Ageism Rebel: Dara Goldberg
When I was 22, I told my dad I wanted to be a social worker.
The thing that sticks in my mind the most is watching him grimace and put his head in his hands. My dad – a man who always supported me – viscerally reacted to hearing my dream at the time.
“The room was packed with women dying to talk about finding their voice in midlife”
Where I Keep My Voice:
I told him, “I want to save the world.”
And though I know he was passionate about fixing the world as well, he took his fear and placed it on my shoulders.
Or more accurately…in my head where I keep my voice.
Cut to last week. I was hosting a room on the Clubhouse APP, and the topic was ‘Finding Your Voice in Midlife’.
The topic brought in droves of people.
The room was packed with women dying to talk about finding their voice in midlife and all that it means to them. There is such a hunger for it, and for the power and sense of connection that happens when we speak with one another about finding our voice.
But, what does finding our voice even mean? And in particular, what does it mean for us to find it in midlife?
Beginning Of This Midlife Journey:
Here’s my experience.
For years, I had been using a voice that was shaped by society, culture…and my well-meaning Dad’s grimace. Over the decades, I found myself plagued with the voices telling me to tone it down, be more responsible, be practical, play by the rules (of someone else) – it’s safer that way.
Then, at the beginning of this midlife journey, I was feeling so activated about the myths and misconceptions about women in midlife. There was a fire in my belly as I realized how misunderstood we are and just how wrong that is in every way possible.
“I needed to act. I needed to make a career pivot.”
Women In Midlife:
I found myself unable to stay silent on the subject that women in midlife are of less value and should be relegated to the shadows. I talked to friends, family, and even the random person on the street who would listen.
So, I needed to act. I needed to make a career pivot – for myself. I need to do it for all women in midlife and beyond and for younger generations of women who deserve to know the power and beauty of finding their voice in midlife…and to use it with a sense of pride and conviction.
And then, those familiar voices bubbled up again:
- “What if nobody listens?”
- “What will people think if I make this bold change?”
- “Are my friends and family just humoring me?”
- “What if I don’t succeed?”
- “You’re going to sound silly.”
- “No one wants to listen to you on a soapbox.”
- “How’s this effort going to make me a living?”
“Trust yourself, Dara. Be who you are now.”
And then, I turned inward:
“Listen to what you’re saying to yourself, Dara. This is not who you are now. Who you are now is a woman in midlife who has something to say. You are a woman who feels at home in her body. You feel an empowering sense of responsibility to bring women in midlife together and to amplify their voices, and to do it at scale. Trust yourself, Dara. Be who you are now.”
Be Who You Are Now:
It was at that moment that I was able to tell those younger critical, limiting voices, ‘You’re done. You’re a thing of the past. You no longer have any power over me, my choices, my sense of myself and how I show up in the world.’
And, it was at that moment that I found my voice as a woman in midlife.
- “This is who I am.”
- “I matter.”
- “This matters.”
- “I can join hands with all of the other amazing women trying to change things.”
- “I can bring together and embolden an incredible community of midlife women changemakers.”
“You can’t find your voice until you find yourself.”
Find Your Voice:
I followed my dream. I listened to my head, my heart, my need to share my voice and amplify the voices of other women, and I created the Lovin’ Midlife Movement for Women and, I have never been happier and felt a greater sense of meaning and conviction in my life.
Finding your voice looks and feels different for each of us, but there is one thing that’s consistent for sure:
You can’t find your voice until you find yourself.
It’s a place where you know who you are now, a place where you like yourself. It’s a place where you are kind to yourself. In that place you know you matter, and what you have to say matters. It’s a place where you are proud to be a woman in midlife and beyond.
Once you get there, you’ll find your voice waiting for you.
About the Author:
Dara Goldberg is a change-maker, entrepreneur, speaker, and the founder of the Lovin’ Midlife Movement. She’s known for her love of Spanish wine, and her undying passion to make the world recognize women in midlife are invincible–not invisible.
After 15 happy years advising and raising millions of dollars for nonprofit organizations and charitable foundations as a founding partner in a consulting firm, she woke up one morning and realized something was off. This was the pivotal moment–as society told her she was crazy for wanting to leave a perfect job–where she realized there needed to be a change. Now she advocates for and brings together women in midlife to change the way society looks at, listens to, and understands them. Appearing weekly on Clubhouse, she has sparked a community of like-minded women who are fiercely proud to call themselves women in midlife. You can follow Dara on IG.