Story by Anonymous, Aged 45

Finding Myself Through the Noise

"You cannot pour from an empty cup."

May 27, 2022

You cannot pour from an empty cup. That's a note to you, to me, to us. I have only recently started putting myself first and setting boundaries to prevent feeling overstretched. I am a mother of two teenagers, a wife, sister, daughter, friend, and a fellow woman experiencing midlife. Before this, most of my free time was spent taking care of others, and I had this constant feeling of stress and frustration.

So, I made a change.

I realized creativity was my outlet; I built my creative agency, studied photography, and always derived joy in the feeling of making something with my hands. Looking back on these passions was an act of looking within. So I started making collages; I love it because it's something I can do for 10 minutes or hours. Putting my focus into a project that doesn't include hundreds of emails is bliss. When working on my collages, I am entirely present and happy exactly where I am.

The dynamic of my family is changing, and I am embracing the next stage of parenthood. My kids are older, so I don't have to do much, but there's still the rallying and the dinner and the clean-up and the cajoling and then just the worrying. But I am learning to center my happiness and explore my interests.

I am looking forward to traveling and not worrying about who's home or who I have to feed; I am looking forward to a feeling of lightness.

I guess we are at the busiest point of our lives, a crossroads of experiences and emotion. I am even rethinking how I express my fashion sense…is there an expiry date on my miniskirts? The more time I spend creating space in my life for the things that make me happy, the better I feel, so I am constantly trying to figure out that balance. It's not always easy, but it's certainly worth my time.

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