Maybe it's because my birthday (and it's a big one) is coming up next month, but lately I've been asking myself this question a lot, and that question is: "what is my life?" Seriously. I find myself sitting in meetings, just wondering if everyone is looking at me wondering who let this child into the room, because majority of the time I feel like I'm just playing pretend. It's like I woke up in the morning and said, "Okay, let's imagine I'm a fancy business woman who loves to wear blazers and bright red lipstick. Yeah, that's the part I want to play today!" Except, I'm not pretending anymore. That's just who I naturally am, and it scares the bejeezus out of me. How did I suddenly go from dressing up like Liesl von Trapp and singing "You Are Sixteen Going On Seventeen" alone in my room to my stuffed animals to cruising down the 405 listening to NPR and wondering if I'm prepared for this meeting?
And I've noticed other women feel this way as well! I'm sure men do too, but I work with all women, so my perspective is limited these days. It's funny to me though that none of us feel we're actually the age we are today. When we're in our thirties, we feel like we are fifteen years younger, and when we're in our twenties, we feel like we are fifteen years older. There's no winning the age game (as Leslie Knope, I mean, Amy Poehler, eluded to in her recent Glamour speech). It is just a number after all, but it's amazing how fast time flies. Before you know it, you're the older woman sitting at a table with others looking to you for advice. But what about the advice I still need? Can't you tell I have no idea what I'm doing? Isn't it obvious I'm just dressing the part? Oh, maybe you're thinking I'm like Elle Woods and pretending to be something I am. That's cool. I can roll with that.
I can roll with most things, as long as the work I'm doing is dedicated towards empowering others. And my goal, as I get older, is that I'll be able to maintain my Sound of Music imagination and freedom as I continue to work alongside the girls, women, and people that make it all so meaningful. So to all those wondering the same thing out there, asking themselves "what is my life?" - I urge you to remember the freedom and imagination that got you to where you are today. Like me, you might still feel like you're playing this massive game of pretend, but honestly none of us know what we're doing with our lives and we never know who else is looking up to us, waiting for our awesome advice.
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