May 11, 2016
Finding Peers Online Over Forty
Where my over-forty bloggers at? I've been wondering this for awhile now, and it keeps coming up in conversations with friends. I'm having a hard time finding people like me online, not just people who are in my situation, but women I feel a connection with. The internet is full of female voices - creatives, entrepreneurs, bloggers, podcasters - but a lot of them are younger and talking about things I've already figured out.
While I do love a millennial podcast, I would looooove to hear from women in their 40's and 50's talking about what they've learned, what they did wrong, how they overcame their failures, and how they reinvented themselves.
Where are the women who are starting businesses after leaving a 10-15 year career? Where are the women who left their careers to raise children and are starting businesses after being at home for 5 years? Where are the women who realized they were unhappy, scrapped it all and started all over, possibly more than once?
I'm not saying I don't know women like this, because, of course I do. What I'm saying is, this is not a predominant, or even easy to find, voice online, or on podcasts. Why is that? If the women I know IRL (I learned that by listening to millennial podcasts) are any indication, it's because they're too busy.
Or is it timing? I started this blog in 2007 when I was 31. If I had been even five years older, I wouldn't have started a blog. The women around my age who did start blogs back then are either too famous to be authentic, or found fulfillment somewhere else and left the internet. There are exceptions - Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge has been around since the beginning and is still super authentic and helpful. Also, Kim France of Girls of a Certain Age. Kim's not doling out live your best life advice, but she's a badass, she's in her 50's, and she has an strong presence online.
Speaking of blogs, there is a "how to" trend right now. Oy. I'm not saying these how-to posts aren't helpful, a lot of them are, but because they're so sharable ("click to pin"; "click to tweet"), and clicks equal money, they are everywhere. I miss storytelling and honest writing. I miss feeling connected to women's lives and struggles. There's not enough balance. The pendulum swung too far when everyone got so goddamn mean in comments sections.
I have the same issue with podcasts. I wish there was a podcast of professional women in their 40's and 50's talking about boundaries, good enough instead of perfect, saying yes to things you don't know how to do, stretching to learn new things, keeping up with technology, better ways to say no to clients, the isolation of working from home, etc.
Maybe this is part of turning 40 - realizing if I want to see a space online for women like me, I have to create it. Does this mean I have to start a podcast? In fairness, I do have a pretty solid connection to a recording engineer... (I'm not starting a podcast.)
To balance out all the shade I just threw, here is a list of blogs and podcasts I thoroughly enjoy:
A Kaleidoscoped Life
Girls of a Certain Age
Joy the Baker
Sweet Fine Day
The Crepes of Wrath
Yes and Yes
2 Dope Queens
Call Your Girlfriend
Ctrl Alt Delete
Dear Sugar Radio
Put Your Hands Together
This American Life
WTF with Marc Maron
Random Sheroes Born Before the Bicentennial: