“I’m too old to start over” is what I constantly hear from a 58-year-old woman who is currently taking GED (grade 12 equivalent).
I recently met with Susan (not her real name) to help her figure out what career would be perfect for her. With tears running down her face she says, “By the time I get my GED and complete college, I’m going to be in my early 60’s. Who the heck is going to hire an old woman?”
Up until last year, Susan was able to hide her dirty little secret of not completing high school. Having an amazing career in the hospitality/food industry – managing hundreds of people and working directly with a well-known airline. A few years ago she had to give it all up because she was suddenly overcome with severe allergies and sensitivity to fragrances.
Not long after leaving a career she loved, she was offered a job in a field that was perfect for her new lifestyle. She aced the interview and was one step from moving into her new career when the company asked for a copy of her grade 12 diploma.
It’s only a number!
During our session I let her know that it’s never too late to make a career change. I reminded her of the amazing and inspiring people who are well into their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s who are still going strong. One example: 94 year old woman in Boston recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and is ready to start a career working in a Museum. She’s not letting her age stop her from living her dreams.
I keep things real and didn’t hold back in telling Susan that she must change the way she looks at her future and to not put her energy and focus on ”being old”. As the saying goes “You’re as old as you feel. Sure our skin wrinkles with age but it doesn’t mean that we have to let our mind and soul wrinkle and get old.”
By the end of the session she rediscovered a long lost dream that she hasn’t thought about in years – to be a flight attendant. She has all the making to work in this field – well groomed, vibrate, articulate and bilingual but because of her illness she’s unable to go in this direction. So what did we come up with for Plan B? She’s looking forward to pursuing a career as a travel agent.
Keep looking to the future…
The thought of growing older is never appealing or easy. Not only do we feel bad over the physical changes that take place but with every passing year we look back and wonder what could have been. What could we have achieved if only we started getting serious about life when we were younger? What great things could we have done if only we had a good start?
How sad it must be to sit around and mope over lost time! What so many of us do not understand is that age is just a number. Life is life and if you are alive then you have the potential to achieve anything you set your mind to. Age has no barrier to starting something new apart from your own “age” hang ups and negativity. You’re only as old as you let your brain tell you, you are.
It’s not the amount of years in your life that count but the amount of life in your years. So instead of thinking you’re too old just think of how young you’ll stay by pursuing your passions.