a work in progress

life is really hard, right??

You are exactly where you’re supposed to be.

I absolutely hate that quote. I get the point behind it, but you can’t argue with it, which frustrates me. And it doesn’t give me any comfort if I don’t like where I am today.

You know what does give me comfort? Googling famous “late bloomers,” or people whose age didn’t start with a two when they achieved their success. {Apparently, that’s the definition of late in life?}

So what I found was mostly a lot of noise, but here is some of what I liked :

{Martha Stewart}  Her first book Entertaining was published when she was 41 years-old, and Martha Stewart Living magazine hit newsstands  when she was 48. Then the woman bounces back after a stint in prison in her sixties. What a tale!

{Nina and Tim Zagat} The couple gave up legal careers at 42 to write restaurant guides.

{Julia Child} She published her first cookbook at 39 and made her first appearance on television when she was 51.

{Ray Kroc} He was 53 years-old when he joined forces with the McDonalds brothers who owned a single burger joint. At 60 he bought the business and spent the next twenty years building the country’s most successful fast food restaurant chain.

{Henry Ford} This visionary didn’t create the Model T until he was 45 years-old.

{Alan Rickman} He landed his first breakout role as the Vicomte de Valmont in Les Liaisons  Dangereuses when he was 36.

{Laura Ingalls Wilder}  She published the first book of the Little House on the Prairie series in her sixties.

{Oprah Winfrey} The television mogul was 32 when The Oprah Winfrey Show premiered.

{Vera Wang} Wang left her career at Vogue when she was passed up for the job as Editor in Chief. She decided to switch careers and designed her first wedding gown at 40.

{Matthew Weiner} The “Mad Men” creator didn’t get paid to write until he was 30.

{Stan Lee} He was 38 years-old when he created his first successful comic, “The Fantastic Four.”

I once read something that J.K. Rowling said about success and kind of latched onto it. “Success,” she said, “never feels the way you think it will.” Rowling was looking back on her career when she said this, pinpointing the day when Scholastic picked up the first Potter book. Although she was already published in England, this deal sparked a lot of press and indicated that Rowling was a guaranteed success. But all Rowling could feel was the pressure to write a second book that was at least as good as the first, and didn’t recognize that it was a pivotal moment in her career.

I guess what I’m saying is life is a really hard thing to live, whether or not it’s physically painful. Even the wonderful moments can make us feel stressed, scared, or lost. It rarely turns out the way we plan, but maybe that’s okay. Maybe it’s even better. So if we stop comparing our timeline / salary / self-worth to that of someone else, we might even enjoy it once in a while. We need to stop studying every interaction, decision, and hiccup and blowing it up to be something greater. We need to just step back and chill out.

And by “we” I mean me.



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