Here’s why it’s never too late to pursue your passion - GulfToday

Here’s why it’s never too late to pursue your passion


Morgan Freeman

Helen Coffey, The Independent

Morgan Freeman was 50 when he got his big acting break. Julia Childs was the same age when she scored her own cooking show. And Raymond Chandler had his first detective novel published at the grand old age of 51. These are the positive “it’s never too late!” stories regularly wheeled out to inspire us when we realise that, contrary to what we’d like to believe, it’s looking highly doubtful we’ll make it onto any “30 under 30”, “40 under 40”, or even “50 under 50” lists. Now, there’s a new — and arguably even more remarkable — example to add to the pantheon. At the age of 90, the first ever Black astronaut candidate has finally made it into space. Ex-air force captain Ed Dwight, selected but then ultimately passed over by Nasa in 1963, became the oldest person to reach the edge of space on 19 May, courtesy of a Blue Origin flight.

“I thought I really didn’t need this in my life but now I need this in my life,” he said after the rocket touched back down to Earth. “I am ecstatic … It was a life-changing experience. Everybody needs to do this.” Dwight’s achievement may not be within reach for most of us, but he’s the latest in a recent spate of heartening stories charting people’s pursuit of their dreams into middle-age and beyond. Like the 63-year-old who recently shared his experience of becoming a male model after retirement, having discovered that a post-career lack of purpose was giving him anxiety. “I’m not a chiselled hunk – just an average-looking old guy, bald with a grey beard – but I’ve been pretty successful,” Anthony Clark Hurd wrote in The Telegraph. He’s now done Paris Fashion Week, featured in campaigns for Coca-Cola, the Premier League and Nike, and even done his first underwear shoot.

“I’m now living a dream I never knew I had; succeeding in an industry I barely knew existed, and discovering myself for the first time at 64,” he said. It follows an American woman finding viral fame when she decided to document her journey of trying to make it on Broadway in her fifties. Now 56, Kim Hale has over 750,000 followers and 12 million likes on TikTok, where she posts videos of her joyful, sharp-as-a-tack dance routines. “You’re never too old to go after your dreams”, is a common theme in her content, as is “life begins at 50” – and she’s living proof. After moving from LA to New York this year, Hale finally achieved her lifelong ambition on 14 May, when she performed in Chicago for one night only.

Speaking about finding fame and becoming a social media sensation, she told daytime news programme GMA3: “Jerry Mitchell, a Tony-Award-winning choreographer, wrote a comment on my Instagram and he said, ‘Dreams have no deadlines.’ And I carry that with me every day. Anything is possible at every age and living life just knowing you gave it your best shot.” Dreams have no deadlines. At first listen, it’s the kind of line you might assume is a hollow platitude destined for a banal piece of wall art, in the vein of “Live, laugh, love”. But perhaps it’s something we all need to hear against the currently dispiriting backdrop of our society. An unhealthy obsession with youth, and of true success or fulfilment being the preserve of the young, isn’t an idea our culture has yet managed to do away with. If anything, the entrenched belief that “old” equals “put out to pasture” has further intensified with the ever-growing menu of procedures designed to halt the ageing process. Alongside Botox, fillers, peels, facelifts and seven-step skincare regimes, is the experimental de-ageing movement, with the likes of tech millionaire Bryan Johnson attempting to rewind his biological age via a combination of diet, exercise, supplements and… taking his son’s blood? (Yes, you heard me right.) The messaging everywhere seems to say: don’t get old. Old people have no value. Plough your time, energy and money not into your passions, but the relentless pursuit of reversing the passage of time.