There’s a pervasive idea out there that only people who find success in their chosen field at a young age are worthy of praise. And while figuring out what you want to do while you’re young, then sticking with it and excelling, are certainly worthy of applause, here’s the thing – it’s never too late to course correct.
It’s never too late to follow your dreams, and it’s never too late to knock them out of the park, either.
I get tired of “under 40” lists. Show me someone who got their PhD at 60 after losing everything. Give me the 70-year-old debut novelist who writes from a lifetime of love and grief. Give me calloused hands and tender hearts.
— Doug Murano (@muranofiction) September 4, 2020
If you’ve been feeling down about the number of candles on your birthday cake and how they relate to what you’ve “done,” read these tweet responses. You’ll feel better.
18. My 40yo body would barely allow this, tbh.
Not skateboarding but –
Had stroke in 2006 that still affects me. Last year at 51 I started adult gymnastics with no previous gymnastics experience. 20 years older than the next oldest student. Overweight and unfit.
Did my first unassisted forward somersault last Dec 👍
— Old, but Pretty™ (@DannyDangerOz) September 5, 2020
17. It was in her all along.
I have no doubt.
Louise Hay wrote her first book at 50, at 60 learned to garden, at 70 took her first art class, a class held for children. At 75, she took an adult art class and at 76, began showing and selling her work.
— Patti McCracken (@pattimcc1) September 5, 2020
16. Our aspirations evolve with us.
It’s never too late to make a difference.
Went back to uni at 57 and graduated with honours degree in social work at 60. I’ve been practicing in mental health for eleven years. Now 71 and never more rewarded.
— John Rynderman (@Ryndie2) September 6, 2020
15. He’s got the passion.
Other people will see that.
I was laid off 2008 after 26y on job. Started bachelors 2009, graduated hons 2013. Started PhD 2014 at 51 yrs old, expect to graduate next year at 57. Before was nervous wreck even introing myself in a group. Now teaching classes.
Learned so much and grown so much as a person.
— John T. Johnson 🧠 Luctor et Emergo (@John4tl) September 5, 2020
14. Talent is always available.
Waiting for you to have the time.
Max Eisen wrote his first book in his late 80s. I defended it for Canada Reads. It won ✨ and Max’s book has become a bestseller & now at 91 he’s being made into a hologram by Stephen Spielberg.
— 𝐙𝐈𝐘𝐀 (@ziyatong) September 5, 2020
13. She turned back to give someone else a hand up.
Kind of makes me want to cry.
Approaching 50, lost everything twice, now have a tiny home thats all I need, raise thousands every year for charity to help others get back on their feet through my hobby of photography, and am about to have a book published – mostly I’ve learned to have less and give more.
— Anita (@AnitaNicholson) September 5, 2020
12. His smile is giving me life.
Someone is cutting onions.
My dad receiving his PhD aged 66. Yay! Go dad! pic.twitter.com/C21eqFPtON
— Kirsty (@DuckyMacDuck) September 6, 2020
11. In marriage, everyone gets a turn.
In good ones, anyway.
After decades of doodling plans on napkins as she followed my diplomat father from one posting to the next my mom got her architecture degree in her 60’s. My retired dad was ferociously proud of her and threw an epic party for her graduation. ♥️
— Mark McKinney (@Mark_DMcKinney) September 5, 2020
10. This hurts my heart.
Rebuilt my life after losing both of my sons, Now 74 and about to publish my first book – a memoir, ‘Am I Still a Mother?’
— Helen Bouchami (@HelenBouchami) September 5, 2020
9. When you’ve got it, you’ve got it.
And a lifetime of pent-up feelings.
And today is Grandma Moses birthday who didn’t start painting till her 70s.
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) September 7, 2020
8. I’m jealous of her life.
I would love to watch three plays in one day.
Meet Patricia, the 91-year-old MA Shakespeare & Contemporary Performance graduate who watched 37 performances at @The_Globe for her dissertation (once watching three in one day!) 🤩 #inspired https://t.co/l0w5iwfbrr https://t.co/aoTzlbS8O9 pic.twitter.com/BxzskvW8gS
— Birkbeck, University of London (@BirkbeckUoL) September 7, 2020
7. When you suddenly need a whole new life.
And have the grit to make it for yourself.
My husband died when I was 48. I finished my bachelors at 50 and started grad school at 51. I graduated at almost 54. Then I started a counseling private practice. So- new degree, new business, new career.
— Jan Owen (@janjowen) September 5, 2020
6. It can take time to figure it out.
And to find the confidence.
I got my PhD at 50 something after failing at school and working in factories and building sites. I was the first in my working class family to go to university.
— Dr Rob Burton (@Trebornotrub) September 5, 2020
5. If you want to do it, do it.
Don’t worry about what others think.
My former neighbour was awarded his Phd at the age if 83. He passed away the following year. pic.twitter.com/QapxyYHPOg
— Anna Banana (@Annacreegan) September 5, 2020
4. Never give up.
Not even if you think you’ve already failed.
My mother-in-law went to law school at 78. Took the NY Bar. Failed. Studied harder and took it again. Brought a suitcase of law books to check the results, ready to start studying to take the Bar a 3rd time if necessary. But she’d passed. She became a litigator at the age of 80.
— Kris Lefcoe (@KrisLefcoe) September 6, 2020
3. More than family heirlooms, I’d say.
She’s very good!
It’s not novels but my grandmother, after raising nine children and retiring from her nursing career, started painting. Her house is now basically an art gallery and she is actively creating family heirlooms. She’s my hero. pic.twitter.com/eYEA6fmy5m
— Joe Jamison (@jjami5000) September 7, 2020
2. Independence is key.
It’s a lifeline sometimes.
I began as a pianist & teacher at 14, then became a graphic designer. I came to the US & at 48 went back to university to study French literature, Arabic & World Cultures & was a translator. I finally could escape an abusive marriage. Now I’m a writer & painter, my life’s dream!
— Susan 🧛🏻♀️Butler🦇 (@OuiSuzette) September 6, 2020
1. She’s got time.
Might as well do something useful with it!
In grad school and met a Native woman in her early 90s who started her linguistics PhD program in her late 80s in order to preserve her tribe’s language, she said many people in her family live in their 100s so it was as good a time as any and she years left to do the work.
— Brianna Bertoglio (@piranhabrianna) September 5, 2020
These are just as inspiring as stories about younger people, don’t you think?
Add yours to the pile in the comments!