All posts tagged: Do Over

11 Women Who Started Brand New Careers in Midlife— and Never Looked Back

Big changes in career, vocation and lifestyle in midlife or the years leading up to it are more often an evolution than a radical change. I went back to journalism school at 35 because the writing degree I’d started at 18 — and never finished —nagged at me for years. Going from full-time college counselor and teacher to graduate student was intimidating — financially, intellectually and emotionally. It was also one of the best, richest experiences of my life, and, no matter how many zeroes got added to my student loan balance, I have never regretted it. I traveled to Vietnam to cover business growth there. I was a reporter in the arena on the night Barack Obama accepted the nomination for President of the United States. I helped to run a student digital newsroom and emerged as the de facto den mother of several classmates a decade or more my junior. I now have a degree that means I can teach writing if I want to (because I loved teaching too much to leave …

train tracks, transition, transgendered

40-Odd Years Later, I’m Finally Who I Want to Be — a Man

I got a phone call last week from someone at my endocrinologist’s office. He asked to speak to Jennifer. “This is Jennifer,” I sighed. After a moment of confused silence he said, “I’m sorry, is this Jennifer?” My voice is getting deeper. He wouldn’t have been so confused if he had actually thought about the message he was calling to give me: My new prescription for testosterone was ready to be picked up. The first time I thought I knew who I was, my name was Jennifer and I believed I was a lesbian. I was born in 1971 and came of age before the internet, so give me credit for getting that close to figuring shit out. Back then, there were few words to describe the feelings I was having, and they weren’t used around children. The words themselves were considered too adult. No one on TV admitted to feeling like me, but I found my trail of breadcrumbs. Buddy on Family. Jo on Facts of Life. Martina Navratilova. That cute girl in Dragonslayer …

tuenight do over amy barr

You’re Never Too Young to Trust Your Gut (Lessons Learned from Making a Terrible Decision)

At age 17, my life was unraveling. My mother was dying, and my father was undone by the seemingly endless slog of her illness. He did his best to take care of my brother and me, and, in terms of creature comforts, we were fine. But crushed as he was, my father could offer no emotional or logistical support about the decisions I faced as I contemplated college. There were no discussions of which schools might suit me and no campus tours. Whatever research was to be done, I was on my own. I was a good student, and my options were undoubtedly greater than I thought, but I cast a narrow net, applying to only two places: Barnard College in New York City (about 15 miles from my suburban home) and a large state school several hours north, which was only on my radar because a neighbor went there. On the day of my Barnard interview, I loved the feel of the compact campus, the mix of old red bricks and modern glass walls. …

tuenight do over erin street alcohol

My Rock Bottom Came in a Pretty Dress and Heels

God bless the busted boat that brings us back.” — Jason Isbell, “New South Wales” Here’s what you should know about this do-over: Everything and nothing changed. In my 30s, I had everything I ever thought I wanted. I was a travel editor, catching planes and writing stories about the next great city or restaurant or artisanal cocktail. I had this fancy job, which I’d worked my entire life for, and a family and a home. But while I tweeted images of beach views and carefully plated food, I was also drinking a bottle or more of wine a night. Sometimes I passed out. Sometimes I couldn’t remember things, and I often had unexplainable bruises. By day, dressed in a pink shift dress and gold heels, I gave talks about nimble new media strategies. By night – it was another story. I drank to deal with my anxiety. I drank to deal with my physical limitations. I drank to deal with never “being enough.” I drank to slow my brain when I was enough. I …

tuenight do over nina mccollum

Mother of One: The Fertility Choice That Changed My Life

I got married late compared to others I know. At 34, after several rejected proposals and broken engagements, it was finally time. We both wanted children, and, after a year or so, we began trying to conceive. I’d always thought I’d be a mother of three. Before I ever wanted to get married, I wanted to be a mom and three was the magic number in my head. We came up with first and middle names for both boys and girls. We quickly agreed on a boy name: Daniel Patrick*. The others took discussion. We settled on Zoe June and Luke Bradford. Thus began our four-year conception journey — and it was terrible. As a young woman, I was sick with ulcerative colitis and, after five years of illness, underwent a multi-stage, major surgery that left me with an abdomen full of scar tissue. As a result, nothing worked to get us pregnant. We went from “not trying” to “trying” to “charting and temping” to fertility doctors. We threw more money, time and science at …

tuenight do over margit detweiler

Margit’s Note: Can I Get a Do-Over?

Yesterday was one of those days. I’d overslept. The cat had pooped just to the side of her litter box. (But it’s right there Alice!) I tried to put on a jumpsuit and it took me five minutes to realize my arm was in the leg part. I was not going to make a podiatry appointment because traffic uptown was 100 percent blocked due to the UN General assembly, so I cancelled it (after fighting about a “rescheduling fee”) and hobbled to work. I’d double-booked meetings with two different friends and left one standing at my doorway texting me frantically while I had coffee with the other. Finally, in the afternoon while I was at work, the shower in our apartment leaked into the neighbor’s below and into her electrical box. The super called, needed our key, and when he couldn’t reach us he busted the lock to get in. The kind of day when you yourself would like to poop on the side of the litter box. Can I get a do-over? Please? But, …