A post this week from a blog that I’ve been turned on to from a friend reminded me of an article last year that I meant to share. The friend of a friend writes Frenemom, a witty and sarcastic blog about fashion, style, and family. Her most recent post is her Confessions of a Formerly Fat and Unhappy New Mom, and one of the things she shares is that after having her daughter, she realized the importance of putting herself first, focusing more on what brought her happiness, and getting rid of those things that don’t.
In November, Forbes put out an article that made the rounds for a few weeks about Millennial women who are burning out by the age of 30. I do think there is a subset of the Millennial generation that worked very hard in school, extracurricular activities, college, etc. to always do well and be their best, and the land the job/career that they are supposed to have. I don’t believe that those actions can be separated by gender, though. The delay for being rewarded for hard work in the corporate environment can be stifling, and if you don’t have an adequate support network to help you think through this and navigate organizational politics, it can be hard to stay as motivated and driven as you’ve been all of your life. Just given the numbers, and the fear around stating what you need, I can understand that this would happen to women more than men.
Another thought I had after reading the Forbes article, and likely it was because I’ve been going through this myself the last year, is that around the age of 30, people can be hit with the need to focus and spend time and energy in ways they want. There is a logical progression from school, to college, to internships, to the first job, and making your way up through the first levels in a company. Weeks turns in to years turns in to a decade, and you (I) realized that if the things you are putting all of your time and energy in to aren’t what really bring you fulfillment, and are instead the things you were supposed to do, you need to stop. And I don’t see this as burning out – I see this as being very honest with yourself, looking deep inside to figure out what it is that drives you and what your passion is, and then creating that world (whether it’s in a corporate setting or not). Frenemom is a manifestation of that, and I’m looking forward to creating and discovering more ways to allow people to be true to what drives them and makes them happy.