A couple weeks ago Joan and I went to Bond Street for delicious Japanese food. We didn't have a reservation but were given a coveted corner booth because, well, we're BBR. We had a leisurely two and a half hour dinner during which we flirted with the cute young waiter and extolled the virtues of older women. Afterwards we strolled to our favorite gelato spot in the LES and on the way ran into Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain who, for the record, are grown and fine as fuck. And, for that matter, so are we.

Our conversation, as they have been for the last three decades, was full of wit, laughter, and expletives. But this was a distinctly mature exchange between the mothers of pre-college children. We covered a number of topics from friends to crushes to fuckboys and, most compellingly, our new careers onto which we are both about to embark.

I told Joan that I am profoundly excited about this next phase of my life. I feel like I'm standing before a vast beautiful canyon, welcoming me to dive in and explore. I have no fear that I will fall. Never that. I know I will soar. To be sure, there will be dips, veers, and turbulence, but I am ready to take flight with faith and abandon into my future.

I always heard talk of women reinventing themselves in middle age and now I get it. My kids are independent: no more planning playdates, checking homework, or booking sitters. I can schedule meetings and travel more easily. When your kids are little, you're inundated with the quotidian bullshit: pickups, drop offs and all the damn paraphernalia. You're so tired you don't even have time to imagine that one day you'll be this free. Don't get me wrong, babies and little kids are adorable and fun, but that shit is exhausting.

To be clear, I never felt trapped and always knew I had choices and agency, but this is a new frontier. Furthermore, in addition to shedding a certain level of caretaking of my children, I'm ready to turn that energy onto myself. Me, myself, and motherfucking I. Though I've had many jobs in a number of different industries, I've spent my entire career playing in supporting roles, whether as an assistant, manager, or corporate executive. But now, on the eve of my 52nd birthday, I am writing a book and doing public speaking. I am finally stepping into the limelight and goddamnit, Mr. Demille, I AM READY FOR MY CLOSEUP.