Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Apparently necessity is also the mother of REinvention, as fate has dropped me at the doorstep of reinventing myself here in middle age.  After spending the bulk of my youth in a career initiated over 20 years ago - the result of a temporary assignment through an employment agency - circumstances now demand a choice from me.  As The Clash would ask "Should I stay or should I go?", and for me, right here, right now, there is no other response except, I go.  I go to find myself.  I go to find what is important to me.  I go to ask the impossible questions and to seek the answers.

I've thought long and hard about who I believe I am and why I believe I'm here.  I'm still not sure of the answers to those questions, but I have discovered that I need my life to matter.  I need to know that when I'm gone from this plane of existence, the world - heck the universe even, dream big! - will be a better place because I was here.  It doesn't matter that my name is remembered or even that I am remembered, but simply that my being here made a positive difference.

It's scary reinventing myself at midlife.  What if I fail?  I'm not sure what I'm doing or how to do it.  Will I look foolish?  Will I even be given the opportunity to reinvent my career?  I'm not afraid to start at the bottom - a lot shorter distance to fall that way - but it's frightening to just be starting out again when most women my age are at or near the height of their careers.  I know I want to write; I know I want my career to be a part of who I am and not just a job, but who knows if a Creative Director will give me a chance?

What I don't have:

  • A big impressive portfolio.  I have mostly just magazine and newsletter articles I was fortunate enough to get published.  Although I don't have much in the way of design skills, I am practicing with the digital camera and working diligently on my Web development capabilities. 

  • A lot of real-world work experience at writing.  I really only have this blog and my articles - so far.  However, I know in my heart and soul that a writer is what I've always been and am destined to be.  I just need to find that Creative Director who is willing to believe in my potential.

What I do have:

  • Determination.  As a former 24-hour mountain bike racer, I know what it's like to have to dig deep inside for all the resolve you can muster, so far that it's terrifying, just to keep going.  Most times it's tough, racing between those hours of midnight and sunrise, and it's tempting to just give up.  I never did.

  • Creativity.  I grew up the daughter of a single mother who is also an artist.  Although she was formerly an advertising graphic designer for a large corporation, her layoff led her to trust her own instincts and she made a living for herself, my sister and me by painting.  She was self-taught, but she worked hard at her craft and was able to support our family using her own creativity.  She developed her own niche as a talented artist, which she still maintains, and I believe I inherited her creativity - For years she drove a VW Beetle painted red with black ladybug spots and I ride a leopard-skin painted bicycle.  Hmmmm.

  • Ambition.  I love learning new things, especially when they allow my creativity to break free.  I thrive on throwing myself wholeheartedly into everything I attempt.  I know failure is part of the learning process, but it's a necessary part and I try to learn from my failures, hoping to get a little closer to success the next time.  And the next.  And the next.

  • Dedication.  I tend to immerse myself completely into whatever project I'm working on at any given time.  Some may say that's a fault, but I believe it is what it is.

  • Conviction.  I try to see all sides of an issue before making a decision, but I will never be untrue to myself.

  • Focus.  I live with a husband, two needy rescue dogs and two rescue kittens.  Let's face it:  I've become quite adept at working around distractions.

  • Passion.  I love to write.  I live to write.  It's what makes the sun rise for me each morning and makes the moon rise at night.  I've come to realize that my life is happening right now at this very moment, not tomorrow or the next day, so let's put pen to paper and write about it!