Okay… well here I am. In THIS moment. Wow… let me just take a second.  (deep breath in)

Whew… as I went through my day today, this moment… this feeling had been creeping up on me. I’ve been trying to deny it… but I can’t. Here I am, starting this post at 11:43pm, the day before I turn 40, and I can’t let this moment pass without documenting it of some sort.

Wow. As of 11:56am on December 31st, 2014, I will be 40.

Wow.  Honestly the thoughts that have been going through my mind is… “What would my 30 year old self be surprised to know about where I am at 40?”


My 30 year old self still wasn’t feeling any sense of urgency that she had to have everything figured out. 16 yr old self knew that I would get married at 32… so at 30 I was still not in a rush to get married. I honestly think my 30 year old self would be BLOWN AWAY that I am married to Peter, 5 years now. Back when I was 30… I was NOT sure I had what it took to be married to a chef (Peter showed up late and TRASHED with a 16lb chocolate cake to my 30th birthday party), and had strong ideas of who the type of man I thought I was going to be with were *tried DESPERATELY (and in vain) to find him… and I think she her mouth would be wide open when I told her that yep…I’m Kerilyn RUSSO now. 🙂

**In hindsight, Peter is a ying to my yang. He allows me to be fully myself. In both the good and the dreadfully awful moments. For that reason… I know I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be. I still say that my husband has saved my life.

At 30, she was already feeling the confusion that, while 3.5 years in post graduation, to having multiple jobs/lay offs, etc… and never feeling like she understood what she kept doing wrong…. would be COMPLETELY DUMBSTRUCK to find out that at 40, she’s just as fucking disenchanted when it came to her career and her financial future. The 30 year old Kerilyn would probably drop to her knees and bawl her eyes out… knowing that at 40… all her dreams of “making it”… of being successful in what she was doing (meaning that she felt like she was doing what she was meant to be doing… like bigger purpose kinda stuff) was still SO FAR AWAY FROM HER. She would be so disappointed in me to know that I am still struggling so much with this. She would NOT know what to say when I tell her that I am convinced that maybe this topic (career/purpose/money) is something I’m not learning my lesson on, because WHY GOD… haven’t I found my place yet???? She would be so surprised to know that I feel like a failure… still SO LOST.

That said…. she would not be surprised to know that I haven’t given up yet. Not at all. ONLY SHE KNOWS that it’s not in me to give up on this quest. She knows that it’s truly what she feels like she was meant to do…. BIG THINGS.  *whatever that means, and would not be surprised to know that even though YES, she does in fact feel like a failure with regards to her missionshe is far from giving up.

Mark my words: I will not give up until I have no other choice but to do so. It may take me the REST OF MY LIFE… but damn it… I am NOT DONE YET.

My 30 year old self had an inkling that she would one day warm to the thought that she wanted to have a child… but would have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA just how it’s healed a part of her that she had NO idea was missing. NO idea. She would have NO idea that she really would love being a mama *okay, it has it’s moments sometime, but in general… I feel like my best self when I’m reading to my son or watching him learn something new. My 30 year old self would be in astonishment at how comfortable I feel… knowing I don’t have to have all the answers and not pretending that I do. I am DAMN PROUD that I know I don’t have to have all the answers, and that Leonardo will grow up knowing that I might not know how to fix it… but that together, we can get through anything and that I WILL one day be not just his mom but his friend too. I will find a way to do this, I vow to you my beloved.

***BONUS: If I get another chance to experience the first year (knowing what I know now) with another bebe in 2015. Fingers crossed.

My 30 year old self would be proud of how I have stepped into being vulnerable. Always feeling like the odd man out for wanting to always talk about my imperfections… my “stuff”, I think my 30 year old self would walk up to me….. look me in the eyes and say “I’m proud of you Kerilyn. Keep it up.” despite how unusual it seems to so many people.

My 30 year old self would be SO HAPPY FOR ME… like doing a HAPPY DANCE, that I found my ‘home’ in my spiritual quest. Finding and studying A Course in Miracles is really like coming home…it answers ALL the questions that my 30 year old self was wondering… and even the ones that at 40, I still have STRONG resistance in surrendering to.  From the time I was 19, I had been searching for the BIG answers… and I truly feel like I have found them.

*That said: Knowing the answer and ACCEPTING it as true. LIVING the answer is a different story. I will be working the REST OF MY LIFE to reduce my resistance to accepting the answer and letting it become a part of how I live my life. Still SO MUCH RESISTANCE.

My 30 year old self would be surprised at how my body aches and malfunctions at 40. I think I saw my mother in her eternal ailments and thought that I could THINK my way past this moment. Nope. My fucking knees ache, I have a weird ganglion cyst on my wrist (common for new mamas) and I thought I somehow missed the curse of the Carincis women gallbladder removal. Nope.

That said… I’m happy to report to my 30 year old self that at 40… I STILL feel the athlete inside of me. I STILL want to run. I am determined to get back on that path this year. It’s important for me to reconnect with that part of me in my 40’s.

My 30 year old self would be BLOWN AWAY that I live in Savannah again. Like Mind.Blown. While she loved Savannah…she never actually saw herself moving back here and I think she would just say “NO! You’re kidding me! I move back to Savannah???” over and over again if I were to have coffee with her. Secretly I think she would be elated, while the 40 year old part of me still feels like there is a place (Italy/NYC) that I still am daydreaming of living before I die.

I don’t think my 30 year old self could fathom the situations around my parents and my sister. (Long story, if you don’t know… maybe you could ask me when/if we see each other next) A part of me is utterly heartbroken at knowing the sadness, confusion and denial going on at home… the vigilante 30 year old part of me wants to break into that house…. dressed in black… kidnap each one of my family, one by one.. and under a bright shining light force them to confess. Confess their fears. To say them out loud in order to, once and for ALL be free of them. That’s who I’ve been in my family…. the black sheep so it’s apropos that I’ve always envisioned myself doing this dressed in black. The little girl (way younger than 30, more like 3) just wants to go home.. crawl in my mom and dads lap and watch the ball drop in Times Square on New Years Eve. My mom making a nice celebration of me turning 40. Sadly, that vision will NEVER happen again… and I am really struggling at 40 with putting this vision to rest.  I want to dedicate the next 10 years of my life to fully forgiving my parents for what I think they have “done” to me, when in reality I’ve done it only to myself. #projectionmakesperception #ACIM

I would need to be held and hold on to my 30 year old self when I tell her that our beloved Pez left us this year. Whew. Being on mama duty ALL THE TIME… I would love to revert back to the life of my 30 year old self, and lay in bed all day, crying and watching sappy love stories, definitely  ‘Marley & Me” – Sadly I cannot do that and honestly don’t know if I’m properly mourning my girls loss. I still feel a bit numb about it and I don’t know if that’s normal or not. I sort of feel like I’m holding the damn closed for some undisclosed time when I can do just that… sit in bed all day with a bag of Hersheys Kisses and just cry……. for hours, missing my girl. I miss you Pez. Every day. *oh Jesus, not now.

My 30 year old self would be…. I don’t know the word…. SURPRISED/NOT SURPRISED/AMUSED/ELATED?????….. to find out that DAMN IT, I AM A GREAT WRITER!!! I think I started My High/Low emails, when I was 27…( I wrote the High and Low of my day in an email, Monday-Friday to 70+ people for YEARS…before there even was a blog.) It’s ALL stream of consciousness *like now… I’m totally in the flow and it’s an hour later than when I started this post* and LOVE writing EXCEPT when I feel like I have to. *Part of why this year I SUCK at writing posts for Married to a Chef. When it flows, damn it it flows *like now* but I can’t force it. My 40 year old self is SO EXCITED to see where this new found acknowledgment will take me the next 10 years!!!!

I think my 30 year old self would be surprised that I still struggle with FUN. It’s almost like whatever makes people have what the world calls “fun”… I never got that gene. Maybe it’s because FOR ME… what is fun is different (perhaps?) than what the rest of the world considers fun. For instance… later today, I’m going to get a pedicure, then I’m going to the movies (going to see ‘Big Eyes’) and I think Peter had made dinner plans for us. THAT IS FUN. But am I… FUN? No. I’m a pretty damn serious woman and I’ll admit I never thought I would be THIS not fun when I was 30. I’m always wanting to add more  worldly defined fun to my life… but can’t seem to find a way to do it. To me fun=irresponsible. fun=frivolous fun=reckless and I’ve had plenty of moments in my life when I let my hair down in the quest of fun… only to have something really not fun happen to me. I think having Leo in my life… and wanting to be as PRESENT as I can be for him, in the moment…. is only going to bring out the side of me that wants to be more fun. The “fun” mom. I’ll be curious to talk to the 50 year old Kerilyn to see how if I can accomplish that.

I could go on but I think I’ll leave some conversations between my 30 year old self and who I am today to be discussed as I go throughout my day today. I will most likely be in a reflective mode today… this is a HUGE moment for me.

I’ve always wanted to be older. I’m not afraid or dread this moment. Honestly I’m quietly excited. I’ve made 2 out of the 3 of my dreams for my 30’s come true (start a family and move away from DC/VA (won’t lie, I’m a bit homesick for DC/VA right now and that’s okay with me) I’ve saved the biggest and the scariest for last (to always have $10,000 in the bank) – this past year has been about diving right into the fear of why I haven’t made this happen yet (read above about career/purpose/money) – This past year has been so very difficult with regards to this topic. I have had INTENSE ANXIETY about this, this past year. Like waking up at 3 am every  morning, heart beating wildly…. I have been so hard on myself and on my husband this past year… all because of my OWN FEAR. I’m learning that part of the solution is something that I’ve never really done before… but is the ONLY way (for me) to achieve my goal. To TRUST. To Leap (you know, and the net will appear kind of leaping)  To SURRENDER. I’ve never put my money (or my faith) where my chatty Cathy mouth is… and I have this strong suspicion that that is THEE reason why I have not yet connected with my doing BIG things yet. I’ve been too afraid to do what it takes to do so. Well I know no other way, going forward. Can not be in denial any longer.

I was telling a coach friend of mine that this past year has been like making a delicious chicken noodle soup. You put the chicken bones in the stock.. and let it simmer for hours…. all the while the fat comes to the top. You can’t really eat the fat (okay you could use it for something else, but stay with me on this visual) so you have to SKIM IT OFF. Well, to me, this past year has been about SKIMMING THE FEAR that has prevented me from achieving my goals in my career/financial future. I have had to dive right into that fear, in order to skim it off, and frankly am still in the midst of it right as I type this. Like my beloved A Course in Miracles says….

“Remember that no one is where he is by accident, and chance plays no part in God’s plan.” -M9

I feel on purpose, even in this fear. I do NOT feel like where I am is a coincidence. I do not feel alone… even when I’m scared out of my mind. (literally) I have a strong feeling I’m being led into this fear because it’s the ONLY way that I can achieve this BIG goals. Want big things.. gotta DO big things. And ha….. I have to fucking laugh… it just wouldn’t be my lifes experience… my lifes “script” as it were… if I were to get these big things the EASY way.

HA HA HA… ME? The Easy Way? No thanks. I’ll take an extra serving of “Are you fucking kidding me?”, did that just happen to me? WHAT????  as a mode of learning.

You know… I accept this way because I WANT to learn this so I can teach it to someone else. The ONLY way to teach is to really KNOW what I’m teaching. I think that’s part of the equation I find myself in right now.

So Happy 40th Birthday to me….. and Happy New Year to You.


That’s my mantra… what’s yours?


may your coming year

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