Welcome to the first edition of The Murmuration. In case you’re unfamiliar with what a murmuration is, our good friend Google describes it as ‘the phenomenon that results when hundreds, sometimes thousands of starlings fly in swooping, intricately coordinated patterns through the sky.’ It’s a pretty goddamn glorious sight to behold.
I wanted to call this The Murmuration for a few reasons. In the UK women have long been referred to as ‘birds’. I see this newsletter as birds of a feather flocking together, women uniting and creating something awesome, and stimulating, flying together, gathering strength in numbers and all that jazz. So, welcome to the pack, friend. Happy to have you here.
I started my blog, Bangs and a Bun, in 2007. During the blog glory years, I did some amazing things with it and was afforded many wonderful experiences as a result. Over time, the constant grind to make it something that would bring in a consistent income became exhausting. I became less and less inspired to write, until I just wasn’t writing at all. (Ehh, well, not entirely true - I did write a book!)
But it wasn’t just that. As I got older, there were things I wanted to talk about that the blog didn’t feel like the right place for. They were too personal, too taboo, too specific. I didn’t want to have these things flapping out there in the bloggy breeze, with any internet stranger able to critique and comment upon them. I wasn’t even sure I was ready to talk about them myself.
It took me a while to understand what it was I was craving.
I wanted intimacy, community, privacy.
I wanted the deep conversation of a teenage girl sleepover, but for women over 35.
I wanted to build a network for women 35+ to feel seen and heard, to be able to delve into the topics that affect us at this stage of our lives.
And so that’s what this is. It’s a space for us to commune together weekly, where I want you to feel free to be as radically honest and vulnerable as I will be with you. I want you to know this is a judgement free space. There will be no pressure to keep up any sort of appearance. I want this to be a place where we can come and say ‘I don’t understand this’, ‘I’m finding this super hard’ or ‘I don’t know what to do.’
My name is Bangs, I turn 40 in a few weeks. The concerns I have and issues I’m facing now are vastly different to the ones I had at 25. I know I’m not alone in this. I know many of you feel the same. It may be that you can’t talk about what it is you’re worried about, you’re tired of talking about it or maybe you don’t have the support network. Let this newsletter be something you and your girlfriends share together - let it kick down walls and fire up long overdue chats. Let it be a release, a knowing nod, a rallying cry and a beacon of light that lets you know you’re seen.
We’ll be diving into topics like:
Finances - pensions, saving, investing, how do we do any of it?! ARRRGGHHH
The kid debate - from all sides, whether you have them, don’t have them, are struggling to have them, don’t want them or are undecided.
How to navigate changing friendships.
Dating and finding a partner when you’re over 35.
The menstrual cycle and how it changes as we age.
Balancing work and fertility.
How to care for your ageing parents.
Making career changes.
And so much more. I’ll be interviewing experts and getting input from those in the know, calling upon everyone from doctors and financial advisors to therapists and just older women who know what the hell they’re talking about.
This is a space where ageing will be discussed in a positive light. There’ll be no mention of anti-wrinkle creams. We’ll be challenging our beliefs about ageing and beauty, letting our grey hair grow in if we feel like it and getting our heads around ageing on our own terms.
If there are topics you’d like to be discussed/explored here, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll tackle it together.
Over the next five weeks, I’ll be sharing a personal story, one that is vulnerable and nerve wrecking to share but that I feel will give you some insight into me and where I am in my life right now. After that, we’ll be delving into all manner of things.
I’ll be popping up in your inbox on Mondays and Thursdays. Mondays will be essays, think pieces, interviews, deep dives, the juicy stuff. Thursdays will be links to cool things to read, watch, listen to etc. For the first month, both versions will be free.
From April, I’ll be charging $5 per month for the Monday newsletter (while the Thursday issue will remain free). I’ve created a lot of free content over the years. I’ve done my share of struggle, proving my worth and fighting to be paid for the words I write. Words are one of the ways I make my living.
Please sign up for the paid version of the newsletter when I announce that and support my vision to make this a vibrant space for us all to explore the issues that affect us.
In the meantime, I’d love it if you would share this with a friend you think would enjoy it - I envision this being a gloriously large pack of awesome, powerful birds.
Wishing you a great week.
Smile at strangers, spread good vibes, be nice to people,