Success and Sparks
I get a lot inspiration from the fact that Julia Child didn’t really get her culinary career going until 36. Or that Louisa May Alcott was 37 when her first book was published. I read somewhere that Toni Morrison wrote Beloved every morning before she went to work her full-time job.
This makes me feel good for a number of reasons, but mostly it’s the fact that I have so much time to accomplish my big ideas and reach my big dream. In the crazy interwebs and all over the media, there is so much focus on people who achieve something amazing at a young age or give up the grind and work for themselves at 25. Honestly, it’s exhausting to think about those folks not just because they make me feel like a huge slacker, but because I think they’re presenting somewhat unrealistic views of how life shakes out.
Ok, maybe that’s my cynical, adult self talking, but when I read about these folks who have some social media empire at 22 or similar, so many articles leave out the details like– do they have student loan debt? Do they live in their parents’ basement still? These details are what I’d really like to know because I’m a 31 year old gal with bills, a mortgage, and food to buy.
Sure, I’d love to be able to plan to hightail it out of my 8-4 job in the near future, but that involves a great deal of work that I’m not sure I have in me right now. Sarcasm aside, I truly applaud the people who make those sacrifices to get what they truly want– that sort of laser focus is something that both amazes and baffles me– mostly because I can barely seem to focus enough to remember everything I want at the grocery store.
The comparing game is exhausting and I’ve given it up because it’s not me and the circumstances of all those success stories are not anything like my life. And their definition of success is so different from mine. I’m still figuring out what success means to me. I know it doesn’t mean fame and fortune, but maybe it’s more about a fulfilled feeling at the end of the work day instead of an overwhelmed exhaustion. Or maybe it’s having some extra money at the end of the month to go on a surprise adventure weekend. I’ve read a lot about Julia Child because I find her endlessly fascinating and I know that becoming an acclaimed TV chef was not on her radar when she started out cooking in France in her mid-thirties.
I have ideas– big and small– and feel like I’m finally in a place ( mentally, definitely not financially) to be able to think them out in an articulate and practical way. Sure, I’m not going to be throwing my job out the window anytime soon, but I finally feel like the switch has gone on where I feel a spark for something exciting that has been sitting within my brain for a long time, and it’s exciting to think of what comes next.
For other ladies who succeeded well after thirty, check out this article