There Is No Destination

Dear 40,

Hey, how YOU doin’?! You know, I wasn’t sure I was quite ready to meet you. Most days I still feel like I’m still the young single mama flailing in my 20’s trying to figure out this whole life thing out. Then again, there’s other days that I feel and look like I’m approaching 50 (you know, like this morning … no pics needed, this not so fresh face wouldn’t be pretty). Eh, whatev. Here I am, and here you are, and here we are, and, here we go.

Being 40 in 2018 isn’t easy. I shared a picture on Facebook yesterday that ignited this post that has been brewing in my head for weeks now upon entering this new decade and entering into “Self-Care September.” Brene Brown, a favorite author and speaker of mine posted a picture that said, “it takes courage to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol.”

It sure does. Because in 2018, you’re not supposed to actually to rest and act upon self-care, right?! But boy oh boy, are you supposed to promote it! You talk about it on your Facebook page with hundreds of thousands of likes, on your 450K followed Instagram feed with a picture of you running in a field of flowers, grabbing your perfectly coiffed hair and laughing as you wear a wispy shirt that gently drapes your shoulders with your collarbone protruding (you know, because you run a 5K at least twice a month so, hashtag fitmom hashtag badassrunner hashtag girlpower). You’re supposed to show off pictures throughout the day of your hustle and 20 hour a day grind, because you’re a “CEO of My Life and 6 Businesses/President of 3 Organizations/Mompreneur/Owner of 10 Groups/Author of 27 Books” etc. etc. etc. But then you post a photo on the weekend of your feet in cozy socks, holding a cup of coffee in an antique blue and white china cup in front of an HGTV worthy fireplace and talk about your (short-lived) self-care (because tomorrow the grind starts once again). Right? I said am I right? Isn’t that how life is done in 2018?

I haven’t blogged recently. I haven’t blogged much at all this year. I haven’t written another damn word for the book that lives in my head. I haven’t picked a logo for my little “brand.” I don’t have a side business at the moment nor do I know that I’d ever care to. And I know now, that it is ok. I’m allowed to be tired and I don’t have to smile and pose with my DD all the time (of course, now and then is totally adorbs).

But 40, finding you was a gift in and of itself. Already, you have allowed me to reflect on what has taken place during the first four decades of my life. There have been countless blessings (way too many to name), and there has also been great devastation, fear and loss. Those, too, were blessings that I am comfortable drawing attention to – including the loss of those closest to me, surviving divorce, triumphing over being sexually attacked as a teen, finally overcoming disordered eating, coping with mental illness within myself and my family, navigating the often confusing world of autism (launched into it head first after being falsely accused and arrested), struggling financially, and even pulling myself out of a deep dark place and ultimately deciding that my presence on this Earth was worth fighting for. These are all blessings, They have built me. They have grounded me. They have taken me on a journey that … has no destination.

There is no destination.

That, dear 40, is what you are showing me. Life is but a journey where you sometimes follow a path, you sometimes walk it with others, and sometimes you blaze your own trail.

But you don’t stop. There is NO … STOP.  You pause, but you keep going. The destination doesn’t exist on this Earth. That comes much later, after our souls have departed.

I’ve seen the quote “life is a journey and not a destination” time and time again. I understand it now. I get it. I hear it. I see it. I feel it. I believe it.

I’m abundantly grateful for what is happening in my life right now – being asked back to the leadership team at Achieving True Self to take charge of support, engagement and development; Christian landing a new job with a caterer which places him in the field he wanted to be a part of; Mama Betty trying her best to make herself healthier; a boyfriend of almost 8 years who loves me for who I am at my core; home repairs and a new vehicle; being a part of community efforts including incredibly worthy fundraisers and speaking gigs (podcasts and presentations); and more. I’m truly grateful for who is still here in my most intimate circle which has dwindled over the years and thank those who are not for what they taught me (see Jay Shetty’s video about “who your true friends are” to learn the difference between your leaves, your branches and your roots … you can thank me later). I am just as grateful for my larger circle of overwhelming kind acquaintances who somehow still cheer me on and cheer me up along the way.

Please don’t get me wrong and misread what I’ve shared as jealousy or envy – because it by no means is. My point is that we need to do what is right for ourselves, not get caught up in the web of the comparison game, and never, ever compromise self-care and wellness. I’ll never do that again. It almost killed me in more ways than one. If you’re reading this and seeing me as a bitter aging Xennial … you don’t know me and you are welcome to exit stage left. I’m unapologetically, hands-down, just me and only me and, TDB (too damn bad … I’ll refrain from f-bombing) if you’re not ok with it. I am. That’s what matters.

There is no destination … only the journey. I hope that my readers hear this obnoxiously loud and clear.

There’s a bucket list in my head – maybe one day it’ll be a blog, a social media post, or even part of that book (a living, breathing story with excerpts currently share during personal interactions in my daily work which I am thriving on at the present time) – but for now, there it shall stay.

40, and Self-Care September, here I am. There is no destination, 40 – you are right. We shall just keep sprinting and jumping, with plenty of self-care pauses as we travel. Let’s go, baby. Xoxo.

Your once-reluctant, but now enthusiastic partner-in-crime,

Author: Catherine Hughes

Passionate Advocate. Innovative Storyteller. Engaging Strategist. Author. Editor. Blogger.

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