Blog Series: Women Who Have Redefined After 50 – Pamela LampSep 19, 2020
Wife and stay at home mom of 2, Pam started asking herself as her children were growing up, “What am I going to do after they’re grown and gone?” She’d worked in HR before she had her kids and had done some consulting work helping students fill out college applications. Like many at home moms, when asked what she’d done before her redefinition, she says, “not much. I was an at home mom!” I had to remind her that being an at home mom isn’t “not much.” It’s the most important job there is.
Fast forward – Pam’s children are grown and her husband’s job takes the couple from Houston to Nashville. At this point, Pam is still racking her brain trying to figure out what she could do moving forward. She’s in a brand new city, knows no one, and is agonizing over this question. She’s thinking about businesses she could start. Charitable foundations. But nothing seems like the “thing.”
She decides in the meantime that she’s going to try a new thing every day that will help her learn more about the new city she is living in.
As she started doing new things each day, her husband noticed a change – a confidence. One night he poured her a glass of wine and said, “If you could do anything you want to do – take income out of the equation – what would it be.”
And, without missing a beat, Pam answered, “I would travel around to meet different people, learn about them and their story and write an article about it.
To which he replied, “then go do it!”
And so was born Pam’s blog, Who I Met Today. Pam does exactly what she set out to do. She interviews people from many walks of life who are doing all kinds of different things. She then publishes their stories in her blog.
Pam cannot stop smiling as she recounts her journey starting from her very first interview with Kevin Chan as she toured his family’s Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory to about 3 years and over 125 inteviews later to her most recent with Katherine McGee, author of The American Royals. She has interviewed a human trafficking survivor, an art theft investigator, a New York City doorman, a salmon fisherman, and a victim of Lyme disease just to mention a few. It is clear that she is doing that “thing” that she is passionate about. That thing, that “Gives you that passion, that purpose that gets you up in the morning and gets you excited and gives you something to work on!” And it’s clear when you read her stories, that her interviewees enjoyed meeting her as much as she did them.
The most intrusive barriers as Pam considered her dream came not from external factors but from within. Mindset barriers. This is no surprise. Particularly for women, mindset is what consistently stands in our way regardless of where we come from and where we want to go. Pam had those voices in her head – the ones that said things like, “you can’t do that,” “what makes you think you’re a writer,” “no one is going to interview with you,” and “no one is going to read it.”
She also described her mindset around her age. But, she told herself that if she waited to follow this dream and do this “thing” that she’d just be older if and when she finally did it.
As Pam reflected she realized that when she had been contemplating what to do next, she was contemplating what she SHOULD do versus what she WANTED to do. And once she took the “should” out of the equation, her path became clear.
She’s validated by some of the younger folks she has interviewed who have said how awesome it was that she was doing this or even better, “I wish my mom was doing something like this!”
“I don’t make money but I wanted something that I enjoy doing and something that keeps my brain going. I want to do all I can to keep learning and growing.”
Getting Over the Barriers and Taking Those First Steps
Once she decided to go for it, she googled “how to make a blog” and created a basic website. She then took a deep breath and started reaching out to people to interview. Once she had a few interviews under her belt, she hired a designer to help her make it into the beautiful and professional site it is today.
She took it one step at a time and put one foot in front of the other.
“I’d love to write a book.” That answer didn’t surprise me at all – what a perfect next step for Pam. When I asked what is holding her back, she said “fear.” It seems no matter what we’ve done or overcome those pesky “voices” creep in whenever we think about a new challenge.
I have no doubt that she’ll get around to writing that book sooner rather than later.
We closed the interview with Pam saying, “I leave every interview a richer person for what I’ve learned and what they’ve shared with me.”
Me too, Pam. Me too.