How Turning 40 Made Me Realize I Wasn't A Failure

Style after 40, Top Atlanta blogger, Atlanta Personal Stylist

Recently I turned 40 and I'm wearing it like a badge of honor, a rite of passage if you will.  I'm really amazed at how well I handling being this age.  Even though it's only been a month and some change, I never would have thought that after 4 decades of life I'd feel this good about life.

Becoming a mother at 17 I thought my life was over.  I'd become the static that I'd looked down on and for me all plans of being an ER Nurse was out the window.  Life wasn't good guys.  Or at least that's what I thought.  My mom (who is the sweetest person you'll ever meet) wouldn't allow me to wallow in self pity.  She found a program for pregnant teens, which allowed me the opportunity to finish high school on time.  That was the small boost of confidence I needed to buckle up for the rough road ahead. Life wasn't completely over.  I could actually rise above my situation and win after all!

One of the scariest things in life (especially my teenage life) was having a real live person who depended on me to provide for them, yet I knew it was up to me to do everything in my power to succeed in life.  After graduating highschool and getting accepted into college, I just knew that things would work out.  Short story even shorter... I didn't finish college.  Not for lack of trying or even finances.  Being a single mom working and trying to go to nursing school wasn't easy.  It got to a point where I had to choose between work (to support me and my daughter)  or clinicals (which ranged from day, evening and night shifts).  Work won and I guess I just gave up or maybe it just wasn't in the cards for me (shrugs shoulders).

Once the dream of becoming a nurse faded away, my next feat was just to get a better job so that I could move out of my mom's house (I couldn't be the queen living in her castle).  Getting a "better job" was the nail in the coffin for having a nursing career.  I never went back to school.  And after working a few pay check to pay check jobs, I finally ended up at my current job, where I've been for almost 13 years.... (insert blank stare)

Not being able to finish college and proving the stat's of being a black teen mom right was depressing.  Having to come to the realization that I was probably going to have to work on somebody's job making them millions why I struggled to live angered and further depressed me.  I felt like a failure.  Why couldn't I be one of the one's to get preggers and still end up with the degree?  I wanted to be a success story.

My 30's was my lowest point (mentally & emotionally).  I was consistently battling low-self esteem and depression (and social media didn't make things better).  It appeared that all the grass around me was greener and no matter what I did, I just couldn't get my grass to look that green.  Man I was messed up.  Yet once I hit the 40 year mark something changed.  My mindset has completely done a 360.  My outlook on life now has me appreciating how well I've prepared, planted, watered, grown and maintained my own grass over these last few years.  I've accomplished quite a bit that I would have never thought possible.  How dare I look at myself as a failure!!!  I once read a quote that said - "Success is not built on success.  It's built on frustration.  Sometimes it's built on catastrophe."  Now let that settle in.  I'm about to make some major changes in my life and I'm super excited for what's ahead.

And just in case you need a little encouragement, check out all these people who didn't "catch a break" until after 40... KFC Founder "Colonel" Harland Sanders (you REALLY need to read his story, so encouraging) || Fashion Designer Vera Wang || Martha Stewart || Actress Leslie Jones || Actor Samuel L. Jackson || Actress Octavia Spencer just to name a few.

For those who only came for the outfit info... I'm wearing this super cute double breast striped blazer from Target (worn HERE).  I would size down, it fits oversize if you have smaller shoulders.  My top is thrifted, but you can put any graphic T-shirt with this look and still rock out.  This pocketed gingham skirt is also thrifted, however, Forever 21 offers this peplum gingham skirt or this bow-front knee length gingham skirt is really cute to.  This ruffle gingham, also from Forever 21 is banging.  Lastly the color contrasted sneakers are from Zara was the icing on the cake for this look.  

I know this post was lengthy.  I blame my blabber mouth on being 40.  Anywho, let's talk in the comments.  Are you over 40?  How was it for you after you made it over the hill?

Photography: K Visuals 

Style after 40, Top Atlanta blogger, Atlanta Personal Stylist
Style after 40, Top Atlanta blogger, Atlanta Personal Stylist
Style after 40, Top Atlanta blogger, Atlanta Personal Stylist
Style after 40, Top Atlanta blogger, Atlanta Personal Stylist
Style after 40, Top Atlanta blogger, Atlanta Personal Stylist
Style after 40, Top Atlanta blogger, Atlanta Personal Stylist

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