Coming of Age


in Creativity

There are many “coming of age” stories in our lives:  the day we get our driver’s license; the day we earn the right to vote; the day we can legally drink alcohol; the day we get married; the day we have our first child.  Milestones.  We have arrived at an age to do or be something deemed meaningful.

I’d like to talk about coming of age in a different way.  I call it, “the creative coming of age.”  An age when powerful energy and ideas break free.  Brace yourselves; I’m talking about women who are getting ready to retire. 

Because of the industries I have worked in, I am lucky to have friendships with powerful women of a certain age.  These women forged the paths I was able to follow and made it easier for me to do what I wanted to do.  They laid the groundwork.  Did the hard work.  Now, many of them are ready to leave long, successful careers. 

They are smart.  Accomplished.  Driven.  And they are walking out of their careers into their next lives.  With energy.  With passion.  With purpose.

They are starting new businesses that run the gamut from producing heavenly honey to providing insightful consulting on leadership development.  They are exploring creative facets of their lives they have long neglected – like acting, writing and dancing.  They are ready to do things differently, with a wealth of knowledge and experience behind them. 

As I watch these creative women step into their next lives, I find there are lessons and opportunities for us all, if only we look.

Retirement has a permissive quality that we should introduce into our own lives even if we aren’t ready to retire.  These women have given themselves permission to pursue their dreams and interests.  Granted, there is a certain freedom that comes with a retirement income but this is more than that.  It’s a mindset that says, “It is ok to want what I want.  This is my time.  I choose to surround myself with the people and things that I truly love.”    

Being creative on our own behalf is powerful stuff – we should do it more.  All of these women have been thoughtful and creative in their work lives; but, seeing them dream and come up with ideas for their own lives and businesses has a completely different quality.  It is infused with joy, excitement and anticipation.  It is rich and personal.  It is positively infectious.

It’s good to keep learning and growing.  Many of the women are stepping into realms of entrepreneurship.  Although they have had successful careers, they aren’t afraid to admit they don’t know everything.  Instead, they are jumping in to learn what they don’t know well – things like the use of social media to build their businesses.  They are actively looking for resources to help them learn new ways of doing business, just as we all should.

Ultimately, these women are creating their own coming of age stories:  purposefully crafting lives that are meaningful and interesting to them.  Lives that let their creative selves come out to play, and not just on weekends. 

I want to be like them.  Now.

What if we didn’t wait until retirement for our creative coming of age?

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Ronna August 24, 2010 at

Apparently I am one of these – coming of age. Though it may be true, I still feel like I’m a little kid, testing the waters, trying out my wings, tentatively, cautiously walking to the edge of the pool. Another part of me feels like I’ve totally jumped into the deep end and am now trying to learn (or remember) how to swim! Either way, it’s exhilarating, daunting, full of risk, and SO gratifying.

Thanks for naming what is, Andrea – and a multitude of other things.

P.S. You know you already are like them, right?
Ronna recently posted..Stop talking and obsessing…


Andrea August 24, 2010 at

I’m trying to be like them. I have to remind myself every day to choose the life I want to create. With the risk comes the reward….


Lori August 25, 2010 at

Andrea – I cannot tell you how much I treasure your posts. I don’t get to them every day but when I do, it is late at night before I head off to bed. I love the way you write and the thoughtful perspective that you bring to the most simple thing and to the most complex aspects of life. It is pure pleasure to read your words before I head off to sleep – I only hope that your purposeful words take root while I sleep and in turn, motivate me upon waking to pursue what is meant to be for me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!


Andrea August 25, 2010 at

Oh, Lori. You have no idea what your words have meant to me today. I have been in a place of doubt about my writing and to hear your thoughts has been a gift. Thank you, thank you!


Rita August 26, 2010 at

No doubts! Well, you can have them. You are human, after all. But no giving in to them!

Any time you feel the urge to stop, just write to me and I’ll tell you all the reasons you shouldn’t.


Andrea August 26, 2010 at

Thank you, my friend! I sooooo appreciate the support!


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