I turned 40 in February. This obviously means lots of people I grew up with are also turning forty. My high school friend, Ashly, issued a #thisis40 challenge on Instagram. I stole her caption and adapted it just slightly:
“So many of my closest friends are, or will be, 40 this year. I remember when we used to think this was old, ancient even. But after nearly falling apart and almost completely losing myself, I am seeking peace, healing, confidence and more for my forties. I want to challenge all my 40 something friends to post the photos that make them feel beautiful, wise, powerful, or just amazing. Use #thisis40 and tag me, and rock your fourth decade in this crazy place we call life.”
These are the 10 photos I chose to represent turning 40 and why. Each photo has a story behind it. I also vividly remember how I was feeling when I snapped each. They are all selfies. (No, 40 isn’t too old to take selfies.) Pop over to Shrinkingmomster on Instagram to check them all out.
This Is 40: Turning Forty In Photos
- I was trying on bodysuits for a boudoir photo shoot I was doing. I sent this photo to a friend for feedback. I wound up wearing it in the shoot. Feeling: bold.
- Friday night hanging out at my best gal pal’s house, lounging on her couch, watching Queer Eye with her cat on my chest. Feeling: comfortable and relaxed.
- Exhausted after the boudoir shoot, but still totally feeling myself. (Posing in your underwear for two hours is work!) I still had on high heels, even though I was a lump on the couch because I felt HOT AF in them. Feeling: proud, tired, confident, sexy.
- This was Mother’s Day. I didn’t want to get out of bed that morning. My daughter isn’t living with me. I moped in bed having a pity party alone until 2 and then got up, dressed cute in my Mary Lambert t-shirt and went out to spend time with my mom and grandma. Feeling: sad, but strong.
- I’ve always thought I didn’t have eyelashes. Turns out they’re just really light and needed the right mascara. Enter Bad Gal Bang by Benefit. I sent this photo to my bestie to show her I’d accomplished cute makeup on my own (a new thing for me) before heading off to a networking event, followed by a meetup with an old friend. Feeling: sassy, excited, accomplished.
- Like the Mother’s Day photo, this one was also after a morning of moping in bed. This is the frangipani tree in the front yard of my rental house. I love it so much. It will get it’s own post one day. I put my phone on my car’s window ledge and use voice control (“capture”) to take photos by the tree. I’d had a really difficult talk with a good friend the night before. There were so many feelings: vulnerable, brave, confident, embarrassed, rejected, sad. It triggered a whole lot of feelings about stuff going on in my life I was trying to ignore. The friend kept bugging me the next morning to get out of bed and go out into the world. I sent him this photo as proof that I at least got dressed and went outside. Feeling: emotionally hungover, overwhelmed, thankful for friendship
- Had some champagne with some of my ladies. Wound up being photographed topless in a hotel. Ya know, as one does. #thisis40. Feeling: adventurous, free
- Sent to a friend with the caption, “My lips aren’t as nice as yours, but they’re still good.” Feeling: content, satisfied
- I took this mirror selfie at the Don Cesar hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida. I was treating myself to a solo stay and was about to go down for breakfast. I scored this dress at a thrift store and it sparks joy. Feeling: cute, optimistic.
- I just thought my boobs looked really good here. Feeling: sexy, confident, sensual.
Turning forty has been full of change for me. Terrifying, earth shattering, life altering change. But I’m excited to see where I go after I trudge through the hard stuff. These photos remind me there’s a lot of good, even in difficult situations filled with intense emotional upheaval.
I challenge you to do your own photo collage and tag me! @shrinkingmomster