Last summer I met a lady who had recently taken the plunge and given up her secure university post to not only start her own business, but to do this in a new country too. Like me this woman was in her fifties, and like me she was appalled at the idea that she could end her working life facing the same dreary commute, the same staff room politics, the same work-life struggles that she had endured for decades.
I started out with such high aspirations – no rat race for me, my life was going to be different. This notion doesn’t make me special: for us baby boomers this was going to be our time, coming of age in a post flower-power world, the sixties behind us and glam rock and punk beckoning.
I vividly remember the pride I felt to be part of a generation that created Live Aid, which as it happens was on my son’s first birthday and I can still see him wearing nothing but a nappy as he rocked out to Queen and David Bowie in front of our tiny black and white TV. It seems fitting therefore that this blog launches in a month that saw Bowie (that master of reinvention who provided the soundtrack to so many of our lives) take his final curtain call.
Yet somehow here I am hurtling towards my own golden years with the realisation that resist as I might, the rat race got me – life has this habit of getting in the way for the best of us – but with the absolute conviction that it is not too late! Like my new friend, I can embrace change, chuck in the soul-destroying monotony and take control of my future. This blog is one small step on that journey…
I feel compelled to write about the fact that I think I am facing a massive female midlife crisis, life transition, maturity journey or whatever you want to call it! Well that’s what I think it is anyway, although I mentioned this to a work colleague who just laughed and said you’re way past that age love! Bloody cheek I thought, but it got me thinking.
Is there an official age to have a midlife crisis then? It never crossed my mind that there was. Is it at 40? 45? 50? 55? It depends how long you’re going to live surely? Now there’s a question and imagine if you knew this when you were born. Would it encourage you to live the life you wanted to live rather than the one you think you have to? It would be like having a deadline (excuse the pun) and I for one know how mine would go. It would all happen at the last minute!
Anyway back to my crisis. The thing is I have reached an age where for me as a woman, I am entering a phase of many changes. My motherly duties are less challenging. I have three children all of whom are independent, wonderful people. Yes they still need me at times for emotional or financial support, but I actually feel that I am no longer a mother first and a person second! It is time for me to be me.
So I’ve been doing a bit of soul searching to say the least, asking myself a few questions, for example: What the hell am I going to do with my life? Do I enjoy my job? What do I really want to do? What happened to “arty me”? Do I even like my partner? And who the hell am I anyway’? I think I might be having an identity crisis too.
My plan is to rediscover myself within the blogging universe.