One of the many things society has been able to do in this time of the coronavirus is to take a moment to reflect. Some folks started new businesses, others were finally able to spend some time with family and many of us focused on getting through one day at a time. One of the reflections I had was looking back at my goals and dreams over the years: Have I achieved them? Are they still the same as they were when I was younger? What does the future look like for me?
There is a trend of seeing the many achievements of the youth (the top 30 under 30 in various industries, the spotlight on the youngest to ever do it, etc.), but there is that other side, those who dream and achieve later in life. As a child, I definitely felt that I needed to achieve all I could in my 20s, not understanding that life is complicated, things happen and not everything is going to turn out the way you would expect. Having the understanding now that I can reach for new dreams/goals later in life has helped ease the pressure I have placed on myself in recent years. And as a society, we have seen all kinds of people break through and reach their goals later in life.
“It’s much better to find success later in life. It takes a very long time to become good.”
-Bettye LaVette, Singer
In 2016, Comedienne Leslie Jones highlighted this in a sketch on Saturday Night Live (SNL). After 2 decades in comedy, she herself had her mainstream break while in her 40s, she notes in “the Weekend Update” segment “the fact that Vera Wang didn’t design her first dress until she was 40, or that Oprah was fired from her job when she was 23.”  In the midst of quarantine in June 2020, Jones appeared on the YouTube show, Zooming with the Homies hosted by Tahir Moore, where she discussed with fellow comedians the benefit of having found success in her 40s as she had a better sense of herself and had a level of maturity that enabled her to navigate her journey and be able to step away from pitfalls that she probably would not have in her 20s.
Specifically, for women, with the pressures of society, their ambitions and dreams are at times put aside with the focus on family as well as just needing to be “practical.” As emphasized in the article, “Changing Channels,” from the Washington Post, “for American women in middle age and later, that might mean returning to ambitions set aside years ago to raise a family or follow a spouse’s career. It might mean finding ambitions they never had before or reaping overdue success.”
“Our culture tells us a story that we’ll lose and lose and lose as we get older. And it’s not true.”
-Heather Havrilesky, Writer and Cultural Critique
Whether due to family obligations or life just being life, continuing to dream and working on your passions will only benefit us. If we reach that mountain top in our 20s or have our “aha” moment in our 40s about what we actually want to do and then make it happen, one thing for sure is that success and the journey to it does not have an age limit.
 “Changing Channels,” Washington Post, June 9, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/lifestyle/women-over-50/.
 Marisa LaScala, “Leslie Jones Is Basically Ageless,” Bustle, May 15, 2016, https://www.bustle.com/articles/160842-leslie-jones-weekend-update-segment-on-snl-says-age-is-just-a-number.