Mid 50 and Starting Again
By OverandOver on January 23, 2010
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Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes"; They will say, "Women don't have what it takes";” Claire Boothe Luce
I never thought that at my age I would be starting over. I have had a great career and it has been a great ride. No regrets, none, no matter what my friends who are mothers and grandmothers might say. I know the formula, I just can’t do it. I thought that a blog might connect me to a group of motivators. It just may connect me to people who understand what I am about. Most certainly, I could reap some comments that will make all of this easier. I hope.
Let me start this with an introduction. My beginnings were as a Marine’s daughter. I was Daddy’s princess, his only little girl. I was raised with 3 brothers, well two brothers and I raised the 3rd. My mom always worked in a time when no one else had a working mother. She wanted more. While growing up I was dragged to every baseball and football game that my brothers played. I loved dance classes but once we moved away from the base, my mother said that we couldn’t afford them. Now, I think about that. The boys participated in sports. None of that was cheap. The thing that I now realize is that my brothers sports were considered necessity, my dance was not. That is the way things went in the 50’s and 60’s, The male’s needs were tantamount to their successful lives. I was expected to find a husband, let him support me and provide grandchildren to my parents.
Isn’t it funny how we accepted the patriarchal society until the latter half of the ‘60’s. I even accepted it intellectually but my heart was never in it. I had to have everything (and more) than my brothers had. Money was saved to send the boy’s to college. My brother is only 15 months older than me. There was no money for two college tuitions. As a result, I have earned a paycheck since I turned 16 years old. I had a rule that I would never wait tables or work in a bar. I saw how women were treated. I knew how little they were paid and how hard they worked. It wasn’t for me. Please forgive my youthful arrogance. The rule held fast for so long. My first two years in college were relatively easy. Resident advisors in the dorm didn’t do too much for their pay. I spent summers working. I felt so suffocated living by my parents rule, (feet under my table….etc.) that I went to work full time while I pursued my degree full time. At 22, I had a degree and a management title in a publishing and direct mail company. I also joined the fight for women’s rights. I am so proud that I was one of the best soldiers in the effort working inside the system to blow the roof off of it.
So, after 40 years of doing battle in a man’s world and succeeding I wound up in the middle of the great tech bubble burst. WHOA! As it turns out, women of age are held in very little esteem in the business world. Underemployment has been my way of life since 2001. I have worked as a barista, been a substitute teacher, contract teacher and now in an industry that I once triumphed in, I find that I am an afterthought. No one notices me or even speaks to me. I am now overweight, a little sloppy and on the edge of being resentful.
We are going to start again and change all of that!
Hope E.N.D. = entirely new direction
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