When I left a career in academia to pursue humor writing, there were plenty of outspoken and silent skeptics questioning my motives. Why would a 40-something woman with a Ph.D. (and a clinical psychologist at that) walk away from a steady paycheck? What kind of woman, after years of training and building a résumé in science, would shift gears and pursue a future in comedy? The answers were simple.
So many things had me start a business after turning fifty. I must have had something powerful hit me to work as hard as I did and want more. I am a college counselor and had an interest in everything college admissions, but it was more than that. I wanted to prove something to myself and the timing was right.
Over a century ago, a Parisian lawyer named Paul Gauguin chucked everything in the name of freedom and moved to Tahiti to become an artist. I don't know if Arnie Cogan is also an artist (he does list himself as a photographer...) but he is definitely a Boomer whose reinvention expresses the same quest for freedom.
Comedian Dan Nainan is someone who had the opportunity to develop and nurture his skills, and then, when circumstance (or perhaps fate...) pushed him out of his job, he was prepared to make the leap into an entirely new life. His story puts a new spin on the idea of 'portable skills,' and shows us that it is possible to apply talent and enthusiasm beyond just one industry or job category.
The other night, our book group welcomed a new member. It's been a long time since we added someone to our group, so we decided to spend a minute introducing ourselves. You know, the usual drill: tell a little about yourself, like the names and ages of your children, where they go to school or work, etc.