I created a form of this site (Metopause) many months ago and have struggled with where, when, how, and with whom to talk about it.
The form of a whisper. Don’t make a sound. Don’t make a splash. See if anyone finds it organically.
A few weeks ago after work one day, I whimsically submitted an application to attend the Coinbase Ventures Summit. I took a risk and started my response to the primary application question with a list of perimenopause symptoms.
“In fewer than 500 words, please tell us about yourself and share why you are excited about this area *”
And my response:
“Migraines. Brain fog. Moodiness. Depression. Anxiety. Dryness of all. the. bits. Longer cycles. Shorter cycles. Irregular cycles. Hot flashes. Night sweats. Hair loss. Insomnia. Urinary incontinence. Loss of libido. Weight gain.
Welcome to perimenopause, folks, a phase of life that can last up to ten years.
I’m Becca Williams, a 45 year-old mom, product management consultant, maker/artist, technologist, outdoor explorer, wife to a veteran, long-time remote worker, former small business owner (x2), and resident of rural Colorado.
The truth is, I’m terrified by this area because the dominant menopause narratives are of doom and gloom. Many of us who are navigating this phase of life have no idea what we’re really in for. The best case scenario is our mothers are still alive, have some recollection of what their perimenopause experience was, and we have a relationship grounded in honesty that holds space for the sharing of such things. The worst case is years of misery.
What I am excited about, however, is creating an unapologetic, celebratory, fierce, science-backed platform, community, NFT collection, content destination, and data solution.
I’m fired up by an endless list of HMW questions, like how might Web3 technologies support and empower women, non-binary people, trans men, and intersex individuals who are navigating perimenopause? How might we build a solution in virtual reality that reduces and improves the very long list of disruptive symptoms? How might we use humor to soften the blow? How might perimenopausal aged community members produce, own, and monetize well-informed, world-class, engaging content on-chain? Is a DAO the right model? How might we tokenize this conceptually? How might we best keep safe very sensitive data that could be weaponized politically?
I am an endlessly curious and driven person with a focus on remaining a relevant and valuable contributor to the tech ecosystem and society as a whole. As I proudly carve my own path through middle age, I’m ready to take my Web3 learning journey to the next level into build territory.
I have been on a deep personal learning journey in Web3 for almost two years, though watching the space closely for around three years. It started with my kids and noticing the stickiness of Roblox, Fortnite, Minecraft, and requests for in-game currency and digital assets for every birthday and holiday.
Fast-forward to completing an AR/VR development course with Unity, setting up my first crypto wallet last summer and the weeks-long, blocker-filled process it took…designing and minting my first NFT, earning licensure as an Associate Real Estate Broker with an eye on #PropTech disruption and #phygital real estate and, more recently to graduation from SheFi Cohort 8, attendance at ETHDenver, and onboarding to Alchemy University for blockchain development.
I am at the intersection of many different kinds of experiences out in the world. Web3 is a distant or non-existent future in many of these circles. The crypto landscape is noisy, jargon-filled, lacks intuitive UX, and is incredibly intimidating. I would like to be a bridge to help change that.”
It was liberating. Nothing to lose and I got practice with putting my narrative out in public.
A Couple of Weeks Later
I attended Southern Colorado Startup Week.
I walked past someone I know and deeply respect and he stopped me for an introduction of my tech background to a group of people. I had no idea who these people were and I HATE being put on the spot. I got a few sentences out and then said, “And my latest project is Menopausey.” But I didn’t have time to give more context. They laughed and one woman probably of similar age said, “It all counts.”
I realized a few seconds later they thought I was announcing my menopause journey as a project. I went out to my car as the morning sessions were over and I just laughed. That was not exactly how I intended to start talking about my new side project. In this moment, I ripped off the Band-Aid in a hilarious fashion. I texted the person a few minutes later to share the website and what I’m working on. He made probably half a dozen more introductions later that day and would mention my former business, Thought Distillery, my social enterprise real estate project, Like Hearts Lab, my product management consulting role, then set things up for me to announce, “And your latest project is called…”
After the first time on the spot, it was surprisingly easy!!! It felt awesome, organic, and destined to announce! I felt proud. I have no idea where I’m going with this, but I love that this awkward announcement is part of the beginning of my Menopausey founder story. The name seems to resonate with a mix of laughter and celebration depending on the gender identity of who’s on the receiving end of my announcement.
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Header image generated by Stable Diffusion. Prompt: “a dreamy, whimsical scene of a vague figure hesitant to share a secret”