Yes, I realize it’s been a couple of week’s since I’ve done one of these features, but forgive me, with the change in my job and my routine, things have been a little crazy!
I don’t actually know Cynthia, but she was one of the amazing women who raised her hand, when I put out the call for more stories to feature. Cynthia is doing her masters degree and sites having the confidence to rock her natural hair, as one of her greatest accomplishments since turning 40. I also love how she feels that now that she’s in her 40’s, she’s finally a peace and one with her body and her spirit.
Name and age
Cynthia Sibanda, 40 years 3 months (spanking brand new in the 40s J)
Blog address and social media handles (if applicable)
How do you feel now that you’re in your forties?
Actually great! I feel more in control of myself than I ever did.
What has been your greatest achievement since turning forty?
Cutting my hair and going natural has been a HUGE thing in my life. I have always wanted to do it but never had the guts to and a day before my Big 40, I went for the big chop. For the past 39 years, 11 months and 16 days of my life before my 40th, I had never gone without long hair. I always had a weave or wig and my hair has always been relaxed. I remember telling my 13 year old, TC, of my plan to cut my hair and he was against that. On the morning of my 40th birthday, my child asked me to drop him off at a corner away from his school, and not in front of the school like I have been doing the past 7 years L . So, with my back up wig in my bag, I went to work where the girls at work cheered me and told me I looked great, phew. Besides cutting my hair for myself, I felt that I had to do it for my son. I wanted him to know that a woman’s beauty is not tied to the length of her hair. As a black woman, the society teaches you that you should have long and straight and that natural hair is ugly – not true! I feel more sexier and more beautiful with my short natural hair.
Oh, my other greatest achievement is enrolling for a Master’s Degree!
Now, as a mature woman, do you have any regrets? Anything you wish you could go back and do differently?
I wish I cared less about what people thought or said about me. I wasted years of my life doing things to please people or to fit in even though deep down I knew that I was born to stand out.
If you could talk to your 20 or 30 something self, what would be one piece of advice you’d give yourself.
I would tell my 20 year old self to hold on to my first property and not sell it. To listen to the warning bells before I said “I do”.
What has been one/some of the biggest changes you’ve noticed within yourself since turning forty?
I care less about what people think, especially if it concerns my happiness. In not a selfish way, I now put myself first. I voice my emotions more. I have made my circle even smaller. I have learnt to put my family first and as a result, my family has grown closer, despite us living in different countries/continents.
What do you still hope to achieve in your forties?
I hope to finish my PhD. To continue raising a well-rounded young man to the best that I can.
What advice would you give to women who are fearful about approaching forty?
In my 20s, I thought 40 is soooo old. Forty is not that bad, it is when you are finally one with your body and mind and you accept your flaws and curves. It is when you stop being bothered about all the immature things and you realise your sexier, strong side. If I knew then, what I know now, I would never have put up with all the things I tolerated before I turned 40. So, embrace your 40s and enjoy your new phase of life.
What is one of societies stereotypes about women in their forties that you wish you could change?
I have heard some people say that when you hit the 40s, everything is downhill from there. I am hoping that is not true. I have been 40 for less than 3 months and so far I am enjoying it. I would like to believe that life begins at 40 and the world is my playground so, watch out world!
Any parting thoughts or comments?
I am more accepting and kinder to my body, (stretch marks, cellulite and all), and nothing beats that! I am more at ease and not competing with any other woman for anything and it is the type of maturity that comes with age.
Just know that: You are worth finding, worth knowing, worth loving, you and your one million layers. Always hold that close.
Embrace your 40s. You are beautiful, you are valuable, you are strong, you are blessed and you are enough.
Thank you Cynthia for sharing your story! All the best on getting that PhD and keep rocking that natural hair girl, you look amazing!
Would you like to be featured in this series? Click this link to find the questions and how to submit your interview to me.