Damn you to hell AutoCorrect! Now, not only have I just discovered I’m way old, my computer thinks I’m from the 14th century. I typed in what to expect when you are middle-aged, Google spat back out what to expect when you are Middle Ages. WTAF!
I thought I was aging pretty well. I had no real wrinkles to speak of (thanks for the great skin Mom). My jeans weren’t cutting me into a hamburger bun; more like a mini muffin top.
My inner dialogue while looking into the full-length mirror was peppered with “Yes gurl, you still got it.” and “If I was a guy, I’d do you.” Then with one innocent comment, my youth was snatched out from under me.
It happened one night when I was bored and made the mistake of googling my TV boyfriend. James was being his usual charming self in an interview when he said IT.
Oh No He Didn’t
In response to a question about his growing rabid fanbase, he was quoted saying there is “great support and affection from a middle-aged demographic” for his Grantchester character Sidney Chambers. That one line jolted me into reality. Did my TV boyfriend just call me an over-the-hill fangirl?
After I finished boohooing, I violently shoved my husband awake and proceeded to rapid fire him questions. What age is middle-aged? Am I middle-aged? How old am I? Poor thing didn’t even have time to answer before I gasped, “Shit, I’m middle-aged.” With that realization, I sank into my bed, pulled the covers over my head and laid there.
After about an eon, I started mentally constructing a list of my achievements. All the usual suspects were there: university degree, post-university degree, bought house, sold house, and married for 10+ years without killing spouse or spouse killing me.
Anybody Know Career CPR?
To my horror, when I got to the career bullet point I stopped. I pictured my communications career, in her cute little business suit, taking a few steps back and then running full speed ahead off a cliff into the Mediterranean.
I spent the next few days searching for websites about successfully reviving careers for middle-aged women but all I could find were lifestyle blogs. You know the inspirational quote-laden blogs that wax on about celebrating your best age or how to look taller and slimmer. Bitch, I wanna know where to get a freaking job, not what to wear after 50! I need information, not inspiration.
The voice of reason came in the form of a Skype call from my BFF back in Canada. My husband called her for help after I refused to change out of my PJ’s and didn’t leave the house for a week.
Alive and Kicking
In between my sobs and inane whining about my lost career, she actually doled out some pretty good advice. First, she told me to put a sock in it because I was a trouper not a cry baby. Secondly, she reminded me that my communications and writing skills would always be relevant and needed in the workplace.
She also pounded into my head that teaching English was not a waste of time because I now had a first-rate grasp of English grammar. That’s an additional smart person thingy to add to my resume, right?
Probably, the most important point she made was that I needed to stop thinking about what might have been if I hadn’t left Canada. She was on point with that little nugget of wisdom.
I came away from the conversation with a new outlook on what I had to offer the world. I mean, I had decided to change the trajectory of my life and it was time to try launching it at an upward angle. Shit, that’s like physics ain’t it?
Thanks to the chat with my BFF, I decided to jump back on the writing horse and My Expatations was born. Onward and upward.
For those of you wondering who the heck James is, he’s British actor James Norton. He’s super talented, hot as fuck and
is was my soul mate. I can hear THOSE people saying, “Oh, her poor husband. Isn’t he supposed to be her soul mate?” Relax losers, he’s got an equally hot movie star girlfriend. We have an imaginary open relationship.
My Expatations: feel like 30 until age 65, career keeps growing when you move abroad
Reality: still feel hot as shit, career can stall and restart
UPDATE: It’s been over a year since writing this post and my freelance copywriting career is in full swing.
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