Blueprint Breaker: Amy Palmer
Let’s talk about the definition first. My personal definition of “blueprint breaker” is anyone who’s living outside the “typical”, “traditional” lifestyle blueprint.
Blueprint Breaker: What Does That Mean?
So, let’s think about it. As young toddlers, little girls and young women, we are given messages about what we need to do to have a happy, fulfilled, purpose-filled life.
We need to go to school and do well. Then go to college and graduate, meet a man and fall in love, and get married and have kids. Hopefully more than one kid. And then continue to be a great wife and mother, have a fabulous career and eventually – hopefully, be a grandmother. Then you have fulfilled your purpose.
You have fulfilled your destiny. You’ve done what you’re supposed to do and your life has meaning and you’ll be happy and fulfilled.
“Speaking from my own experience, you can be faced with shame, uncertainty, and depression.”
But what if your life hasn’t followed that path? Either intentionally or by circumstance? What then? Speaking from my own experience, you can be faced with shame, uncertainty, and depression.
This is exactly why I embarked on my mission to change this narrative. Initially, when I launched my podcast, I was focused on blueprint-breaking women like me: over 45, not partnered and no children.
As I explored various topics that are important to many of us as we go through midlife and beyond, I met people and was introduced to a lot of different new perspectives. The more research I did, the more examples of blueprint breakers I found. People who needed to be seen, heard and understood. People who were feeling not represented.
Some examples of Blueprint Breakers include:
- Choosing to be a single mom, whether that’s through adoption, surrogacy or IVF.
- Having a lifelong partner, but choosing not to marry.
- Being happily married and choosing not to have children.
- Having children and deciding not to put them into the traditional education system.
- Purposely having one child and no more.
- Marrying multiple times and divorcing multiple times.
- Living a nomadic lifestyle, traveling 100% of the time, and not having a home base and just traveling the world.
- Launching a business later in life.
- Going back to school in your forties, fifties, and so on.
- Raising your children your way in whatever way you choose.
“Yes, we have come a long way, but we also have a long way to go.”
Lifestyle Paths And Tracks:
All of these are lifestyle paths and tracks and blueprints that are not part of the original recommendation. And this doesn’t even touch on the LGBTQ plus community. There are so many different paths, so many different choices and ways to live a fully happy, fulfilled, meaningful, impactful life.
I am on a mission to rewrite the narratives that still exist. Yes, we have come a long way, but we also have a long way to go. When we talk to a little girl about “when you get married someday” or “when you have babies”, it sends a message. Even asking “what do you want to be when you grow up?” can be a loaded question to a young child or adolescent. When we enforce the concept that there is only one recommended to do life (and I have been guilty of this too!), we are applying pressure. We are instilling shame when someone’s life does not follow that path.
Are You A Blueprint Breaker?
I feel that together we can come together and make a difference. If we can all just agree on one thing: there is more than one way to do life. You do not have to follow a particular path, a particular blueprint. You are fully loved, fully seen, fully embraced, fully accepted, regardless of which path you are on, whether by choice or circumstance.
It took me decades to figure this out, and it has been the awakening I’ve needed to feel whole, fulfilled, peaceful and happy.
I leave you with this final question: Are you a blueprint breaker? Tell me, in what ways have you forged your own path? I’d love to hear from you.
About the Author:
As host and facilitator for the Blueprint Breaker podcast, Amy A. Palmer is dedicated to expanding and amplifying the voices of women over 45 who are living a “non-traditional” lifestyle.
After a lifelong struggle with feeling “outside” the societal norm and longing to live up to perceived expectations, Amy has found peace, acceptance, and joy as she embarks on the next era of her life. Amy was formerly a senior corporate executive, a nationally recognized sales and operations expert, an award-winning actress, a resident of 13 different US cities, and a prize-winning DC blogger.
Amy has a vast network of friends and colleagues with whom she enjoys travel and adventures and a close family including six niblings (nieces & nephews), the loves of her life!