Personal Journey

Climbing mountains, not counting years

By Cynthia Maldonado on June 11, 2023

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A woman stands up top a mountain, taking in the beautiful view.

Do you know what saying should be retired?

“It’s all downhill after [insert age].”

We’ve all heard it. A lot of us have even used it.

But let’s be frank about this; it makes no sense

Do you really expect me to believe that going downhill is a bad thing? Anyone who has ever made their way up a hill knows that the way down is the easier, more exciting, and downright more enjoyable part of the journey.

Semantics aside, what a limiting and pessimistic way to view the aging process. It terrifies me to think that in my younger years, I often heard this saying applied to the ripe old age of 35!

Always a rebel without (or is it with?) a cause, my 35th year came and went without my having accomplished much of what may have been expected of me. 

Plant roots in one place? I’m not a tree. 

Choose a career? I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. 

Start a family? I killed my only plant last week. 

Start putting money aside for the future. Oh, look! Flights to Australia are cheap right now.

Fast forward a couple of years, and only one of those things has changed. That’s why we’re here. 

Consider this a formal invitation to join my career journey as I delve into all things PR and marketing with the reckless abandon of a youngin.  

PR is nothing if not deeply rooted and informed by present-day norms. The beauty is that, as a society, we are constantly evolving. As a result, the goalposts are always changing. Gone are the days of excruciatingly low-rise jeans, pencil-thin brows (Gen X – please don’t let nostalgia convince you that either of these things should be re-visited!), and this insistence on having it all figured out by a certain age. 

Not too long ago, I may have been considered an outlier, although I prefer the term unicorn. An anomaly or someone whose window to accomplishing her goals was starting to close. 

We are not living in that time anymore.

Ke Huy Quan, Michelle Yeoh, Brendan Fraser, Jamie Lee Curtis
Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Enter the 2020s, a decade where the world reminds us that it is never too late to get all the damn flowers! 

If we let popular culture be our guide (as we often do), we are officially living in times where age ain’t nothing but a number, and we are only ever a moment away from a career/lifetime high.

Look no further than this past award season:

  • Angela Alvarez (IDOL) wins her first Latin Grammy at 95! The category? Best NEW artist.
  • The former child actor, who took an almost 20-year hiatus from Hollywood – Ke Huy Quan– won all the awards and hearts! (Have you ever seen a more joyous human being?)
  • Brendan Fraser makes a massive comeback after years of being written off by an often cut-throat industry. 
  • Long overdue, Michelle Yeoh gets her Oscar and uses her acceptance speech to remind us, “Don’t let anybody tell you you are past your prime. Never give up.”
  • Scream queen for decades,  Jamie Lee Curtis gets her first Oscar nomination and subsequent win.  

I’m not starting my career late; I’m simply following the trends. How very PR professional of me.  

*Excuse me while I pat myself on the back*

If there was ever a time to do that thing, it is now. 

Take that course. Learn a new skill. Start the business. Dye your hair pink! (Please see a professional – I speak from personal experience.)  

Make the change you’ve been thinking about. Re-invent yourself and your life at any age and in any way.

The entire world is cheering you on! 

And if you feel you are approaching the bottom of the proverbial hill, keep going. Chances are you will find an even more beautiful mountain to climb.  

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