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 40 Over 40 for 2023
Allie Bailey



"Be kind to yourself. You are stronger, braver, and more beautiful than you give yourself credit for. Don't look to the world for external validation, it tends to leave you feeling disappointed and empty."

AGE: 44

PROFESSION: Theatre Director

What is the best thing about being your age?

The wisdom that comes with life experience. I would not be the person I am today without all of the experiences I have lived through both good and bad. I always say that wisdom is the thing that you get after you need it. All of my experiences have helped me to be the confident, strong, and empathetic person I am today. I have a treasure trove of knowledge that helps me navigate the world around me and that knowledge decreases my anxiety of the unknown. Now in my forties, I like the person I have become and would not trade any of my experiences for "something better."

Favorite thing you've checked off your bucket list?

Taking a cruise around the French Polynesian Islands. I got the idea from watching the movie "Sneakers" with my husband and delighted when Sidney Poitier's character asks to travel to Tahiti. I always thought that was a cool cinematic moment and I love to travel so I made a bucket list goal of traveling to Tahiti. And because I love a challenge, I tend to complete them quickly so my "bucket list" is once again empty!


What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I don't think that there is such a thing as perfection, as much as I have strived for it in my life. Therefore, I don't know if there is such a thing as "perfect happiness." I find that the moments I most treasure, are those when I stop and realize that I am surrounded by people I love who also love me back. I treasure those moments around a table sharing a meal and being surrounded by unconditional love.

What is your most treasured possession?

My family, especially my chosen family, is my most treasured possession. When I was younger, my mother always taught me not to put too much emotion or weight into material possessions as they have a tendency to come and go easily. She would always say, "things are replaceable, people are not." To me, my people and my pets are the most treasured, as they can share and reciprocate unconditional love.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Being alive in my forties. I always thought I would die young and to me young was under 40. My anxiety and depression played very strongly into this belief. When life pushed me up against a proverbial wall and I saw no way out, I would think the only way out was a permanent one. Luckily for me, things began shifting in my thirties and with continued therapy, introspection, supplemental brain chemicals, and the love of my chosen family, I began finding value in myself and life. I can confidently say in my forties, that I am grateful to be alive, living my life, and I look forward to many more birthdays.

What is a trait you are most proud of?

My empathy. If anything, I want to lead with kindness and empathy. Everyone is up against something difficult and we often don't see what others don't show us. We all need a little more kindness, compassion and empathy in our lives.

What advice would you give your younger self?

You are beautiful and you will find love, success, and happiness in both conventional and unconventional ways. I would tell myself not to let society and my family define who I am or who I am going to be. I would say that although there are challenges that will feel too large for any one person to handle, I will get through them and be a stronger person on the other side. I would also tell myself that I am gorgeous, loveable, and worthy of being loved.

What is your motto or favorite quote?

"Life is a journey not a destination." When I was younger I was always trying to achieve milestone goals: saludetorian of my high school, Bachelor's of Science in Marine Biology, Masters of Science in Animal Behavior, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre, a published researcher, a teacher, a professional stage manager, and a theatrical director. Along the way I realized after I reached each milestone, I didn't feel fulfilled, accomplished, or successful. I needed to change my view of the world. It is what happens on the journey, the interaction with people, and the kindness with which we treat all new situations that matters more. Each day I feel more successful by the lives I am able to touch in a positive manner through kindness, empathy, and live theatre.


Words of wisdom to younger women
Be kind to yourself. You are stronger, braver, and more beautiful than you give yourself credit for. Don't look to the world for external validation, it tends to leave you feeling disappointed and empty. You know the words of affirmation that you need to thrive, be kind and say those things to yourself because you are beautiful, intelligent, and resourceful.

Additional thoughts...

My Great Aunt Martha had a saying, "Age is only a matter of mind, it. doesn't matter if you don't mind it." When I was younger, I would parrot this quote, not quite understanding the context completely. I think I am finally able to begin to understand and internalize this phrase and honestly, I think it is pretty darn clever. She was a very clever, witty, and vibrant woman. I hope that I can age as fabulously and gracefully as she did, wearing leather pants into my 80's!


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