Today, I sat in my car and screamed and screamed and screamed.
I’d just spent 90 minutes scraping the ice off it. Before that, I’d texted my ex-boyfriend. Before that, I’d looked at my bank account.
Spending half the winter scraping off your car is, in my opinion, a small price to pay for access to your own private padded room, and today, I sure AF needed it.
I am 51 years old, and in my finances, my love life, my home, and my career, I have nowhere to go but up.
I’m single, childless (or childfree depending on your perspective), currently have no fixed address (or as I like to say between homes), and launching a new career.
I’m 51 and starting over in 4 of the major areas that define your life.
But where are the role models for women like me?
When I hear about other women my age, I hear about empty nesters slowing down, women sandwiched between caring for parents and kids at home, and stressed-out executives at the top of their game.
I am not this woman.
I am single with no dependents. I work remotely for myself. I have enviable freedom and a morbid fear of dying alone surrounded by a dozen cats (made even worse by the fact that I’m allergic to cats so they must have moved in after I died but before anyone noticed the body).
Yet, I am a woman who many people would look at on social media and say, “Shit! That girl’s got it together.” At 51, I’ve learned a thing or two (including how to pose for the camera in a flattering light).
But as I write this, behind that smile, my life is a fucking mess.
I’ve had my heart broken three times in the past 12 months after rushing into relationships way too fast (a lifelong pattern).
I am currently both super angry with my ex for being so emotionally attached to his dead ex-girlfriend (it’s complicated) and super sad that he’s no longer in my life.
I’m also super curious why I sought out and got into a relationship when I knew I’d be moving away within the year, why I find it so hard to be single, and why I’ve dated so many men.
(In my family, there’s a running joke about the annual family Christmas photo. It’s always my mom and my dad, my sister and her husband, my brother and his wife, and me and “Now, which one was that?”)
Let’s just say I’ve had more than my fair share of romance. I’ve started joking that I have to move to Prince Edward Island because I’ve dated all the age-appropriate men in Ontario.
To get to the bottom of what could very well be a borderline case of love addiction, I’ve decided to be celibate for a year. (My mom laughed when I shared that goal and said, “Oh honey. That’s going to be really hard for you. Are you sure?” Seriously. That’s how bad it is.)
No where to go but up!
But I haven’t just been through a revolving door of men. I’ve been through a revolving door of homes (it was a really big revolving door but, hey, everything is bigger in Toronto).
As I write this, I’m staying at my sister’s loft in the tiny town of Almonte Ontario while she and her husband pass the winter in warmer climates.
Last month, I gave up my room in an apartment I’d shared with a roommate for the past three years, said goodbye to the city I’d lived in since I was 26, and hauled my stuff to a storage locker about a mile down the road from where I am now.
It was my sixth move in the past nine years.
While some women my age want to step out of the box, I want to step into one and stay there.
I’m so fucking tired of moving!
I crave stability. I want to plant roots and watch them grow. And, I want to do it on the East Coast because:
- It’s more affordable than Ontario
- It’s friendlier than Ontario, and
- Every time I go there my skin clears up and my hair looks great (and if that’s not a legit reason, I don’t know what is).
In 2019, I spent two days in Charlottetown, PEI, and unlike anywhere I’d visited in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, it felt like home. So now, with my sister and husband returning to their one-bedroom in May, I have two months to figure out how to get there.
No where to go but up!
Which brings me to my perhaps most pressing current challenge.
Two years ago, I took a lay-off from a great paying job with the government to start my own business. After a few pivots, I’ve honed in on helping heart-centered life coaches, healers, and transformational consultants with their communications, messaging, and visibility.
The learning curve has been steep. The income? Not so much (yet).
Last year, my business made $22,000 (which although not a living wage, is something I’m really fucking proud of nonetheless). I’ve been living on savings but they won’t last forever.
I’m 51. If I want to retire comfortably at 70, I need to make six figures or more and keep earning that for at least 15 years.
I have to ramp up and I have to do it fast. I may also have to find, ugh, another job.
Nowhere to go but up!
So yep. I’m starting over in a lot of places. And as I do this, I’m taking ownership of where I am, examining my patterns, and working hard on changing my limiting beliefs.
And occasionally, I’m screaming in the car.
But I’m brave, and I’ve learned a thing or two in my 51 years. This is my chance to apply those things.
That’s what this blog is about:
It’s about the climb and what I learn going up that mountain. It’s about the successes, the setbacks, and the raw, honest, authentic, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes meh, play-by-play of how I’m reinventing my life.
And how, at 51, I am finally coming home – to me.
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