How One Baby Boomer Woman Paved her Road to American Independence

 

Everyone has her own road to independence.

Just like you I get up every day with a to-do list and a burning desire to explore new things.  And that is because as a baby boomer woman  I know that there are still many opportunities for me here, in this country.

There are so many things that we take for granted. I just remembered how thirteen years ago I decided to go back to school for a new career in interior design. On my winter break, I went to Belgium. When I was standing in line for the museum ticket, I saw the sign Students tickets. I switched the line because that is who I was: a student. As the clerk at the desk returned my crispy new student’s ID she opened her big arms in surprise and disbelief and looked at me as if I had two heads.

She laughed,

Don’t you see the sign? This is for students!

And she sent me away to the disapproving glances of the crowd.

The truth is there are not many places on this planet where you could change careers after forty or go back to school.

In fact, the cut off age in many counties is as young as thirty two years old.

My mother lost her sleep when I hopped on the plane to go to America with ninety dollars and a baby on the way. I told her that I was paving my own road to independence and took off. She thought that I did not know what I was doing, not even the tiniest idea.

Twenty four years later I have to say that she was right. I did not have any idea what I was doing, just wanted my baby to grow up in a free world, away from the Soviets.  And I was not alone. Many of us, young crazies of the eighties ran away to become sensational mothers, wives, successful paycheck makers and business owners.

All you have to do is believe”, (a little Jennifer Hudson here).

It sounds like a cliché, but it is still true.

I have to admit that the “believe” part is finally easy for me as a woman over fifty. There is no mother or a boy friend to judge. Because I know that they would be the only people to waste their time judging.

You don’t judge me now. Or do you? Changing counties, careers and location is not going to surprise you, right?

Just remember that it does not happen everywhere like that. And it feels good that it happens here, in the United States.

So while the opinionated Belgian clerk is coping with issues of older people not yet ready for the bucket list, many of my baby boomer friends make six and seven digit figure salaries doing second or even third careers. And while she is thinking what else she is not good for, I am enjoying technology and stepping in as my children learn new skills.

I am thrilled to see our children as being smart, inventive and creative. They are brilliant in business and at home, and they make a difference within communities. As we learn a lot from them, our children in turn come to our kitchens to learn from us, the crazies-run-away-parents.

Just like many boomers in this country, I am a firm believer that I could still do so much.

Through life, I constantly challenge my abilities to determine what I can achieve. When I felt that my paycheck did not feed my soul, I waited, and then quit my day job. I never looked back no matter how hard it was. I guess it was only because I knew that I would always have the opportunity to change my life around. At the age of forty I went back to college and at forty three got my second degree in interior design.  Today I so enjoy my interior design practice. I feel so fortunate to bring satisfaction to my clients that honor me and my company with great feedback. My heart beats really fast when another happy family enjoys the home that my company and I created.  I love to be involved with global online community and help people with their interior design and decorating questions. It is so remarkable to open a site and see that our work is selected and included by almost 2,032 people in their idea books as of today. I am glad that I can help them either bringing inspiration or information that they can use for their own projects.

Also, I like to share what I learned from my business and from life. I believe that my latest passion for age related home modifications is valid with eighty five million baby boomers. I know that I will not be able to help all but will try to touch as many lives as I can. As a baby boomer woman, I believe in a sensational, fulfilled life at any age.

Would that be possible anywhere else in the World? What do you think? What is your personal road to independence?

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Comments

  1. While reading this article I have this feeling of being connected. It’s funny though that this makes me feel like you’re just in front of me. This article is very inspiring and yes very touching. I can relate to what have you gone through. I’ve been with the same situation as yours but who cares, right? Congratulations! You deserve all the best in the world.

  2. This is very inspiring. I strongly believe that deep inside all of us, we wish to have our own success story. We all dream of achieving our deepest desires and of changing the world. I admire the courage and perseverance you have shown in overcoming the challenges you were faced with. I admire you even more for not letting your age stop you from achieving your dreams. I’ve always believed that it doesn’t matter how old or young you are as long as you want to learn. I think life is a learning process and it never stops. Thanks for the inspiration Marina! You have truly made your mark in your own special way!

  3. “All you have to do is believe”: have faith in what you know you were meant to do, traveling the ocean with a few bucks in your pocket and a baby on the way is a challenge; what you should follow is the callings of your soul. I am not a woman neither a mother, but I have them in my life and from what I have noticed , women have a strong will power. That was a very inspirational story.

  4. Retiring Baby Boomers need to develop a substitute community – one that substitutes our work colleagues. Consider getting another job, joining a health club or maybe get involved in a religious group We might want to consider volunteering at a local school or organization.’*'-

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    <http://www.healthwellnessbook.com/

  5. I love your story Marina. I can really relate, since I went back to school at the age of 29, after a failed marriage and the realization that no matter how good I get at my job, a college drop-out will not get anywhere. It was a long road to where I want to be, but I know I am slowly getting there. Thanks for the inspiration!

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