.

So I turned 39 last month. And in cliché fashion, it’s had me looking at the birthday now ahead of me. Mostly in a superficial fashion of “OH GOD I DON’T WANT TO BE A CHUBBY 40-YEAR-OLD. Better start dieting.”

But yesterday I randomly heard the song The Rainbow Connection. Yes, the Kermit the Frog song. And out of nowhere it opened up an emotional fissure, and flights of emotion started pouring out.

I remember hearing the song as a kid and thinking a bit wistfully about rainbows and hopes and looking for the other side. And I “got” the message on a lower level, but for some reason, hearing it again and really listening for the first time in years brought up more in me. Here I am, staring 40 in the face, and I’m still searching. Still looking for that other side of the rainbow in so many ways.

But, it also struck me that, just as the song hints at, maybe it’s not in a waiting-for-life-to-begin sort of way anymore. Maybe it’s just…. life itself… that’s the rainbow connection waiting to happen. And instead of disappointment at unfulfilled wishes, it’s no longer a stoppage of life. It’s a redirection and a pause.

My little emotional ping-pong ball then bounced here and there. I feel as if I’ve been waiting my adult life to find that other side of the rainbow. To be a “whole” person. To become the me-est me. Or, rather, a different me. That maybe once I found it – and myself – I could call myself healed.

But perhaps it’s OK to be a little broken in parts. To let those scars remain, and gaze at them for the beauty they bring rather than the pain. So many events in my life have shaped me so profoundly. What I experienced in childhood has made me both more guarded and more open at the same time. Made me more empathetic and wanting to heal the world so I could heal myself. Putting my heart out there, waiting for someone or something to pick it up and fill the voids. And in living emotionally recklessly, layered more scars on my wounds. Filling one void only to drain another.

I now realize that those emotional scars are me. Not something to get past or hide. I’m not broken. And I actually like the person I’ve become. Perhaps in part because of those scars and how they’ve shaped me, not in spite of them.

Maybe that rainbow is just as sweet and beautiful through pain as it is in happiness. Maybe you don’t have to find the other side; the search is enough. And I hope to live the next 40 years loudly and with confident reckless abandon knowing that I am enough too. Just as I am.