I went to an art opening the other night, a photography school in the city. I was invited by a friend, who had a friend exhibiting in the show. The exhibitor was a woman in her fifties, married with 3 teenage/adult children and 2 teenage/adult step children. She had a wonderful career as an architect and decided that she wanted to have a change of pace, so she quit her job and went back to school to learn photography. At fifty something.
Sometimes, we think of being in our 50’s and above, or being empty nesters, as the end of the road. Why do we do this? Fear, society, I don’t know. But we do- many people look at the second half of their life and sigh with resignation. We need to stop doing that. You know in a sporting event, how many second half comebacks there are? And aren’t those come backs the most thrilling to watch and experience? Well, it’s time for our comebacks.
As my writing class nears its conclusion, I noticed that the younger participants have dropped out, literally and figuratively. (to be fair, one of the older participants did as well) Last night, the only ones to do the writing assignment were the over 35’s. Why? I don’t know- I didn’t take a poll, but I’d say the younger ones are either not ready to be writers (writing is really, really hard) or realized that they don’t want to be writers. Which is great that they figured this out.
But let’s focus on the over 35’s. They want to write. They’re writing. They’re taking classes. They’re improving. This includes me. We want to do it. We can do it. We will do it.
So here’s the PSA- we can virtually start over now. Age doesn’t matter. We’re not ready to be pushed aside and looked over. We can do anything.
So if you want to pursue a degree in something- go for it. I mean you Carol(e) sorry- can’t remember how you spell your name, but I think you should become a phycologist, or at least study it- you love it. And anyone else who has a passion or a yearning- it’s not too late to try. We are not too old. Go be whatever you want to be. There are a plethora of online classes now- you could be in a yurt somewhere in the middle of nowhere, but if you have a viable internet connection, you can study Chinese cooking or art history or virtually anything. Go to school, buy a book, join a group. Get back in the game.
Here’s the best thing about being older- we have a much better understanding of who we are as people. Our life experience has made us stronger and smarter. We know how crappy life can be and we learned how to bounce back- no one makes it to fifty without a few setbacks. And because we have a better understanding of who we are, we have a better idea of who we want to be.
I want to be a writer. I don’t know if I will succeed, but I’m going to try.
What do you want to be? Isn’t it worth a try?