11 Inspiring Stories From People Who Got Their Big Breaks After 40

Twitter users are sharing inspiring stories of how they got their big breaks and found success after 40.

If you're over 40 and you haven't achieved your lifelong dream yet, it can be easy to feel like it'll never happen. But an inspiring thread that's going viral on Twitter proves that just because you're middle aged doesn't mean you can't still have your big break. On Jan. 7, 35-year-old writer, producer, and actress Melissa Hunter tweeted that instead of reading a list of 30 people who made major accomplishments under the age of 30, she wanted to hear from "a mother of two who published her first novel" or a "director who released their first studio feature" over the age of 40. And Twitter delivered.

1. There was this mother who released her first full-length book at 45 and started law school at the age of 47, all while raising four teenagers.

"Some of us are late bloomers, but wow, when we figure it out…🔥" she wrote. Fire emoji, indeed!

2. Then there was this 65-year-old woman who always knew she wanted to be a painter. She finally started five years ago and look at her go!


3. This 41 year old's first book comes out next week.

"The idea that you've got five years between 20 and 30 to do everything you're ever going to do is ridiculous," he sagely wrote.

4. This inspiring woman lost her job when she was 48, drove a Lyft for six months, made jewelry, "did some kid-raising," beat breast cancer, and was appointed to a state leadership role on her 50th birthday. You know, no biggie.

5. Then there's this woman whose illness had her defeated, and now, at 50, she's helping others by running a medical office.

"Thanks for making me think about this," she wrote. "I've done a lot to be proud of. I forget that."

6. There's also this woman who didn't start working in show business until 48 and now has an Emmy and a Tony!

7. And this 41-year-old is about to debut a screenplay at the highly regarded Sundance Film Festival.

8. Meanwhile, this show-stopper starred in a musical just months after a heart transplant at 53!

9. This woman started writing and running at 45 and hasn't stopped doing either. She's now 60.

A thousand miles a year? Incredible!

10. This father of three left his day job to become a music producer—and now, he has a Grammy.

11. And this 60-something woman is taking math for the first time in 40 years for her doctorate!

"Lots of life to live!" she wrote.

In less than a week, Hunter's thread has received more than 31,000 retweets, and people are thanking her for reminding everyone that life doesn't end after 40.

And for more debunking of what life is like after 4o, check out 40 Myths About Life After 40 Everyone Still Believes.

Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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