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Life With Benny 4.0: I'm turning 40 this year!

In late 2009 and early 2010, as I was approaching 30 years old, I was freaking out! They used to say something like “35 was basically dead in gay years.”

Because of the over-emphasis our gay men’s community can place on youth, I thought 30 was “old.”

I thought I should’ve been further along in certain areas of my life, and I just placed way too much emphasis on that number. Of course, now as I’m a decade older, 30-year-olds are practically babies!

Time really does fly by as you get older, and I can’t believe I’m now sitting down to start this series on approaching 40 (the big day is May 3, 2020). It really feels like just yesterday when I was writing "approaching 30" columns. (By the way, it’s cool that I was born in a “0” year - 1980 - as when the calendar decade changes, my life’s age decade changes with it. It also makes it really easy to calculate how old I was in a given year)

For this revamped series, I’ll call it “Life With Benny 4.0” (the previous column was titled “Life With Benny”), I am going to share some of my struggles of the last decade, I’ll share advice from the things I’ve learned, I’ll be honest about the mistakes I made, but most importantly, I’ll celebrate the decade that was my 30’s. 

I hadn’t thought about doing this series, but I was inspired by my friend Brent Foster who turned 40 last year.

He was incredibly open about his fears, struggles, and accomplishments in a variety of Facebook posts when he was approaching 40 last year, and it was nice to read from someone who shared similar concerns that I have. His honesty was refreshing, and was probably as helpful to me, as it was for him to get the thoughts out of his head and into the land of Facebook. Thank you, Brent, for the inspiration.

I see a lot of stories, writing, and other media about life in the 20s and 30s, and of course life when people are “aging” (50-60+) but 40 seems to kind of be like a forgotten decade of life. It really is just the time when many people are mid-career (we’ve worked a long time already but got many more decades of work ahead of us!), are going along with our lives, and it just feels like we’re kind of there.

We’re no longer the “celebrated youth” of our community, but we also aren’t looked at as being around long enough to be the “wise old mentors”. So with this, I want to share about the point of life I’m at and give voice to the 40-something crowd!

I’ve got several topics planned already, but I’d also like to open it up: what questions do you have for me? What topics related to “approaching 40” do you want me to discuss?

I can be reached at bc@hale.media or on through my Facebook page or Instagram. I always welcome comments, feedback, questions, and more! Look for my next “Life With Benny 4.0” column in a couple of weeks!

xoxo Benny