Navel-Gazing

Resetting at 40

Everyone said 40 is the turning point. Some day it’s downhill, some say it’s uphill. I’m not sure what happened to all these people, but I’ll tell you what happened to me.

I learned something amazing about myself. I love myself. I’m probably at what is the halfway point in my life. (Hence the turning point?) I realise that I have one life, this life. That’s it. I had so many dreams, and I let them dissipate. Ten years since I first started my novel. Now, I can’t even remember which hard drive it’s on. Over twenty years since I first went to college in the United States, spent six months in Kenya, and learned that I could embrace the world. Now, my comfort zone is a 3 km stretch on either side of the flat I occupy in London.

I’m not saying that my life has shrunk. Well maybe in some ways it has. I focused so much on the world outside, and these days, the more I travel and the farther I fly, there is a sense of closeness, of smallness that I feel. I was in San Francisco last Sunday, and this Sunday, I’m back home again.

What has changed is the fact that I am constantly expanding my sense of self. Turning inwards is something I rarely ever did, and now I am. I am understanding who I am, and what I feel about myself. I feel as though I peeled back layer after layer of shellac, and I found love inside me. Not outside. Not in someone else. In me. I am reading again. I am writing again. And in the words of Linda Creed, “I found the greatest love of all inside of me.”

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