This month S+ S sat down for a Q&A with Emilie McMeekan - co-founder of The Midult and author of I'm Absolutely Fine! A Manual for Imperfect Women.
Emilie founded The Midult in 2016 with her fellow journalist, worrier and good friend Annabel Rivkin. Emilie has been Features Editor of the Evening Standard and Deputy Editor of Tatler. Together with Annabel she writes The Midult column in the Saturday Telegraph Magazine. The Midult is a the place to find out you're not in it alone. If middle-age is a dress that doesn’t fit, then try Midulthood on for size. It’s a new definition for a new generation.
Do you do any of the following?
1. Sit on your bed on Monday morning wrapped in a towel thinking ‘Everything will be ok if I can just get through this week ?’
2. Begin every what’s app/text/email with “I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you.”
3. Live in permanent fear of a snaccident – that moment when you realise you’ve eaten all the biscuits/partysized crisp bag/fridge?
4. Stand in front of your wardrobe begging for it to deliver up something relevant and on-trend that you have somehow overlooked.
If any or all of these resonate, well, then welcome to Midulthood – a place where we recognise that we are more alike than we are unalike. Of course it’s not just you, with the chin hairs, the anxiety and the insomnia and the laughter, oh my goodness the laughter. And usually, in those moments, those mornings when I am the woman peering at the wardrobe, it’s a Breton that I pull out. Classic blue stripes. Makes me go faster. Makes me feel pulled together even when the truth is something very different. It’s a confidence trick, yes, but sometimes you have to fake it to make it. And I love that I can wear them any which way I want. With floral, with denim, with leopard print – hell, I’ve earned these stripes
1. Who inspires you?
My work wife Annabel Rivkin, for so many reasons – she’s ballsy, she’s bold, she’s beautiful. All the bs. And really I feel very inspired by the feminist movement right now, from The Guilty Feminist to the MeToo/TimesUp collective to all the tiny corrections we are beginning to see every day. After all, if we are not in it together, we’re not in it all.
2. Three tips for a working woman?
Remember everyone is winging it. Don’t forget to eat. Find a work wife.
3. Favourite holiday, book or film?
My favourite holidays are in Mallorca. This year I’ve read two sensational books, Circe by Madeline Miller and Normal People by Sally Rooney. I never have the time/concentration/energy to watch films anymore *cries*
4. Best advice you’ve ever been given?
My therapist told me to stop volunteering for everything – now whenever I get asked to do something that will will nudge me over the edge I say that my therapist told me not to… and then everyone backs slowly away.
I’m Absolutely Fine! A Manual for Imperfect Women, by Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan is out now. You can also listen to Emilie and Annabel's podcast 'I'm Absolutely Fine'.