Posted by: Admin | July 1, 2011

Letter to YOU

Dear Reader,

(By which I mean you – yes, you in front of the computer screen… stop looking behind you… I’m talking to YOU…)

One year ago I started writing this blog, not knowing whether anyone would want to read it, feeling very much alone in my ambivalence about turning 50. Twelve months, 346 posts, over 600 comments and more than 15,000 views later, and life feels very different to me. Life is a bit like hill walking – you’re following the path, but the view keeps changing. This project50 year has seen me climb up, up, up from the valleys, walk around a corner and stop to say WOW! There’s a whole new vista laid out before me, and it is breathtaking.

Some of you have been walking alongside me, via comments on the blog and emails. You have allowed me to interview you, sent me funny pictures and ideas for articles. Some of you have told me you have been inspired to make changes: Karen has started her own business, Sally began to look after herself and think about what she wants from her life and Jill is counting down to her 50th birthday in May 2012 by writing her own blog to celebrate her “Year of Jubilee”. I have had regular correspondence with two readers who have been through some dark times and, in turn, I have been encouraged, comforted and inspired by regular commenters such as Old Fool and The Wartime Housewife.

My own life has been a bed of roses over the past twelve months – particularly thorny roses! Life has been – and continues to be – testing at times and occasionally even heart-breaking. I have learned that opening one’s heart can mean becoming vulnerable to being stabbed in it.  I am learning to shield myself just enough to resist the urge to retreat to a safer place, for the good far, far outweighs the bad. Kurt Cobain once said I would rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not (note to Nirvana fans: I realise I’ve probably paraphrased that!)

Some of my virtual friends have become friends in “real” life. Some of my family tell me they have got to know me through the blog and we have become closer as a result. That says a lot about my purpose in writing it: I wanted to marry the person I was on the inside with my public persona. I’m still working on that. A lifetime of staying in the background, of being inoffensive – and insignificant – is not easily overcome. One thing is sure, though – you haven’t heard the last of me! I am far, far happier for being true to myself and for standing up to be counted.

There will be a post tomorrow, on my birthday. After that, I will write on an adhoc basis, when I feel I have something worth sharing. If you want to continue to connect with me, please do sign up for email alerts by clicking the button on the right. I am planning to self-publish a book of the “best bits” of project50 which you will be able to buy if you would like a souvenir. I’m also still collating the portraits of people at 50 – see the This is 50! tab above – do contact me if you’d like to be considered for inclusion. There will be a new blog relating to my photography business and the writing projects currently underway and I will post links to that for those of you who are interested. I hope that many of you will stay with me – I know that I will miss writing every day for you.

Now, my chicks are all heading for the nest today and I need to go and make up the beds. I’ll see you tomorrow! x


  1. Ah, today being Jomas Eve I am wishing you a Happy Birthday. Everyone has a special day and that is their birthday. It sounds like yours will be busy.
    Being over 50 is not so bad. I have been for 22 years and this side of 50 is pretty much like the other side.
    Have a Happy Birthday.

    • “Jomas Eve” – both love it and feel very vain! Thank you, OF. I intend to kick up my heels tomorrow (and hobble on Sunday) x

  2. […] what a year it ends! 2011 was the year I turned 50 (and discovered that the world, far from ending, continues to become a much more interesting place) […]

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