This weekend is my birthday. I love my birthday. I have always loved my birthday but even more now that I am getting older. You see, I love getting older. I know that is bizarre for anyone, most probably even more so because I am a female. But I love getting older.
I think it is because I have always felt my age held me back. I was one of the youngest MBA students in Rome, Italy at St John’s when I got my MBA. I was called the “bambina” and although it was sweet, I did not like it at all. I wanted to be the “vecchia” and not the “bambina”.
When I started my career at Merrill Lynch, I wanted to be older. I pretended to be older. When my birthday came around, my manager was so sweet and got me a cupcake and asked how old I was and when I said 23, she said she forgot because I acted so mature… I was not acting, though. I was born an old soul.
I have always been waiting for the time when I could represent a career and share my lessons learned and be able to really share. Recently, when subbing at a local school, the professional development was given by someone who has taught for over 40 years and I found myself jealous – of their stories, of their longevity and of just their career and lessons learned.
That is a weird thing to be jealous of because I guess that means I also want to be in my 60’s. As I close out my 38th year, I realize that I rounded up to 39 almost a year ago. I never experience my age because as soon as the day after my birthday comes, I round up. I have been doing this for as long as I can remember.
In honor of my upcoming year change, I wanted to reflect on my journey. I am still surprised at what I can accomplish, what I have accomplished and what I have still left to do. I am not where I thought I would be but I am happy where I am; and I think for any of us, that is all that really matters.
I have found a way that works for me to balance my skills and what I can share regarding lessons learned, content and to be an educator while still focusing on my family and what I need to do at home. It is not easy and there are trade-offs. There is more I could be doing if I did not do the pick up, drop off, taxi service, homework help and more that I do – but it is part of what makes me feel so fulfilled as a person is this role as “mom” – it is my first “job” / priority and more.
Still, though, with all of that, I am able to manage, promote and grow this business. I can use my iPhone or my laptop on the go to add content, share things and create videos and more when I am in my “downtime”. I can use my degrees to be an educator at the local colleges to have a “career” (even without my doctorate). I can also be a teacher in K-12 as I prepare to be certified in math grade 7-12 in NYState. There is a lot of movement and growth going on and whereas some people would say, “Well, almost 40, you should be settled or give up” I say no way! Life is about learning and growing and I am so happy that every day, I can do both. I love getting older and am so happy to celebrate this year’s birthday with a successful, growing business that allows me to continue to grow professionally while I can also be around and do the things I love to do with my family.
I will not be Jack Benny and stay “39” forever; in fact by Monday, 12/14, I will be officially saying I am 40! So if / when you see me, don’t say I look young and don’t call me bambina - I relish getting older and being able to stand up and use my wisdom, lessons learned and more to help others with their careers, next steps and more! Find out more below on what I am doing to help people take their next steps! Happy Hunting!!
Lisa Vento Nielsen