I was a teenager in the early ’80’s under a Thatcher government when money was for making the boys wore more makeup than the girls the country was in the grip of huge social and economic change and with the headiness of youth and Duran Duran playing on the radio those were the days when we believed anything was possible. Confidence oozed out of every pore, it seemed the patriarchal nay sayers were put back in their cupboard and women ruled, how wrong was that! With power suit dressing and shoulder pads like ski slopes woman became the new alpha male. The more we were told ‘no’ the more we pushed we interpreted life as we wanted to live it. The 3 C’s of my youth: Change – was exciting, Confusion – something to explore and Confidence was had by the bucket load. Now in my early 50’s I am in perpetual confusion, my confidence has been lost along the way and my life pivots on permanent change.
Impostor syndrome becomes our nemesis as we gather years, we question our ability to perform at the level we once did, inadequacies and incompetence’s feel overwhelming we fear not living up to expectation the loss of confidence and the fear of not coping with change but remember you have earned your place you don’t have anything to prove to anyone. We need to lose the cynical eye that we view ourselves with and be patient and understanding of ourselves.
As we age the stereotypical images of ageing women come into play advertisers dismiss us unless it’s for an advert for a retirement village or a SAGA holiday! Our ability to perform tasks are questioned, getting a CV together can read like a shopping list of the jobs and skills we have accumulated over the years, we are either over qualified or our qualifications are out of date which is tantamount to saying we are too old, but look at the life skills, experiences we have gained, juggling work and family all to be pushed aside for someone younger and less experienced when there is still the fire of ambition within us and the need to be seen and our voices heard.
It is time that the tide turned, our generation is awakening into a new dawn, we are the ones living longer, we still have so much to give, it is time those middle aged men who sit in the boardrooms and in government realised what a powerful force we are it is time to break out of the box they want to put us in and shove that box right up their arses whilst imagining we are one of the girls from the Human League or the model on Durn Duran’s Rio video, so listen to the music, dust off those frilly shirts and get heady on the smells that remind you of the times when you felt like you ruled the world and remind yourself you do actually rule your world.