40. I’ve been alive for four decades now. Thank God, but in fact, I’m feeling mixed emotions right now: fearful, relieved, anxious, and liberating.

Fearful because I feel like I’m getting much nearer to my own expiration date. Haha! It’s a race to the finish. LOL!

Relieved because I’m now more sure of the decisions that I do in relation to the direction of my life, whatever happens and obstacles may come my way.

Anxious because, as with the entire humanity, I will be fighting for my dreams and principles in life beyond the confusions of life.

Liberating because at this age, I know myself so much better: my strengths and weaknesses, and also what irks me and what gives me joy.

The pressure and expectations are high in the saying, “Life begins at 40.” For others, it seems that at this age, your life should now have been smooth sailing and that you’re already just enjoying it to the full.

Apologies to those whom I will disappoint by saying that I’m now a realist, not idealist nor an optimist. I have a different definition of that line.

I know that life is difficult. And beyond the happy smiles and curated dream-come-true images in social media are stories of loneliness and void that are hidden from many.

Is physical aesthetics more valuable than inner beauty?

Is fame and fortune more valuable than contentment?

Life is already difficult as it is and it gets even worse by narrow minds and foolishness, of the lack of acceptance of our differences, and senseless judgment of others. Let the perfect people be the first to cast stones. Is there anyone perfect at all?

Sorry not sorry, but we’re different: we have different brain wavelength and heartbeat.

We all have different destinations that we want to pursue.

I have a different measure of challenges that I need to go through because this is the life that I chose.

Our challenges mold our character and carve our path in life.

Deep in my heart, these are my only birthday wishes:

  1. Joy – deep and unshakable joy that cannot be ruined by the storms of life
  2. Sufficiency – for my true needs in the present, despite the many lack
  3. Peace – that whatever happens, I have peace within, which I could always return to
  4. Truth – true friends and loved ones, even though they are only a chosen few in my life – who will love and support me not only in my strengths, but most especially in my weaknesses

From this year onward, I will strive to live and love people well. Through it all, this is what “Life begins at 40” means for me.

Adrian is a professional Events Host, Writer, and Kaizen Trainer. He's a world-class emcee creating fun, memorable, and meaningful events. As a public speaker, his mission is to inspire personal development so people could have better lives with brighter future, against all odds. He is an Emotional Intelligence Practitioner, an IELTS- and TESOL-certified English Trainer, and he's also a prolific Tagalog Tutor. His life story was featured in the printed copy of Kerygma Magazine last July 2018 on their "IT Happened" segment. He has been invited as a guest on radio programs in DZAS, twice for Jayson Lo's "Tayo NaMan" and once on DZME for Ms. Jaemie Quinto's "Home Buddy". Adrian has already appeared thrice as a true-to-life drama actor in 700 Club - CBN Asia aired nationwide on GMA 7.