Tuesday, April 2, 2013


What turning 40 looked like....

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4 girlfriends
2 dogs
a beach house
green smoothies
3 nights of catered dinners from this lady
nature walks in northwest woods
dog swimming
red wine
tarot cards
long conversations

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It's hard to put into words what it feels like to gather with women who have known you since your early 20s, when you were in art school, when you were smoking cigarettes and crying over boys they knew were no good for you. Back in the days of dancing in clubs covered in body paint, searching for magic, performing manifestation rituals at the full moon. The early 20s were full of very high highs and very low lows, scrounging for rent money, listening to a lot of Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance, wearing flowy hippy skirts and dark Mac lipstick. It was the time in my life when I met the women with whom I could say, "you know, sometimes I get really insecure about some things and I'll need you to reassure me that I am not crazy" and them saying back "I get that. I need that, too." My early 20s was the time I felt I had found my tribe.

Now I am 40. I am married, many of my friends have children. We are professionals: therapists, designers, acupuncturists, artists. Some have married and divorced. Some are single mothers.
There is less emotional drama now. Somewhere along the way, we learned that loving someone didn't have to hurt, that the people who sucked your energy dry could be weeded out from your life. We have learned to stand up for ourselves. We have learned about boundaries. We have learned that you never really get over the hurts of your childhood, but you keep trying.

I am 40. I have a career that brings me more joy that I could have ever imagined. I am married to a man who is kind and adorable and hilarious. Who works on his "stuff" and holds my hand as I work on mine. Who mirrors me in about a million different ways. We have a home and a dog we adore. I have a brother and mother who love me, and a group of amazing, beautiful friends who astound me every day.
I am impatient as hell, but I strive to be present, to find gratitude every day. I try to be gentle with myself and kind to others. I try, every day, to be impeccable with my word.

I have come to this place where I am now, in large part because of the people who have been there along the way. Women like the 4 who spent my birthday with me- Holly, Nikki, Sarah, and Auburn.
Four of the most loyal, wise, loving, and beautiful women I know. Women who made my birthday one I will never forget.

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Olga @ MangoTomato said...

Happy birthday!!! What a wonderful post filled with great thoughts and beautiful photos.

Jann said...

Happy 40,Clare~you are one lucky and beautiful lady!

Nazila Merati said...

You guys are adorable. I wish I had done something like that for my 40th. Thanks for sharing your special weekend with us.


Libby said...

Loved this window into your life. Happy 40th birthday - in 12 days I will be 55. 55, never thought I would be that age - I figured I would always be 30. Not so and I still have so much that I want to do. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever make it.