A week and a full day after the event and I've found I'm not crawling through the rubble of my life and wondering how I got here? I'm still the same, I still look the same and my jeans still fit the same. It actually wasn't as awful as I had imagined it would be and it wasn't as revelatory as some had said it may be. I didn't hit forty and find my arse had hit the floor. I didn't wake up and wonder if I had achieved all I wanted to. I woke up in a hotel in Brighton, in a duck mask and thought, "wow, it's my birthday". I was after all, just forty, and I hadn't dropped dead. I was just a tad hungover.
This morning I sat in bed with a glass of champagne ( this is something I have decided I must do and I deserve to do every day). I said good morning to the new day. I said good morning to the pillows, the blinds and the empty space in the bed next to me and I thought how content I felt (this may be the champagne talking). I have realised that I've had an amazing time the last twenty years. I say twenty because this is how I am handling being forty. I'm officially 20 x 2. If you think of it, most of us really don't start living until we hit twenty. It's the age when we are finally free of our parents shackles and can afford to leave home.We're young, good looking (if you're lucky) and our body fat is probably as low as it's ever going to be in our lifetime (if you're unlucky). We can go out and drink and take as many pharmaceuticals as we want and still look amazing in the morning. We're young enough to travel, to study, to have tons of wild sex and also be confident enough to never let anyone place any restrictions on us, be it a boss, a friend, a lover or the police - and the curious thing is, I still feel exactly the same way?!
I haven't really changed that much in the last twenty years, although my circumstances may have. I've travelled the world and I've earned and spent lots of money ( on spray tans, cocaine and Mulberry bags mostly). I've fell in and out of love ( with my own reflection). I've had some terribly destructive, passionate, exciting affairs and only ever really been in love with a very select few. I've met some amazing people and also encountered a few giant pricks ( if you find yourself with an amazing person who has a giant prick - don't ever let him go). I've had some wonderfully creative jobs and some really crappy jobs. I've had some amazing mentors (mostly egotistical divas both male & female) and also worked with egotistical fools (always middle aged men, mostly "straight", with thinning hair and I bet extremely tiny cocks). I've jumped out of planes and ploughed through the lowest depths of nightlife (both of these things can lead you to shitting your pants). I've sniffed with the high life and snorted with the low life. I've had the clothes ripped from my back and ripped the wig off a 7ft drag queen (bitch couldn't catch me in those heels) and I've done all of that within the last few years so the fear of being forty shouldn't have been such a biggie to me.
The best thing of all is that I spoke to my therapist about my reaching forty and he has given me licence to do exactly as I please for the next twenty years (a therapist is the only person you should take notice of at forty). He's told me to never settle for any job less than what I want and never settle for anything less than I deserve in a relationship - and my therapist is sooo old, he's at least 45. He's told me to go travelling, to get rid of my possessions and the things that tie me down and to go and explore. He's said I need to retain my youthful outlook and excitement about life. I should go and stir it up again and go crazy. He's advised me to discover new places and sleep under the stars. Go scrub a temple floor somewhere or go look after a herd of mountain goats and I'm seriously considering it .
The thing is I am a little scared, just a tiny bit because I am forty after all. I'm not exactly twenty anymore am I? I'm 20 x 2.