This one’s for real.

It’s another birthday challenge. Or a reason to mute me on Facebook.

On February 29th, I’ll post each day until my birthday.

In 2016, I started this blog as a birthday challenge. Simple concept: post from February 29th until I turned 40. I even posted during an unplanned stay at the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU).

Those posts should’ve started on March 4th. However, a blog called 4 then 40? Yeah, no. This year, it’s an accurate 44 posts. A real 29 then 40.

Some call 2020 the year of reflection and hindsight. A time to reflect on city and country life, skating, fashion faux pas, more pas, acting, and the past, present, and future.

However, sharing these posts – my stories – have come with a price. Not everyone has agreed with my past posts. Just as some people didn’t agree with Gordon Sinclair Jr.‘s columns.

Some people share their stories through various mediums. Memoirs, blogs, photography, vlogs, acting, art and so forth. Sharing our stories is a powerful, brave, and vulnerable process because we risk judgment. Some consider our stories against the grain, against the norm. Or just plain wrong. Because it makes them uncomfortable.

But we own our stories. We are shaped by our experiences. We own our past, present, and future.

There will be judges. But I guarantee people will say, “I’m proud of you,” or “Thank you, I thought I was alone,” or “Thanks for the laugh.”

We need more people to be vulnerable, who are willing to share their stories. Because, if you don’t, we’ll never know your story.

And I know I’m not the only one who wore green mascara with purple eye shadow on grade seven picture day.