Well, here we are – less than a week from Christmas 2021. And while sometimes it feels like the world hasn’t changed much as we head into yet another wave of COVID-19 and are faced with potential restrictions again, a lot has changed! At least for me. I started this podcast back in January 2021. After a year of struggling with the pandemic, moving my wedding (multiple times) and feeling a bit lost and confused. This podcast was my outlet for expressing exactly what I was feeling and going through – like I was almost at my midlife crisis. I started this podcast because I believed I wasn’t the only one that struggled with the feelings of getting older, yet still feeling like I’m young which sometimes makes me feel out of place. I wasn’t the only one that was feeling like there were days I questioned my current life and felt an itch to make a change but didn’t know where to start. I wasn’t the only one that sometimes winced when I noticed another grey hair or wrinkle. I knew I wasn’t the only one that felt off-balance sometimes and so therefore I launched My Almost Midlife Crisis.
Throughout the year, I’ve brought up subjects like botox to how friendships change as you get older and The Great Resignation. I’ve talked about what it was like to be an almost 40 year old bride and defended the side part. I’ve sat down with an expert in gratitude, an author and a life coach. And through all of that, I’ve continued on my own journey of self discovery and reflection.
I’ve gotten better at setting boundaries with work and in my personal life. I’ve started to prioritize my own happiness so that I can be there for others. I’ve filtered those that I give access to my time and my heart, leaving more room for those that bring positivity to my life. And I’ve found courage to make these changes. Because let’s be very clear – making change in your life can be hard – even when it’s positive change! Accepting the way things are, even if you aren’t totally happy is actually the easy road. It takes no effort. Thinking about how things could be different or wanting things to be different takes minimal effort. But taking action? Living in the uncomfortable? Having tough conversations with others, and sometimes most importantly yourself? That takes courage. And it’s hard.
That’s what’s been going on this year for me. I’ve been making the tough decisions. I’ve been having the hard conversations. I’ve been putting myself out there in my professional and personal life. And as I sit here today, I can say that I’m happier today than I’ve been in the last in a very long time. I feel more in control of my own happiness. So what has changed?
Well first of all, I wrote a book. Yep, in a very short time from now, I’ll officially be a published author. I’ve always had a love for books. When I was a kid, I used to actually get in trouble for reading. Yes, you heard correctly. I would stay up past my bedtime reading and my mom would have to force me to turn off my light and go to sleep. I would be reading in class, just not what the teacher had asked me to read. I had drawers filled with books. And throughout my life, I’ve continued my love affair with books. I love a book that grabs you in the first chapter and that you can’t put down. Two of my favorites are Gone Girl and Shantaram. Highly recommend. Throughout all of this, I’ve always wanted to write a book and be an author. But I’ve always wondered what I would write. I’ve questioned why would anyone read my book? Who am I to write a book? Then COVID happened. When we went into shutdown, I started a journal. I wanted to record what it was like to live through the pandemic at the time instead of relying on my memory (which, let’s face it, has seen better days). Now, I never thought it would have lasted this long, but needless to say, I kept writing the journal. The last entry was when I got my vaccine shot. Because I thought that was the beginning of the end…wow, was I wrong huh?
This journal was meant to be for myself. I never thought about publishing it. But then as I was researching turning it into a hard copy for myself, I also started to notice there was a lack of personal accounts of the pandemic. All of the books were about how we got here from a political or scientific perspective. But there weren’t any books about what it was really like! So I decided to turn it into an actual book. Since June, I’ve been working with a publisher to get it together and we are now in the final stages before publication! Likely in first quarter of 2022, I’ll officially be a published author! Check that off the bucket list.
Speaking of bucket list items, Also in January of 2022, I’ll be a professor! Yep, I accepted an adjunct professor role at Loyola University teaching Media Planning to Juniors and Seniors within the Advertising and Communications school. Teaching is also something I’ve always had a love for, dating back when I would hold class for my stuffed animals as a kid. And now, I finally get to live out my dream of being a teacher. I’m thrilled and can’t wait to start!
I’ve also quit my job. Yep, I’m officially a member of The Great Resignation. This is the first time in my life I’ve quit without another job already lined up which was terrifying, but also exhilarating. Because this is the first time in my life I quit because I knew it wasn’t the right fit for me, not because I had a better offer. And it’s amazing on how quickly your circumstances change when you make a decision based on what you need. It’s no secret, advertising can be tough. I’ve been doing it for over fifteen years, I get it. I can be long hours, stressful and exhausting. But it can also be fascinating. It’s a career that’s filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There’s never a dull moment and the second you feel like you are an expert, something changes and you go right back into learning mode. To truly be successful not only in the industry but as a leader, it requires humility which can be hard to come by.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about myself through my work. I’ve learned what my boundaries are. I’ve learned how to pick myself back up after falling down. I’ve learned how to succeed with grace. I’ve learned how to motivate others even when it’s hard to motivate myself. I’ve learned how to lead with empathy and I’ve found my voice. I’ve also learned what helps me be at my best and what’s important to me. And I’ve learned when it’s time to walk away. These are hard lessons learned, but they’ve all led me to where I am today – as a Gold Coast Lady who lunches…ha ha just kidding. As someone that is ready for their next chapter and at peace with their decision. I don’t yet know where that next chapter will lead me, but I know myself better today than I ever had and therefore I trust myself to make the right decision.
So after a year of doing this podcast, and forty episodes later, I’m finally in the middle of my midlife crisis and you know what? It feels fucking great. Change is good. Change is freeing. Change is powerful. But first it requires you to take the time to think about what you want. What is serving you and what isn’t. What do you need? You don’t have to have all the answers. You don’t have to have the rest of your life planned out. You really only just need to know your first step and then take it. Trust yourself. Trust that you know what’s best for you and you have the ability to pivot – as many times as you want or need to to get where you want to go. So what is it that inspires you? What do you wish you could do? What’s stopping you? Will 2022 be the year you finally do it? Take that first step. I’ll be right here with you.
Thank you for listening today and throughout my first year of this podcast as I’ve tested formats, lengths, sound equipment, all of it. Please review, follow and share to those that you think would enjoy it! You can find the written version on myalmostmidlifecrisis.com or follow me on instagram, facebook and tiktok. Next week I’ll be releasing almost a highlight reel of some of my favorite chapters from this year – so tune in and let me know if you had others that were your favorites!
Until next year!