It's October and also one of my favorite months. This month I turn 40! I tasked myself with taking a look back at my 39 years and sharing what I feel reimagining my 40s will look like.
As a little girl, the ideal life was a woman in her 40s. I know that sounds strange but my whole life I wanted to be 40. There was something about that age that I associated with confidence, being in charge in business, and having a chic lifestyle. Perhaps it was CEO Barbie or just my manifestation of what I was to become. I grew up in the 80s and 90s when women were still paving their way in business. Having it all is what I dreamed of and to me, that meant being 40.
This year as I started "preparing" for this milestone birthday I told my husband how excited I was to be turning 40. With more details and the story above revealed to him, he broke out in complete laughter. I did too. This was something I always felt inside but never really spoke it out loud to anyone and definitely never to myself. It just was.
It isn't until you mature that, especially as a woman, you begin to gain true confidence within. Confidence to me means being confident in yourself, in telling others no when it just isn't the right moment, in being kind to those that hurt you, in building relationships. The list can go and on but confidence does come with age and experience. It is what many women, past a certain age, express is the most rewarding part of getting older and wiser. Most of all, confidence to me is being kind to yourself. I've learned over the last decade to give myself grace and when I do that, it allows me to invest confidence in other areas of my life.
I am a take charge woman, always have been. I feel comfortable in that responsibility and saw that at an early age. Growing up that can be frowned upon when you are a girl, it's dubbed as bossy. I might be bossy but I have to say I am really good at it. So I just learned to hone that skill set through listening and encouraging others and eventually becoming a leader. Learning to lead has been such a rewarding aspect of my career. There are things I would absolutely do differently. I have learned from so many amazing women along the way. It is proof that when given a little grace and understanding you can make a difference in someone's life.
My career has gone from blue chip art auctions to fashion weeks across Europe and executive brand meetings with the likes of Net-A-Porter, Selfridge's, and Liberty London. During this time, I had the pleasure of meeting Rosita and Angela Missoni in Milan right after spending time in their atelier with Diane Kendal. ICONIC. These women were so kind and strong. It all sounds very glamorous but those were hard working days; 24 hour turn around in Paris, lugging things all over Europe, we were fashionable but we were working!
Once in Paris, I accidentally bumped into Stella McCartney at the coffee station (literally ran into her not realizing who it was at first). Her fashion show was held in the Palais Garnier early one morning. When we first arrived I walked backstage and saw the makeup artistry first hand of Pat McGrath. This was a few years before she started her cosmetic brand. Seeing the details and craftsmanship on the runway clothes right before they go on the model was exhilarating. So many fond memories...Oscar de la Renta's feminine silhouettes brushing past me as the models darted off to walk the runway. Such creativity, skills, and business acumen; I was a kid in a candy store.
I was well on my way to build the life I always wanted. Along the way, the most interesting aspect of my journey was the women and support that I was surrounded by. That's when I said to myself, I want all of this, but I want it for a company that I build for myself and not someone else.
Ok so maybe not all of my life is celebrating but why can't I wake up everyday thinking that? It's not what you have, it's the mindset you have! When I was in college I budgeted for what I called Champagne Mondays. I hated Mondays so much that I decided at the end of every Monday my friends and I would toast to the week. Celebrating tiny moments is everything to me. Taking time to celebrate really does bring joy to your life and others and what can be more chic than that?
Traveling around the world both for work and pleasure was always something I strived to do and I have been doing just that! Most importantly I have maintained a sense of creativity in my life that has been so rewarding. From the Fine Art business to now the Sugar Flower design business; it has been an exciting journey.
I can say that I am exactly where I wanted to be at 40. Three years ago I started my very own business, I found a kind and loving partner in life, I even grew my hair out! For a life long pixie gal that was probably the biggest milestone. After looking at my checklist in life come to fruition, I realized rather quickly that I need to start dreaming even bigger.
Reimagining my next decade is just that, bigger and better dreams ahead. I am not selling myself short. When I look back at my 40s I want to see all the beautiful moments in life that I created because I refused to sell myself short.
50 here I come!