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Anne Philippi's Talk on Middle Age Highlights How to Cope

 - Aug 21, 2018
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Speaker and author Anne Philippi delivered a TEDx talk on middle age in Berlin, to discuss the impact that societal perceptions surrounding a women's age have had on her personal life and career over the years.

She begins by explaining a little about about her childhood, her work as a reporter, and the acknowledgement she received during this time -- living a life of "success, adventure [and] fame." When she hit her 40th birthday, Philippi was determined to remain positive, but found herself feeling increasingly empty. She felt guilty about her lack of ability to appreciate all that she had, and began to explore different forms of art that helped her to connect to her feelings. She came to the realization that she was going through a mid-life crisis, and considered the two narratives that women were normally placed in: "the cold business bitch, or the crazy cat lady." She noticed that narratives surrounding the idea of a man's mid-life crisis were generally related to a desire to cast away their old life and begin anew, which she identified much more strongly with. In response, Philippi decided to escape to LA in an attempt to solve the numb feeling that had overcome her. She followed through with her plan, but eventually realized her California dream wasn't all she had hoped for.

She continues by discussing a psychological trend called the "U-curve," which refers to the dramatic dip in happiness and satisfaction many feel around the mid-point of their lives. Generally, the effects of the U-curve are felt most prominently in the period between a person's 40s and 50s. By breaking down her own mid-life crisis, and the realizations she's come to since experiencing it, Philippi tackles difficult questions surrounding life and death, and inspires her audience to find what makes them happy, and remember that their feelings of emptiness are not a permanent state.