Age isn't a reason to not start
When earlier this week it was announced in an interview with Vogue, that Kim Kardashian (arguably, the marmite of celebrity) was studying to become a lawyer, my reaction caught me off guard. As someone who has always been heavily opposed to everything the reality star stands for — for reasons we shan’t go into (although should you wish you to, my DMs are open…), I found myself rooting for her.
To so publicly venture into uncharted territories as a 38-year-old woman, with such nonchalance for what anybody else thinks — I thought it was inspirational. Inspirational at least in a culture that favours success upon rigid structures and traditional career climbing. By which I mean, it is still the precedent or expectation to know exactly where you’re headed as soon as you leave school and get on that path before it is too late.
Even in the age of portfolio careers, we are still bound by pressures to achieve our goals before we mature to a certain age, a-la 30 Under 30 lists. Every candle added to our birthday cake riddles us with deeper insecurity because we feel our time to shine, ‘make it’ or gain whatever success we lust after, is running out. And as a result so many of us stay in the same jobs despite knowing it isn’t making us happy, or don’t dare try to make our passion a reality because we believe you have to have started young to be any good at it.
Of course, the biggest factor that contributes to this notion, is the idea that we must achieve ‘peak career’ before we have children. In fact, as women it has been drilled into us that our careers are mere ticking time bombs waiting to go off — children acting as the detonator. Add to the mix all the ripened comparisons available to us via social media and this so-called age of urgency reeks havoc amongst our confidence as ageing beings.
But I say it doesn’t have to be that way. Despite there not being enough examples of women over 30, 40, 50 and beyond achieving great things being publicised in the media, they areout there. Nayna McIntosh founded her clothing brand, Hope Fashion at the age of 52 and Anne Boden founded Starling Bankat the age of 54. Kim Kardashian has three children (soon to be 4) and is just now studying to become a lawyer. Sure, she has nannies to free up her time to accomplish new goals, but the incentive is the same: it is never to late to start and your age is not a limitation.
Likewise, even you’re only at the beginning of your career, you are still allowed to change your mind. You are allowed to pivot or decide to take a different route completely. Because who are you to deny yourself the route of freedom as a continuously growing and evolving human?
No one can really prepare themselves for where the future is going to take them, so buckle up and allow yourself to start regardless of whether you believe you’re too old to succeed in your field. Age should not be a reason to not start. And if it takes Kim Kardashian to help you accept the fact, perhaps I can get on board with her after all.
“Time did not compose her.” — Jane Austen, Emma