Yep it’s my birthday, a BIG birthday for me this year. Deep breath, I’m 40! I can’t believe it. The BIG FOUR O. I’ve got a lot of mixed emotions about this one. I don’t think I feel 40. Heck I don’t know – what is 40 supposed to feel like?
I think of my 20s as the hot mess years. Trying to figure out life even though I thought I “knew” it all. One thing I did know is I wanted to work in photography. I didn’t know what exactly I was going to do, but my career was going to be photography related. I traveled, fell in love, had my heart broken, fell in love again. I cried when the Yankees beat the Mets in the 2000 World Series.
I, like so many other New Yorkers, witnessed the Trade Tower attacks up close and personal. My whole belief system was shook and has never truly recovered. I was now afraid of the Big Bad World. But that fear didn’t stop me. Terrified, 4 months later, I got on a plane. I got to live in a foreign country doing photography! I left on my own, not knowing a soul, and clicked and created with a film camera and a darkroom. I healed.
My 30s was like being a rookie adult. A grownup with training wheels. Now I really knew what life was about, right? It would be smooth sailing from here on out. Then reality. You still need that learning curve, but it’s getting smaller. Most of my BIG life changes happened in my 30s. Big career moves, bought a house, got married, had kids, quit the stable safe career and started my own business. Said goodbye to friends and made new ones. Whew, that was exhausting.
So here I am fabulous at 40! I admit I’m not thrilled at times about the Big Four O, but I am excited to see what I will learn in the next 10 years. That’s the difference between the 20s, 30s and 40s. At 40 you know you don’t have it figured out and you don’t have to. It’s freeing really. I’m learning to like, heck love myself just the way I am. I know treating myself with kindness will be tough, but it’s my goal for my 40s. Not to have a bigger house or more things, but to be happy and grateful with what I have, what I can do, and what I know I will achieve. It’s going to be hard, but I will be better, do better, love more and be kind to myself. I will do what I love! Lucky for me photography is my first love. I will give myself a break and admit I’ll never be perfect, but I will be my best! Who wants to be perfect anyway. I don’t have time for that!
So happy birthday to me! Do something nice for yourself. As a gift to me, be kind to yourself today just to start. You don’t need a reason, just do it!
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