I am a cliche.

Forgive me if this is not news to you but it is to me.

I make my living in the marketing and communications field and lately at my place of business, we’ve been discussing a specific demographic we are actively targeting for a client project.

You guessed it –my demographic. Well, kind of. We talk about 45 year old women a lot. And because I am 41, well,they defer to me quite frequently.

Once you start discussing women in that category other phrases come up in the conversation like “soccer mom” and “middle aged” and things like that.

OH HELL NO.

And yet, yes.

I am a cliche. With a nose piercing.

Ever find yourself in that situation?(Maybe not the nose piercing part.)You’re rolling along thinking one thing about yourself and then BLAM (!) suddenly you are faced with an entirely new outlook on yourself that you hadn’t much considered before.

I’m in that place right now.

The interesting thing is that I actually love being my age. I feel more confident and more in tune with my own needs than I did in my 30s. I’ve learned some hard lessons and figured out what works for me and what doesn’t.

Still, no one wants to be a cliche.Especially the ultimate cliche.

At least I don’t.

And therein lies the struggle. Because I am that 40 something woman who sits on the sidelines cheering her children. I wear the team jersey with pride.(Thanks to my husband who gifted it to me a few weeks ago.)And I regularly sport yoga pants and ponytails.

Sometimes at a tournament or a large gathering of families, I survey the parents around me and think, “Am I YOU?” Because that can be a startling thought. I don’t exactly know why.(Okay, maybe I do. Admittedly, sometimes the folks that make me question myself are the stuff ofSaturday Night Live skitsorPeople of Walmart photos.)

We all like to think of ourselves as unique and complex individuals as opposed tolemmings.

I know I’m not alone because my girlfriends and I discuss this topic quite regularly.Of being so much more than our kid’s mothers. Of not letting our parenthood or age or career define us.

It’s a complicated thing.

So I’ll go on combating the cliche in the only way that I know how – by running marathons and painting my nails bizarre colors. By trying out new experiences and resisting mediocrity. By shunning mom jeans and finding new ways to experience the world.

You never know. It might just work.