I feel like there has been a change in my blogging or rather, the focus of my blogging over the past month or so. And nothing has given me greater pleasure than having a couple of you notice and comment on this to, so thank you for that.
It all started with a conversation I had with TechGirl about blogging.
Blogging has really exploded over the past year, everyone and his dog is suddenly a blogger and along with that explosion comes a thousand different blogging how to and know how support groups over various social platforms. I have joined and loved them all and learned so much in the process from my fellow bloggers. I’ve picked up thousands of tips and tricks that have helped me improve my writing and encouraged me to step out into other content creation spheres too.
The flip side of that coin is that, along with all the tips and tricks I’ve learned, I’ve also felt pressure to conform to all the “how to’s”. How to develop relationships with brands, how to find your niche and stay within it, how to find your brand identity, how to this, how to that. And all it’s done is confuse me and I’ve often felt pressurized to conform to all the supposed rules and regulations.
And this lead to even more insecurity on my part.
Because suddenly all this talk of staying within your niche and following how things “should” be done left me feeling like I didn’t really know my place in the blogging sphere. My blog has changed identity so much over the years, first an infertility blogger, then an adoption advocate, then a parenting blogger and now? Well now what?
But then I had my a-ha moment.
During that conversation with Sam, I realized I don’t need to conform. I don’t need to do any of the things people assumed I should. I don’t have to be just one thing. And most importantly, I could be all those things and still authentically me. Because that is growth, and growing within that role, and still writing and creating for myself and my own personal needs first and foremost.
Comparison is the thief of joy.
And while trying to squeeze myself, a square peg, into a round hole, I found myself making comparisons to others and it stole my joy and my creativity and left me feeling inadequate and lost. I’ll never be the cute, hipster, 20 something mommy blogger, or the straight talking edgy blogger. Or the tech blogger, or the funny blogger or any other kind of blogging niche because I am not those people and as much as I try to keep up or fit in, I’m just not going to because I’m none of those things.
So what am I?
I’m a 44 year old working mother of two. I am a woman. I am a wine drinking, music loving, trash reading, make up loving, wife, mother, friend and daughter. I am a little bit wild, a little bit outspoken, a little bit soft, a liberal thinking fabulous woman.
And I am still relevant!
Maybe not to the 20 somethings and that’s ok, because let’s be honest, I passed that 20 something fresh faced phase, oh like, 20 years ago! Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, wore the T-shirt out!
I got the idea to share this post as a way of inspiring women in their 40’s after a discussion with a fellow blogger who is also in her 40’s and struggling to find her voice right now, for so many of the same reasons as I’d been struggling just a few months ago.
When I sat down to write this post, I did an image search for mature women to use as the feature image on my blog. Do you know what the search results spat out? This:
And pretty much, that’s what society so often and falsely believes a mature woman to be. Somewhat irrelevant, rarely attractive, most often silly. With mom jeans and permed hair, out of style, out of touch.
Well news flash!
As I told my fellow blogger, we are in our 40’s and fabulous. We are relevant, we have opinions worth sharing, we have experiences to impart and we have voices that deserve to be heard. And do you know what happened when I started embracing my 40 something voice and sharing more of me as a person? Me as a woman, wife and mother, sharing and showing all aspects of myself?
People sat up and took notice.
And guess why? Because 40 is the new 30 and there is an entire market out there that is being sidelined because so much is marketed towards younger women and older women are lumped with marketing about leaking bladders, hormone replacement and “mature” fashion.
We 40 and 50 and 60 and so on women and mothers are just as fabulous and our younger counterparts. We like pretty things just the same. We love fashion and beauty just the same way any 20 something does, we can rock a smokey eye look and juggle the balancing act of life, we are fierce, fearless, fabulous and sexy. We can still strive to be more and create more and we can inspire other women on their journey.
And I guess during the course of that conversation, I was able to define my voice, I am anything and everything I want to be. But above all, I want to show the world just how fabulous being a “mature” woman can be!
Which gave me another idea…
I’d like to start a new feature on my blog, actually, who am I kidding, this will be my first feature on my blog. I’d love to start a series called Fiercely, Fearlessly, Fabulously Forty!
I’d like to feature the stories of other women who are fearlessly and fiercely living their lives to the fullest, busting the norms and rocking their forties, as a way of breaking stereotypes and empowering each other.
If you’re keen to participate, please email me!