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Week of requests: Tales of reinvention

Tales of reinvention

A reader named Danielle asked to hear stories of mid-life career reinvention, and I thought this might be an excellent moment for those of you who’ve made big changes to share your stories. I feel like most of you know mine, but for those of you who do not: Once, not so very, very long ago, I was the editor in chief of a fashion magazine. After a decade in the job, I was abruptly shown the door. After a year spent doing absolutely nothing, I started this blog, and it has been one of the most satisfying chapters in my career. My reinvention came about because I was forced to find a new path, but I’m curious about the rest of you: what made those of you who made a monumental change take the big step? Share, please.

Posted on January 10th, 2017 55 Comments

55 Responses

  1. joanne says:

    I am literally in the middle of a change, not my career but how I practice it. I have always worked as a clinical social worker but the bulk of my work was within an organization of some kind, with a small private practice. I am now no longer working for anyone else. Just me. I am scared shitless but know deep in my heart it’s the right move. I have always wanted the freedom of time and money to do my own thing and I am in mid-leap to that end. I have enough money to cover next month’s rent but I knew that if I didn’t do it now, I never would. Turns out 51 is a great age to break out on my own, my Mom did the same at 51. Wish me luck, and if you ever need a great therapist, I Skype!

  2. Ellen says:

    At the age of 55 I realized I could stay in a tolerable but not very happy marriage or leave. So I left and while the last 2 years have had their challenges, last year I visited 7 countries, reconnected with family, had a giant Christmas party, got a tattoo and realized how very many people there were in my life that I love. I am busy every minute and have never looked back!

  3. LeighTX says:

    My reinvention also came after a major life change: 11 years ago when I was 34, my husband (a pastor) was let go from his job. It was sudden and for no real cause other than they wanted someone younger; we were shattered. We moved 1,000 miles away into his parents’ home and both of us cried all our tears for a lifetime.

    After a couple of months we came out of our fog a bit and realized we only had one month of severance left and one of us had to get a job. I’d been a stay-at-home mom for the most part for the previous seven years, and thought I’d do that until the kids were grown. Instead, I polished up my resume and headed to a placement agency where I told them I needed full-time work but would temp anywhere for a paycheck in the meantime.

    I was placed in the payroll department of an oil & gas company filing vacation records, and within a month my supervisors had recommended me for a full-time accounting position in the company paying more than I’d ever made before. I worked hard, volunteered for every new project that came down the pike, earned my MBA on the side, and within eight years I’d doubled my salary. I now have a real career, a great title, and a job I love to do.

    Those first two weeks of working full time were the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I cried every morning on my way to work, mourning the loss of the life I’d had and the loss of full-time motherhood. But I have tried to teach my daughters that life can come at you fast, and you have to be able to pick yourself up. I hope they’ve learned that you can have it all, but maybe not all at once, and that’s okay; we just have to do the best with what we have.

    • Charlotte Lucie says:

      Thanks for sharing.. very impressed by your courage. Change is so terrifying but look how well you have done. I haven’t had any children breaks and I often think I would be better at my career if I had..the journey can get a little tired and boring. Your story tells me breaks and change in a career are very positive.
      Thanks

      • LeighTX says:

        That’s sweet, thank you! I sometimes say if I had to do it over, I’d work when my kids were very young and take a break during elementary & middle school. They don’t remember my staying at home in the early years, and they seemed to need me a little more during the school years. I wasn’t able to do field trips or just hang out with them during school breaks. I was very lucky that my husband’s schedule allowed him to do those things, so I don’t feel guilty about it; just something I might have done differently and have told my girls it’s something for them to consider down the road.

        • charlotte lucie says:

          Yes, you are probably right. But remember a child will always need it’s parents, you never know when more, might be their 20s.
          Lucky you have a supportive husband!

  4. Erin says:

    Four years ago this month I started two years of change that I didn’t quite see coming until it started. I ended a relationship with a live-in boyfriend that had stagnated, which led to me buying my first home as I had to find a place to live. After that I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and had to go out on disability for a month to recover. Being out on disability really made me see how the one area in my life that hadn’t changed yet, my job as a project manager in the medical device industry, was not adding to my happiness. I had been working at a large corporation for over a decade, and while I worked hard found lots of opportunities and had some moments of satisfaction over the years, I never felt like I fit into the company culture.

    So while on disability I reconnected with someone offering an opportunity that felt a little risky but sounded interesting. Shortly after returning to my old job, I accepted an offer from a nonprofit to work with researchers developing technologies at an earlier stage to help them turn them into medical devices. And thanks to this change, I’ve found work I really love in a group that feels like a much better fit. I still can’t believe how much better things are now than they were four years ago.

  5. Well, funny you should ask this question.. you were one of the influences on my current / ongoing career reinvention midlife. You may remember some years ago you got us all excited about the Emerson Fry Caftan – well, I quickly bought it and felt very much part of Kim’s Caftan Club. I was in the middle of my Masters online and living in Kuwait and working full time at s pretty stressful job – but this sparked a obsession with caftans:dresses for women of a certain age particularly in hot climates a la Kuwait.
    After lots of research, a few trips to India and lots of trying different ways I decided the best way was the Nike ‘just do it’… so I set up an Instagram and slowly learning how to show and market my dresses since November. Still have full time job but this has given me a real passion, I am just so in love with it and love learning every step of the way.
    So, thank you!
    Charlotte

    • Bethany A Ball says:

      Love this!

    • Michele says:

      I, too, joined the Caftan Club after falling in love with the Emerson Fry Caftan! Now I can’t get enough of caftans. So please share your IG so the rest of us can check out your stuff!
      Congrats to you!

      • Thanks Michele for your support! Its a soft start seeing interest right now and as its been winter in Kuwait. I have had surprising amount of interest from my Australian architecture friends back when we worked in Sydney 13 years ago. I shouldn’t be surprised cause we are all professional women with similar figures and interests.
        My instagram is @charlottelucie.kw & my website is http://www.charlottelucie.wordpress.com
        I recommend looking at the ‘Desert Sands’ , ‘Laila’ & ‘Stephanie’ Dresses, these are my favorites – perfect for Girls of a Certain Age in hot climates! We are doing a photo shoot soon, so will step up my game! Interested to hear all your thoughts. Charlotte

        • Kristie Dahlia Home says:

          Charlotte, I adore the Stephanie dress! A little feedback: I need to see a full photo of the dress, and near the top of the image feed for it. Also, I need to know the price to consider it; the step of having to email to find out makes me assume it’s either too costly or too much bother. I hope this is useful, and I wish you great luck!

          • Kristie, thank you. Great to hear that you adore the Stephanie Dress. Completely agree with your very valid comments – imagery as well as ease of ordering are two primary issues. The price is USD207, this is stated under the full description of the dress, but the fact you didn’t see it goes back to the ease of ordering comment.
            Lots of work to do this end, but endless enjoying in building the business.
            Thanks again for taking the time to review.
            Charlotte

          • Kristie- I added a couple of snaps I had showing the Stephanie dress in full until we have our next photo shoot. Thanks again.

        • Jennifer L Marshall says:

          I really want to join the caftan club!! I ordered the Emerson Fry dress but it did not work because I am 5’4 and petite. It swallowed me up.

          Charlotte Lucie–any recommendations for dresses on your site that would work for my body type? Love that loose, chic look! And I would be thrilled to support a fellow GOACA reader.

          Jen

  6. Millicent says:

    Back in 2008 my husband and I were both laid off from our city/county government jobs, and instead of transferring to other positions in the civil service, we decided to move to Asia. This had been a dream for both of us since we were teenagers and part of what drew us together as adults — here was our chance! We networked like crazy, including a reconnaissance visit to three of our possible cities, and ended up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

    It was hard in many ways, but the best kind of hard. Finding a place to live, making friends, figuring out how to get around, how to set up home internet…all of that was a huge challenge, and getting one thing done in a day often felt like a huge accomplishment. I worked in the nonprofit sector, which was ultimately great, but the cultural differences often sent me home sobbing.

    My husband did some consulting, but not enough to be satisfying (or financially sustainable), so after five years we decided to move on. We both looked for work elsewhere in Asia, and a great opportunity for him came up in Mongolia. So in 2013 we packed up our cat and our over-supply of tropical clothes and moved to Ulaanbaatar. I had never in my life been homesick, but I was really homesick for Malaysia. I missed our friends, the food, the weather. Mongolia is fascinating, but its wide open landscapes and harsh climate were difficult for me to appreciate. Thanks to a contact from my previous job, though, I was able to work with a great feminist/human rights organization that gave me a community and sense of purpose.

    We had expected to stay past my husband’s initial 18 month contract period, but funding was cut, and for various reasons it seemed time to come back to the US. We’ve been back since the spring of 2015, and while life here is great in many ways, I still hope to return to Asia at some point.

    • Lynn says:

      Millicent, what a small world! I’m from Malaysia! Petaling Jaya, specifically, but if you lived in KL for a number of years then you likely know where that is. I know the cultural differences of which you speak, I’ve battled them all my life. But I’m also familiar with its undeniable charm. I will forever be attached there but anchored here, I think. I hope you find your way home.

      • Millicent says:

        I sure do know PJ! My office was there for the last three years of our time in Malaysia, and I had a very easy reverse commute from our apartment near KLCC. (Willingness as a relatively privileged person to use public transit being one of those cultural differences…)

        It’s nice to meet you here, and thanks for the warm reply.

  7. Nina Forrest says:

    My husband and I moved from Atlanta to Albuquerque in 1998 to begin our “retirement.” My husband ended up working for another 12 years and I started a jewelry design business in 2005 when I was 58. Since age seven, I’ve been sewing my own clothing, making home decor, printing on textiles and involving myself in the world of fashion and design. A chance visit to a local bead store started my journey in jewelry design. The designs became a business when people stopped me all the time and said “I love your necklace. Where did you get it?” It’s not easy making the product and marketing the business, but I love to design jewelry so passionately, the effort is worth it.

  8. kathyj says:

    Thank you all so much for sharing your stories! I need the inspiration right now as I work on my resume and cover letter for some new opportunities!

  9. Jess says:

    These replies were helpful to me. I’m a stay home mom for 14 years! And my husband has been out of work for over a year now and it’s not looking good for him. It’s time for me to go out and pound the pavement which is so scary when I gave everything up for my kids and home. I have lots of interests and passions but none really translate into work. I taught for a few years but not really interested in that. Thanks for the inspo! xxoo

  10. Gilli says:

    8 years after not working for 10 years while taking care of 3 young kids , I decided at age 45 that I wanted to renew my Nursing license and get back to work. I got a job in a Private school as a school nurse for 12 hours a week. Now 8 years later I am the Head Nurse and work 40 hours a week. My twin boys are enrolled there and are now Seniors – making a change and getting this job changesd our families life!

  11. Gilli says:

    meant to say 8 years ago ……

  12. Jennifer says:

    I feel like I am on the verge of something – reinvention, career shift, who knows – and appreciate all of this.

  13. stefanie says:

    I am a former lawyer and have been a stay at home mom for the past 14 years. I always hated being a lawyer and wished that I had pursue a career in mental health instead Well, this month I begin school to get my master’s in social work at NYU. I am excited and terrified but am soo looking forward to doing something!

    • joanne says:

      YOU ARE GOING TO BE GREAT! I did my MSW at 40 yo and it was an amazing gift to myself. Enjoy every amazing, frustrating, ming blowing minute.

  14. Hick from Styx says:

    My transformation came in the form of a baby. I had been all career. The pregnancy wasn’t average. The baby wasn’t taking a back seat to anyone or anything. We’d moved during the pregnancy, to a place where the sun didn’t shine, literally, up north. And so I became a SAHM. There was no support system. Soon we’ll move and I’ll go back to work, I thought. Then there were food allergies, environmental allergies and bouts of tonsillitis, trips to the pediatrician, a day’s drive away. We moved again. Then my aging parents starting having health challenges. Let’s just say my child grew up and here we are.

    Sometimes we choose our paths, and sometimes they choose us. My 18-year-old self knew I wasn’t going to follow this path. No way!

  15. Danielle says:

    I LOVE reading all of these. Thank you for your honesty, and thank you Kim! I was 37 when I went back to school for my MA in communication studies (different from communications; sorry, I get that all the time). Now, at 40, I just started my doctorate in comm. For some reason I was terrified to be in school surrounded by super cute 20-somethings who seemed to have their shit together, but today I’m glad I felt the fear and did it anyway. I had decided to give myself until 45 to get my PhD and move into the “working world.”

    More importantly is my second reinvention—one much more crucial. It concerns the cultural script all American women toil under. I should have been married in my early 30’s, two kids before 35, already tenured, building a solid financial future… you get the point. The awareness of this has been my biggest reinvention of late. What if there wasn’t a clock I had to keep chasing? What if I didn’t have to get into the “working world” by 45? What if I didn’t have to have kids ASAP or financial success soon?

    I’m embarrassed to admit it’s taken me this long to admit this. Having goals is important, and working towards those goals is admirable, but having goals or ambitions because they’ve been neatly prescribed by societal norms needs to be questioned I think. Also, life just happens and you can’t force things, or, you can, but it’ll suck eventually. That’s my reinvention story… for today.

    • Mockingbird says:

      Those 20 somethings are a little frightening- I swear we weren’t like that in college. I’m 43 and just finished up classwork for a masters in public health. My undergrad was in film production and writing, with a double major in a liberal arts honors program, so it was a huge swing after a decade plus of struggling in Hollywood. I’d been volunteering with Planned Parenthood, trying to get work in public health without going back to school, but nothing was working out and a friend inspired me by going to law school after a career in journalism. Having her to reassure me that yes, you do figure out the new online class resources, and seeing that she could do it helped a lot. It also helped that my father is in public health and in many ways treated me as an extra grad student, so while my science and math skills were rusty I spoke scientist and understood research. My MPH was two years of hard slog, and my brain betrayed me finally at the end with my migraines and mental health issues flaring up, but I only dropped the ball on work for my internship and a paper required for graduation, both of which I’m now working on finishing. The election has made job prospects frightening, as Republicans always slash public health funding, but there’s not much I can do about it. While nepotism doesn’t really exist in public health like it does in Hollywood, I fully intend to exploit my father’s contacts as much as needed. I don’t regret my time in Hollywood, even though I failed in many ways. It wasn’t the right field for me, and this feels like it will be better.

      To anyone else thinking about going back to school, I say do it. I did have my first true panic attack because of my intro to biostats class, but I took a math class after not having done any for 20 years and got a B-. I found out I was actually good at many things I’d never have expected, or had just assumed everyone could do. I worked much harder than I did in undergrad because I know the stakes better now, and that meant I often ended up head bitch in charge on group projects because I cared more. I worked with some useless children on such projects, but I also worked with some amazing women who taught me so much. It was terrifying but worth it. I do suggest that anyone going back to school either seek out or already have a decent support and social system in place, because the kids you’re in class with are likely not to invite you to their reindeer games. I thought it was me until I connected with another Gen X student who also said she found it incredibly lonely.

  16. Achariya says:

    At the age of 41, I was laid off from my instructional design job with a Navy subcontractor. During my three months of job hunting, I swam a lot and got sucked back into an old hobby — watching hockey. I began to write for SBNation, and (two years later) am now the editor-in-chief of Raw Charge, a Tampa Bay Lightning news site. It’s been crazy yet fun to be internationally known online as a hockey writer — it’s kind of like a hidden identity for an otherwise quiet girl scout mom.

  17. Bex says:

    My reinvention happened early in my life, when I scratched and clawed my way out of the working poor and into the middle class by going to college (I was the first person in my family to even graduate from high school, let alone get a BA). Sometimes I still have to pinch myself to believe it.

    • Well done to you.
      Another friend in the States was the first in his family to get a college degree, I really enjoy hearing his stories of determination too. We are both currently reading a Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance – I like it cause it’s not a poor me book, tells it how it is. Not sure how you will all feel about the book because your closer to understanding your own culture than I am (I am Australian), so apologies in advance if I offend anyone for mentioning this book.

      • Bex says:

        Hi, Charlotte. I read Hillbilly Elegy, too, and it was shocking how closely his family’s journey (from Kentucky coal country to the Midwest) and dysfunction mirrored my own. I do think he was a little harsh on our fellow hillbillies but I understand his frustration. I have cousins who have been “on the disability” for years, without ever trying to educate themselves in order to find different employment, and yet they still blame the government for their predicament. Their passivity and stubbornness can be maddening. I was really lucky in that my parents had middle-class aspirations that they passed on to me and my siblings, and even though they couldn’t contribute to my education financially, they were there on the sidelines encouraging me the whole time. And whenever some aunt, uncle, or cousin would make a comment about me being too smart or educated or thinking that I’m better than the rest of the family, my mom would snap right back and say, “Yes, she is because she’s making the effort to better herself.” She was the best.

        • Again, well done. After 13 years living in Dubai and then Kuwait I really see that by being born in States or Australia etc really gives you such an advantage compared to being born in less stable countries. We then cannot blame our governments too much, we are not forced to emigrate for opportunities or safety, we can live a fairly comfortable life in world terms, and we have ‘welfare’ states. I guess it’s all just what you compare your situation to.
          I am just on chapter 2 of the book… I think it’s amazing to be able to pull yourself out of what really is a cycle. As you noticed, it was frowned upon for you to aspire to more. Not everyone has the ability to do this, and perhaps this is why you feel Hillbilly Elergy is a little harsh, he doesn’t realize his determination is a rarity rather than the norm.

      • Hick from Styx says:

        This was the culture I moved into when my husband and I relocated for his career during my pregnancy. It was a transformation, alright (see my moniker). I will read this book. It is the culture my husband came from, not I, and one that made me determined to get out of Dodge before our child entered the school system. And that is how I realized my new goal was to be the best mom I could be, so that my child could be free of the intergenerational dysfunction that slapped me upside the head as soon as we moved to Styx. I became Mom, Warrior Princess. It was liking walking into the bowels of hell. So here we are. Child is grown, did well and is pursuing higher education. The crabs in the bucket didn’t keep us down in their muck. Rise up, move on. God, I could have done without that experience.

  18. Kristie Dahlia Home says:

    These stories are wonderful for me to read as I’m just at the cusp of my reinvention. My husband and I built a beautiful life and fulfilled and exceeded many of our dreams. We owned a home in San Francisco with a group of friends, we found careers we loved and did well in them. But neither of us ever wanted a standard life. We’re selling the house, living in a tiny, adorable rental next to the marina in which we are refurbishing an old sailboat and aiming to spend a year or two living aboard and cruising. Neither of us grew up sailing; we just fell in love. We have no plan for what comes after the time at sea; the point is to set down the life we’ve known, spend some time in nature and with one another concocting new dreams for hopefully the second half of our lives (may we live long!). It’s just a leap. It is thrilling and terrifying to walk away from a wonderful life for a dream, and here we are doing it.

    • Kristie, wish you all the best on your big brave leap of faith.
      I know another couple who did the same and sail for 6 months or more and occasionally work where they berth for a period of time. They have found it most rewarding.

  19. Bailie says:

    I also am loving these stories and need to read them right now. On March 4th I will be moving back to the US after living in Sweden for six years. I have not worked in that time and am finding it alternatingly terrifying and exhilarating to know that by summer I will be working again. I am also of course nervous about what work I will be able to get and how the woman I have become in my six years away will adapt and grow once again and hoping to be strong and in a year be a version of me that I love.

  20. c.w. says:

    All of you are simply awesome! Thank all of you so much for sharing.

  21. ANN says:

    I did part time interior design and worked with various art mediums, after leaving my full time career (in magazine production) to raise kids At 50, with my middle child heading off to college, I started taking ceramic classes with a friend. Three years later, with my third child a junior in high school, I am obsessed with clay. I work full time at it. I have found the art medium that I was meant for. I have found amazing instructors, mentors, and friends in the clay world. My knowledge and skill level has grown enormously. Facing job elimination (stay at home mom of three kids was always my priority), I am excited about what I am doing for myself. The kids are all growing/changing and so am I. The timing could not have been better. I read Girls of a Certain Age every morning while drinking my second cup of coffee. When I’m not covered in clay, I dress very nicely thanks to Kim’s amazing blog. I don’t want to waste my valuable work time shopping and now I just shop through Kim’s links.

  22. Grace says:

    After 40 years of doing pretty much exactly what I wanted to do, when and where I wanted to do it, I was laid off from my PR job in Toronto. I had always been adamant about staying away from my hometown, Buffalo, N.Y.,, and my Canadian work authorization had lapsed, so I was frantically trying to figure out where to go next. My brother gave me the best piece of advice: just live with the uncertainty for a little while. During that reflective time, I decided to finally make the moves toward adopting a child, which I had been considering for years. With that decision came the realization that I should probably go back to the despised Buffalo where, as a single mom, I would have some support from my family. I also started freelancing so that I would have greater freedom in decisions about daycare. Fifteen years later, I’m mom to the best kid in the world (aside from everyone else’s, of course) and am truly happily living in Buffalo, which is also in the process of reinventing itself.

  23. JD says:

    At 53 I find myself 5 years into a new career as a copywriter, my first gig doing it was because of emailS I wrote to a friend who passed them on to her friend who was looking for a writer for a big branding project, had never done anything like that before yet here I am 5 years on making a living from it. In my twenties I took a lot of risks and had some interesting jobs but none that were as creative as I wanted but but feared to pursue mostly due to lack of confidence, I thought for awhile in my late 30s with 2 young kids that maybe that would never happen, turns out my fifties are my most creative and risk taking decade yet, it’s a great thing to realize later in life that you really should not wait for approval and there is no such thing as the right time for anything.

  24. Mimi says:

    These stories confirm my belief that by the time you get to be “of a certain age,” everyone has lived through some serious upheaval. When I was 47 I left an 18-year marriage in which I was miserable, months after our home in California burned down in a huge fire that claimed many other houses and a year before my mother died. I used to think that if something terrible happened I’d climb under the covers and suck my thumb. That year of major shocks showed me that you never know your strength till you’re tested. I got busy and, I’ll say immodestly, powerful. I was a successful freelance magazine writer, but hadn’t had a full-time job in more than 20 years. I was hired as the Fashion Editor of the Los Angeles Times, then moved into feature writing there. It was still the good old days in daily journalism; I felt like I had the best job in the world for me, and perhaps I did.
    I was in my early 50s when I met my wonderful current husband. In 2010 we moved to Sun Valley, Idaho. After living all my adult life in big cities, I was amazed how much I loved living in our small mountain town and how easy it was to make new friends. The change has been terrific for us at this time in our lives. And Sun Valley is dog heaven. I launched and lead a TV book club at our local library and took up skate-skiing at 62. I must add that I was fortunate to have an emotionally and financially supportive family, which I know not everyone has. Good luck to all who set new goals and take risks.

    • charlotte lucie says:

      I really loved your story – particularly the happy ending! Well, not an ending cause its still going, but love how making some major changes set you up an a path that really worked out for you.

      • Mimi says:

        Thanks, Charlotte. Maybe I would have been happy marrying in my 20s, having children and a long marriage. But, as they say in California, this was my journey.

  25. Barb says:

    What wonderful and inspiring stories! You all ROCK!!!

    A year ago, I was told to train four new hires how to do the jobs I was doing at an ad agency. Not a day went by where I wasn’t reminded how “hip, edgy and young” they were. I was 53, and the new hires had no interest in being trained by a “relic,” as one woman called me.

    Slowly, it dawned on me: I deserved a to be at a place where I was a treated with respect, and it was up to me to get it. I quit that job, joined a wonderful agency, and I haven’t looked back.

    The reinvention was, instead of only seeing how I fit their needs; I let them know what was important to me – a lot more than just a title or salary. Younger me never would have considered doing that. Younger me was grateful to have a job – any job.

    Favorite quote from You’ve Got Mail: “You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life. Oh, I know it doesn’t feel like that. You feel like a big fat failure now. But you’re not. You are marching into the unknown armed with… nothing.”

    Onward, into the unknown!

    • AR says:

      I love this You’ve Got Mail quote 🙂 I love anything Nora Ephron did!
      Inspiring stories from everyone, thanks for sharing them.

    • Mimi says:

      I interviewed Nora Ephron and got to know her a bit. She said to me once, “Wouldn’t it have been terrible if we had married the man we were supposed to marry… the first time?” She was a woman with a wonderful life who understood that our stories are made of “mistakes” and how we overcome them.

  26. Jill says:

    I’m 50, living in a small town in Colorado I would have never predicted, though I spent summers in nearby Colorado Springs growing up. I came here for a man–that didn’t work out–but I stayed. I love it for the trail running and Pikes Peak, which has anchored me since I was a kid, but I miss the community and diversity of a larger town. As a native New Yorker, I was always more drawn to open spaces. As far as a change–I’m doing work that I always dreamed of ever since my Harriet the Spy worship growing up. I’m a freelance editor who helps writers place their books, essays, and articles (was an acquisitions editor in publishing for years; a newspaper reporter before that) and freelance writer and reporter. I love, love, love writing about stories that are under the radar that shouldn’t be, way out here between the coasts and being a midwife for writers. I love the freedom of driving down to New Mexico for a story, or walking out my front door–a restored former saloon–to report on the many social problems in my town. But I also want more of a community–I have a few friends here who are married with kids and busy–and frankly, a man. But I know that Sam Elliott isn’t going to ride in on his motorcycle to whisk me away. So I’m even open to something full-time somewhere else, and am always glad to have anchor clients. I also love my shoe collection and miss dressing up! So as someone posted above, trying to live with the uncertainty for a little while.

  27. I swapped fashion for dogs three years ago. I used to be a fashion editor in London. Then we got a Teddy, a Miniature Schnauzer puppy and, because writing is what I’ve always done, I started a little blog. Because fashion is what I’ve always done, too, I started commissioning the kind of dog items I wanted to buy but couldn’t find (I like to know the provenance of the stuff I invest in, and I like a certain style). A few of my friends admired the things I’d had made and then I had a lightbulb moment, and started a small line of dog stuff made especially for Tales of Teddy, the website that I decided to set up. It launched last November – and I’m on a whole new journey, nerve-wrecking at times, but good!