The 45 year old in the middle of the (virtual) room
By JL Fields on August 22, 2010
I am the 45 year old in the middle of the (virtual) room. Literally. One recent Saturday night there I was, right in the middle of that room. I was participating in a TweetChat (all the 40 year olds are doing this, right?). Several bloggers, who didn’t go the Healthy Living Summit (HLS) in Chicago, decided to get together via TweetChat to talk about what health means to us and to share our blogs, etc. I had mentioned that based on the blog pictures from HLS it looked like most participants were in their 20’s. So I asked my fellow TweetChatters if they would share their ages. 23. 26. 30. I was the old lady! Just the other morning I was reading one of my favorite vegan food blogs and the blogger gave a birthday shout-out to her mother. Her mother turned 44. Finally, after all of these years, I can say to a “peer,” and mean it, “I’m old enough to be your mother.” How did this happen?
I started a food and fitness blog two months ago and suddenly my new community is 20-something women. I adore them, I just don’t know how I got here. In my 20’s, post-graduate school, I partied. I didn’t work out. I smoked. I swung by this great little Chicago pub every night on my way home from work. Sometimes for one drink sometimes for several. I joined the pub’s dart league (hey! exercise!). I fell in love with the wrong guys and even moved in with one for, oh, I don’t know, six months? A year? My career was advancing nicely but overall my twenties were, er, a bit scattered.
I slowed down a bit in my thirties, met my husband, and eventually we moved to New York. Along the way I ditched the cigarettes, I grabbed some running shoes and suddenly I was running marathons and triathlons and eating vegetarian.
Seven months ago I started eating vegan. In June I started blogging about it. And that’s when it happened. I met those I consider to be “virtual vegan mentors.” I follow them on Twitter and I read their blogs faithfully. These women (and a few men) truly helped me learn how to eat right (and well!) as a new vegan. Many of them have inspired me to try to move from dietary vegan to ethical vegan status (I’m still working on that).
These 20-something (and a few are older, you know, like 30) are my “virtual vegan mentors." They write blogs. They write books. They run marathons. They are married. They have children. And here’s me, a married, child-free woman turning 45 in a few weeks, who was far less ambitious--outside of work--in her twenties, sitting in the middle of the virtual room filled with brave, amazing and accomplished young women. I simply scratch my head, curious how I got here. But happy that I am.
A group of phenomenal young woman have launched HLB, a new resource for the health blogging community. Created by Lindsey of Sound Eats, HLB is a site designed to enhance the positive community of the healthy living blog world. Bloggers and readers can explore the site and find more blogs to love, bloggers in their area, and forums to deepen healthy discussion and support. If you're interested in having your site listed on HLB, simply send the following information to email@example.com and check the site out for yourself!
- Email subject line: MEMBERS
- Your name (please let me know if you prefer to go by first name, first and last, or however you prefer to be known on the Internet)
- Your blog name and URL
- Your twitter username, if you have it
- Your location (if you prefer not to disclose this information for privacy’s sake, that is completely understandable. We’ll simply include your blog listing in the a-z listing, not by location, too)
- Any specific labels (i.e. vegan, gluten-free, weight loss, running, etc.)
I blog about my transition to a vegan diet at JL goes Vegan: Food & Fitness with a side of Kale