If you haven't read Part 1 of The Epiphany, please start here.
The morning of my birthday I found myself surprisingly calm and not at all how I expected I would feel on the day I turn 40.
All the fears and all the worries that somehow I would feel different and be different were nothing but wasted energy.
Until now I had no idea why I had tormented myself so much over turning 40. It was like I had made 40 that pivotal point in the middle of the most awesome holiday, or in this case the middle point of life.
You know that point where you have spent the first half of your trip on a complete high allowing yourself to be absorbed and lost in all the wonder around you. And then suddenly BAM, you reach the half way mark, and you know that this amazing time you are having will eventually come to an end and you are nearer to it now than you were yesterday.
And although you try with all your might to hold onto that magical holiday feeling, the inevitable end
taunts you and envelops you in an ever so subtle haze that is a constant reminder that the end is nigh.
That is how I felt about turning 40.
That is how I saw my life.
The years before 40 were the beginning of my wonderful journey. A period where I did not see time as an issue as I was yet to reach what I had pinned as the halfway mark in my adventure.
I could never explain it before now, my fears I mean. When people asked me why I was so fearful of that particular age, I was never able to verbalize it.
Until I have faced it in all its reality and I realise that all those fears were manifested by no one but myself.
I am not an overly religious person. I am technically a catholic and I send my children to a catholic school, and yet I feel unable to commit to any particular form of religion. I believe in a God, in something so much bigger than me or you and us. I have read books on Buddhism, Christianity, paganism, Hinduism, and I can identify with so much of the beauty in of all of them.
I felt a sense of spirituality and serenity in Bali that I have never felt before in my life, and perhaps it was the state of mind I found myself in this day that led to this moment of pure clarity.
The day of my birthday was one of the hottest days we had yet experienced in our time in Bali.
The air was thick and sticky and the only place to find relief was floating in the pool of our villa.
The boys were inside their air conditioned room playing a game and Carl was napping somewhere, so the pool was all mine to enjoy in peace and quiet.
Earlier in the week I had learnt that one of the central acts of Hinduism is to gaze upon a statue or image of a deity to gain it's blessing, and subconsciously I may have been doing this as I floated around in the water staring at a stone statue of Parvati a Hindu Goddess that overlooked the pool.
At either end of the pool was a jet of water that created a gentle current that was powerful enough to float you along from one end to another. It was as I was drifting in this current that the epiphany hit me.
This is what I have been doing my whole life - allowing myself to drift along in a current of which I had no control over the direction it would take me.
There were times I found myself frantically doggy paddling trying to keep up with everyone else caught in the tidal surge, trying to keep my head above the water, but never really knowing where I was headed or where I would wash up.
My journey to date has seen me take directions most of which I never consciously chose.
My career in business was not something I set out to do, it just kind of happened and I let it. For 20 years I let it happen and I accepted each new position as it was offered to me without any thought into is this what I really want for my life.
Theoretically, I have been an apprentice in my own life for the past 40 years.
I have participated, but allowed others to make the controlling decisions for me. I simply accepted where the tide took me, and I never really tested my ability to swim in the direction I wanted to go.
Oh I made good with the freedom I had, and I had control over the small things through organising our day to day. But I never had the courage to turn around and swim against the tide.
I don't know why I didn't have more faith in myself and my ability to make good decisions. Brave but rewarding decisions.
Only twice in my life have I been courageous enough to make key decisions for myself.
Once was to marry the love of my life at the tender age of 22, despite the warning from many that we were too young and the odds were against us making the distance.
They were wrong.
We HAVE made the distance and grown stronger together along the way.
The second decision I actively made, together with Carl, was to have children and everyday we have three beautiful boys to remind us again and again of the strength of our love in each other and our ability to bring dreams to life.
40 isn't the halfway mark.
It is just the shoreline.
It is the point from which I officially remove my L plates and take full control of my own journey in life. I now have enough experience and courage to make the decisions from here on and it is the moment from which I only ever go back into the current when I choose to.
I am the big Kahuna in my life now, the King Kong of my very own Tokyo.
I am trading in the waterlogged old apprentice cap and proudly putting on my Captains Jacket.
I will go where I want to go and not where the tide takes me. I will change course whenever I damn well please, cause I am the Captain now and I have earned my stripes and the right to set my own course.
If I get lost for a while - no biggie. I have gained enough experience in these past 40 years to find my bearings again and get back on track.
I will trust in my instincts to know what is right for me at any given moment and if I happen to fuck up, I'll get up, dust myself off and move on.
Because 40 is a privilege that sadly not everyone makes and it is a gift from the universe and that formless God that I believe in that I have been strong enough to get to this point.
Where I go to from here is up to no one but me.