The Big Empty — Turning 40

by Melody Jean

The Big Empty Turning 40 Contemporary SeekerI thought that I had escaped it.

Celebrating my 40th with friends and family for three days, I didn’t feel anything.

It was welcome.

I hoped among hope nothing would surface.

Yet, deep down I knew it would creep-up.

And it has.

Forty is Just a Number

For many this milestone birthday doesn’t hold any bearing.

It’s just another number.

However, for better or worse, I’m a thinker, a feeler.

With that, I realize that I’m facing a jump into something exhilarating and somewhat God fearing.

The Prelude

As the last hurrah ended, I actually felt a semblance of relief.

Thinking I can just put this all behind me — you know, this turning 40 bullshit.

I did what I was supposed to, I celebrated.

Now I can go back to life as usual.

It’s for the Others

Don’t get me wrong; I’m blessed so many wanted to be a part.

Further, I’m forever grateful for the love and attention I received.

Though being introverted, attention is a double-edged sword.

It’s my nature to favor holing-up, especially on my birthday, over big celebrations.

Now living close to my nieces and nephew, who really wanted to see me, I couldn’t.

So I did it largely for them, the reveling.

Even so, I brimmed with gratitude for their love.

Also celebrating with long-time friends and new ones, alike, the sentiment was similar.

So, alas, yes, I did what ‘normal’ people do; though often I feel anything but normal <wink, wink>.

Yet, despite the exorbitant amount of love from awesome people, after it was all over, I can’t negate I was a little relieved.

That is, that I didn’t have to acknowledge my 40th anymore.

The Silence Within

Then this morning it began.

That which I thought I’d escaped; the ‘empty’ feeling that pushed forth the questions.

The ones I prayed wouldn’t surface.

Who am I?

Where am I going?

What do I need to do?

What do I want to do?

Is there a bigger purpose to my existence?

If so, how do I get there?

My Reality

I haven’t adhered to society’s expectations, the traditions of marriage and children.

Not because I didn’t want them; it’s because it didn’t happen.

Many would shake in the night at the mere thought of not having these things by forty.

Not me – I’ve made peace with these elements; what they mean (to me).

Never willing to compromise and marry just for the sake of birthing (ha!), I kept on.

Journeying, finding me, living and loving the best I can.

I know I have purpose.

And I’ve accomplished much in career, hobbies, and relationships, so, no, I don’t lack.

Though society would like me to believe I do.

In reality the questions posed within, today, are just imploring me to go deeper.

To that place nobody wants to go.

The one where questions brew that interrogate the meaning of your entire existence.

The Hidden Answers

There is much to the queries, which I penned above and woke me from my slumber this morning.

I suspect in time the answers will surface.

They always do.

While I can’t push them forth, I can take care to listen.

Sit in waiting, in a sense.

The Big Empty

For many elements, I’ve a semblance where the answers lay.

It’s exciting, emptying and frightening all at the same time.

So it seems I’m facing the “the big empty.”

Yet, it’s just but another stage in this show called “life.”



{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

S M Kelly

I had a similar birthday this year ….only I’m a few years “north” of 40. Yes, it is just a number, but the feeling of life’s preciousness and the passing of time is sobering. I’m being mindful to be more present in the present this year and less worried about the future and/or stuck in the past. There’s lessons to be learned from the past to be sure, and one must never forget the priorities and promise of tomorrow, but I’ve obsessed over both while sacrificing the present. Here’s to today!! TGIM!


Melody Jean

Thanks for sharing your introspection SM Kelly, so so appreciated! The questions begged forth in my post (for me), that I knew were dormant, will be answered or become clear in their time. The birthday was the symbol. This is the bridge to the real. When all is aligned, everything falls into place. Thanks again for sharing your experience :))


Sean Michael Kelly



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