Photographer Alex Prager was asked by the New York Times Supplement to do a photo shoot with women going through menopause. You can find the image that she captured here.
Alex described her assignment and the shot she got as follows:
“There were no rules – all they told me was they wanted pictures of older women and I could develop whatever concept I wanted; I had free rein…The taxi leaked and the rain machine was out of control. So she was soaked and miserable – but it made the shot…she was unhappy for real.”
It’s a beautiful photo and I encourage you to look at it. However, what strikes me is the focus on misery, unhappiness, and a haunting for something other than what “is.” Ironically, Prager says that she wanted the model to look backward, as if perhaps to imply that she longs for what was past and not what is ahead.
Are women in midlife longing for something else? Or are they now able to take life by the reins and reach or redefine personal goals?
Two weeks ago, I sat on a panel at Women Grow Business Bootcamp, a half-day conference devoted to empowering female entrepreneurs in their professional and personal lives. I spoke about evolution and the need to adapt to changes in one’s environment in order to continue to grow and attain goals. While the context that day was on my business and marketing, the larger context was really life and the track that I’ve been on over the past 25 years, pausing to look over my shoulder but trying to keep my focus on the path ahead.
So, when I consider the question about longing, I realize that for the most part, my longing takes me forward and not backward. My visits to the past provide the foundation for my journey. However, a key factor remains true: as I’ve grown older, I do try to take more time to not only live my passion and personal/business goals but to live within them, meditating on what works and what doesn’t so that I can continue to move in a forward direction.
When was the last time you stepped back and asked yourself where your focus is? Are you are looking ahead or consistently looking over your shoulder to see if you’ve caught up yet? What does your menopause and midlife look like so far?