Life doesn't come with a deadline for all the things you're supposed to achieve, no matter what society tells you. Let these stories convince you.
Society may have us convinced that there's an age that we have to achieve certain things. For instance, I was horribly sorry for myself for years on end when I didn't get to graduate college on time. My whole five-year plan for myself was turned upside down and I was left confused, frustrated, and purposeless. These so-called "deadlines" make us feel inadequate if we don't attain all the things we think we're supposed to by the time we reach a particular age. But, you know what? To hell with that. Life doesn't come with a set of instructions and sometimes, things just don't work out the way we envisioned them to. However, they do work out eventually, if not immediately.
In order to remind us all of this, TV writer and producer Melissa Hunter (you may know her as the genius behind She-Hulk on Disney+ and Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix) took to Twitter to conduct a sort of social experiment. She asked people to share their "middle age" success stories. Hunter wrote, "At the end of 2020, instead of 30 Under 30 and NextGen lists, please profile middle-aged people who just got their big breaks. I want to read about a mother of two who published her first novel, a director who released their first studio feature at 47, THAT'S THE LIST WE WANT." And the stories came pouring in. From people who simply discovered a new hobby to others who achieved a major milestone in their life, the responses were super interesting and diverse. They were also really important reminders that your life is what you want to make of it, not what society expects you to.
I am a mother of four, I released my first full-length book at 45, and started law school this year—at 47—with four teenagers in the house. Some of us are late bloomers, but wow, when we figure it out...🔥— Tracy M (@dandelionmama) January 7, 2020
Mother of 2 near-adults, was waiting tables and dreaming of a real career and chance to make art. Decided to go to grad school at 46. Now 52, I’m a professional playwright & tv writer on #htgawm.— Inda Craig-Galván (@IndaCraigGalvan) January 12, 2020
After a 25 year career laid off! At 55 I trained to be a dog trainer. 11 years later I’m an expert in dog behavior. I’ve helped hundreds of people help their dogs, rescues especially. What’s better than puppies, I teach them every day. pic.twitter.com/XB8R19obOh— kikimon98 (@kikimon981) January 10, 2020
I went to prison for drugs when I was 46 and got out when I was 49. I stayed clean and started my own on-line business. Last year I turned 56 and my business broke the $1M sales mark. Was there some white privilege that helped along the way? You bet. But I work my ass off, too.— WTFWJD? (@phac3ti0us) January 9, 2020
I'm 41 and my first book comes out next week! The idea that you've got five years between 20 and 30 to do everything you're ever going to do is ridiculous.— Mike Rothschild (@rothschildmd) January 7, 2020
Grandma of 4, 54 years young, Veteran, published my debut novel January 1st. My body is paralyzed from ALS, so I typed that shit with my eyes! pic.twitter.com/Whn1nBXgLz— Shelly Hoover (@shellyhoover) January 8, 2020
I became a paid firefighter at the age of 48. I know I was the only female at that time to pass the CPAT (Candidate Physical Abilities Test).— Rise of the Alien Queen (@rise_alien) January 9, 2020
Lost job at 48, after 24 years of service. Drove for LYFT for 6 months, learned to make jewelry, did some kid-raising, beat breast cancer, then appointed by Governor on my 50th birthday to a state leadership role. Now 55, kids all successfully launched, living my best life!— Shannon Swain (@girafa64) January 11, 2020
What about a 50 yr old stage4 #metastaticbreastcancer patient who in last 7 yrs founded 2 websites, is a patient advocate, organizes exercise retreats for patients, created #sbcinfographic to make patients aware of signs & symptoms AND is a wife & mum to 2 children? @METUPUKorg pic.twitter.com/1LMTFjK0iI— Jo Taylor (@abcdiagnosis) January 8, 2020
Workings on my doctorate. I had not taken a math class for 40 years but aced statistics and advance statistics with A’s. I will graduate with a 4.0 at the ripe age of 60+. The dissertation is all I have left. Lots of life to live!— Nicolette C Dennis (@greekfromidaho) January 8, 2020
Yup! Launching my clothing line now- at 48. 2 kids, many careers, next venture feels amazing.— Emma May (@EmmaMayMMA) January 8, 2020
Could not agree more ! I had my first book released & produced my first play (both successful) at the age of 40 - & I was offered lots of ‘be the face of’ writing & producing courses/programs for under 25’s - I asked if I could do it for over 40’s instead & they all said no!— Melanie Blake (@MelanieBlakeUK) January 8, 2020
My first book was published when I was 57, second, at 58, and now at age 60, working on revisions for book #3. Also, I didn't start running until after I turned 45 (averaged 1,000 miles/year for several years.) #nevertoold #nevertoolate #nevergiveup #dreambig #workhard— Jill Hannah Anderson (@JillHannahA) January 7, 2020
I'm 47. Last year, I left my salaried job, started my own company, and never looked back.— Renee Branson, MA, CReC (@resilientbounty) January 8, 2020
Earned my way into Harvard Extension School and formally accepted as degree candidate at age of 43. Was diagnosed w/ADHD a few weeks before receiving acceptance letter. Carrying a 3.71 GPA after 54 credits. Adults of all ages have value.— Amaltaringhim (@AMaltaRingHim) January 9, 2020
Finished my PhD at 41 with two teens as an Indigenous woman in public health. Finally got a tenure-track position after gig work in 2018 at age of 47. I'm an Associate Director & Assistant Prof with an academic book in the works on Indigenous Early Childhood— Angela Mashford-Pringle (@armp71) January 8, 2020
This! I'm 46, spoke at my first 2 conferences last year, got 2 essays published in a book, am starting a post-grad cert in coaching next week which might lead to a master's, a career pivot, my own business - who knows? Future is full of possibilities. I want to see people like me— Nik Knight (@kninki) January 8, 2020
all my life I want to be painter...I started to 5 years ego, I'm 65 ...and I know I'm one 👇🏻self portrait and my granddaughters portrait pic.twitter.com/dtk0Ev6onS— Marie Zee (@artsymaria101) January 8, 2020
I was 47 when I transitioned into HR and am now an HR Manager at age 50. First time in my life ever being a manager— Christopher J. Coleman (@therealHRnerd) January 8, 2020
I made a "big break" for a baby impacted by the opioid crisis. He came to me at four months. After 903 days of waiting adoption finalized. He turns 3 later this month. I am 57. We have an absolute blast playing school buses and going to the Air & Space Museum. Age is nothing. 💗— מלכה מרים בת אברהם ושרה (@jodisumot) January 7, 2020
Ok. Welp, here I am. 47, retired military, tired of not getting the acting roles I wanted, so my first short film, @ShortSecret, is shooting in March.— Brian Cutter will slay 2020 (@RealBrianCutter) January 7, 2020
Hope to slay on the festival circuit.
Gonna also tag my good friend @Ltward2 who is querying her first novel. Mom of 4.
I was a stay at home Mum for years. In my late 40’s I discovered a passion for interior design & won a national TV design show challenge. I now have incredible clients & projects, contribute to national radio, and write a popular magazine column. I’m 60 this year, and on fire! pic.twitter.com/3mjGRrnidv— Anne Tuohy (@RoomJunkieAnne) January 9, 2020