This is what 40 feels like to me. First I would like to say with 100% honesty I never dreamed I would make it to 40. I figured with all I had been through physically, mentally, emotionally…I just wouldn’t be here. Let’s face it, there are not a lot of single, childhood abused, teenage, homeless, anorexic, bulimic, cancer surviving mothers who have been hit by trucks and bashed in the face with bottles walking around out there functioning on the level that I am. I am grateful that I am. The rewards of this life have far outweighed the defeats. I feel comfortable in my skin. Does that mean that at times I am not self conscious of my physical appearance? Nope, not at all, but I no longer care. It no longer restricts me. This is the vessel that I experience LIFE with. It’s hard NOT to appreciate it’s resiliency. I’ve grown into my scars and although there are some that were put there by the actions of others, I have embraced that they are a symbol of survival and more importantly, of character. I am also happy with my character. I have grown and developed my character and I allow that alone to define me. The people who have remained in my life, I believe have remained there BECAUSE they have been able to see the person I truly am, even at times when I could not. I feel fearless and unapologetic. I feel shameless, because my actions don’t warrant shame. I feel like embers, the embodiment of passion. I feel a true unwavering passion for MY life. I feel unafraid to die, ever, however long that will be from now. I feel that I have given my all to the people I have loved. I feel I have loved passionately and experienced what it is like to put another’s happiness above my own, even at my own expense. I feel I have learned valuable lessons about sacrifice. I’ve learned that love…. sometimes love just isn’t enough. I’ve learned to forgive the people who have hurt me and I have learned what it is like to truly let go of negativity. This is who I am. I learn something every single day. I forgive more every day. I make mistakes every day. I am imperfectly perfect. I am me and I am eternally grateful for every single experience, every memory, every action, every friendship I have gained and lost, every love I have ever felt, every molecule holding this shell together. I am free. Happy 40th Birthday body…..you are serving me well & Thank You dearly to all my family & friends for allowing me to just be ME.