Get over it! Forty is Not the New Thirty
It’s been years since I was in front of a studio camera working alongside a talented production crew. But last week’s taping of our new digital series, Forward Forty, forced me to think about dreams, the big ones and the tiny ones.
For the past few months, ever since a friend in Boston sent me a New York Times article on content marketing, I have been wondering about the kind of stories I could tell that would matter. Yes, I knew I wanted to do something about and for women but I wasn’t clear about what shape it’d take, or even what I wanted to say, that is, until my morning run last September with my friend, Sheena.
Sheena, who is past her forties, started running her gift store out of a shopping mall at the end of her fourth decade. My friend is beautiful. She’s determined. She’s authentic. But it was during our September run last year when we were sharing thoughts about what we wanted for ourselves that she mentioned that maybe she might be past the age to achieve one particular goal that she wanted. And as I tried to convince her that she was not, it was in that second that the idea for Forward Forty was born.
Forward Forty is a lifestyle series-tailored for a social media age-celebrating the lives of women over forty everywhere. These women, myself included, have incredible beliefs. Visions. Ideas. Dreams of what we want to see around the corner of our lives. And though some of us may be mothers, wives, divorcees, single, poor in money and sometimes even poorer in confidence, the idea behind Forward Forty is to show that dreams and their fulfillment are not just for the young. Forward Forty documents my own story and that of women I admire.
My whole life has been one of risk and pursuit of the things that seemed out of reach and I’ve realised that at every step it was easy to be consumed with more fear than faith.
It happened in my twenties before WTF became a hashtag, when I quit a perfectly fine job and started my own business, without much of anything except drive. It happened in my thirties when I met and married a man who spoke no English and from whom I am now divorced but enjoy the most rich and rewarding friendship. It happened last year when I took out my entire savings and bought an apartment in New York City and later turned it into an investment property. And it is happening again, as I get set to launch a student newspaper with a business partner, Abby, bring out my own product for Afro textured hair, launch a women’s conference, travel, and of course produce Forward Forty. All this while leading a successful Public Relations practice.
As we taped the pilot and I recognised that I had inside me all these stories, I retreated to a place inside and cried. I thought about dreams those fulfilled and those that never might be. I thought about the passage of time and how beautiful the morning sunrise is at 5:00 am and that everyday we get up, we get an opportunity to make a choice. That at 40 plus, it is never too late to choose optimism, to decide to do something that your heart longs for, to choose excellence and take a risk.
The best thing, I’ve realised is that it only takes a moment, (maybe after months of thinking) just one second — to say yes.