Finding Enjoyment in the Next Stage of Life
As women age, we’re often pushed aside and forgotten about as if our value diminishes with time. Our guest for this week’s episode, Valerie Albarda, has made it her mission to remind aging women of our worth, and make sure we are seen and heard in a society that dismisses us. She talks about how the different aspects of our identity, namely race, age, and gender, can play a role in what she calls the “invisible woman syndrome”.
Valerie Albarda likes to think of herself as a midlife women’s advocate. She tries to inspire women to embrace this time in life, and to squash the notion that just because we’re midlife, it doesn’t mean we have to be in crisis. She was recently diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, and that changed her world. Even with this, she didn’t consider herself in crisis. Valerie began researching and reading about MS so that she can become an advocate and ally for those also dealing with the disease, especially midlife women. “I’ll get even more granular: I advocate for midlife women of color who have MS because the medical community often treats us as disposable people; collateral damage in the healthcare system. I don’t like that.”
Albarda is also a TEDx alumna. She recently completed her Talk in October 2020, and it started airing in February. “My talk, “The Invisibility Trifecta,” tackles the invisible woman syndrome as it relates to women of color (hence, the Trifecta: midlife women of color). I grew up in Maryland with my parents and four sisters. I didn’t go to college straight out of high school. At the age of 37 1/2, I was determined to get my degree. I completed an accelerated degree program in 2.5 years and walked across the stage to get my BS in Management 2 months shy of my 40th birthday.”
Currently, by day she works as a senior writer for a large home improvement retailer. On her off hours, She devotes most of her time to her website, Midlife-A-Go-Go, her podcast, MS work and spending time with her family. She’s a wanderlust at heart and she can’t wait to embark on her next adventure.“I do think that we need to embrace that notion that midlife does not mean that we are at the end of our life, and that there are so many wonderful things still left for us on the horizon." Valerie Albarda Click To Tweet
What You’ll Learn from This Episode:
- Valerie’s journey through her multiple sclerosis diagnosis
- How to enjoy midlife and skip the crisis
- Why women in their midlife stage tend to feel like a they’re a “disposable demographic”
- Steps you can take to redefine who you are
- What the “invisible woman syndrome” is and how race can exacerbate this issue
- Why Valerie wants both midlife women and other demographics to hear her message
- What it is like to have health concerns be dismissed, and why you should always be your own biggest advocate
Effortless Happiness: How to Find Your Voice and Finally Ask For What You Really Want Paperback or Kindle copy.