A DAY WITH UJU MARSHALL December 28, 2016 – Posted in: Fashion, Life Stories
“The fear of old age should never stop anyone from pursuing what they really want to do” – Uju Marshall Nwobodoh
Uju is what comes to mind when you think fierce, beautiful, successful woman that inspires other young women. As a very active working model that’s achieved a high level of success and is still looking to grow, Uju’s zeal and flare for life is very admirable to me; I met up with this beauty recently and our conversation got around to what happens next when you’ve done everything a country has to offer in your profession because she has literally been there and done it all. The answer was clearly a move to fresher grounds and new challenges to conquer.
When i was a full time professional model, one of my greatest fears was getting older and becoming ‘old stock’ because everyone knows a profession like this one is very age conscious. Naturally i voiced my fear out to her and she responded so fiercely and so full of passion that it caught me off guard; she said to me ‘Nwando, the fear of aging should never be the reason you decide not to try, you focus on being the best you can be and you focus on growing, that’s it’. We went on to have a lengthy conversation about life, dreams, success and aging. This conversation stayed with me for a while, i pondered on it for a long time after i had left her so i decided to share with you all that may be in a position where you feel like you’re too old to do the things you enjoy doing and ‘the ship has sailed for you’
The easiest way to show someone that they can conquer a challenge is to show them other people that have conquered same challenge. Today the lesson here is that you’re never too old to chase your dreams and the only person that can set an expiration date on your dreams is yourself. Below are a few very succesful entertainment women that found mainstream success as late bloomers – Vera Wang, Vivienne Westwood, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Anna Wintour; the common factor with all the remarkable women named above is that they kept on keeping on, they did not quit and call it a day when age kept knocking, they put in the work year after year so that when the opportunity for success came, they were strategically positioned and they were capable of handling it. Models like Cindy Crawford, Iman, Brooke Shields, Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson and Tyra Banks, some of who started modeling in the 1970’s are still very much relevant today and have gone on to achieve success in other areas in life, this in itself shows that even if you achieve success early, you can still grow to higher achievements and maintain relevance decade after decade, there is no expiry date on your talent
Find the lessons i took from all this –
- Don’t force things to be when they’re not ready, success is something you have to prepare yourself for, not everyone is capable of handling it ‘too soon’ so my advice is that you focus on your art and perfecting yourself more than the hunger to succeed and you’ll find that success will be inevitable.
- Even when you’ve found a level of success, there’s always room to grow, do more and be more. When fame comes, understand that there is always more to learn and master, be competitive with yourself; when you achieve all your career goals then it’s time to set new ones, take the time to always brush up and improve your skills.
- You’re never too old to switch careers, there’s no joy in staying on in a job you hate out of habit and comfort. Your dreams are valid and you owe it to yourself to be more if you’re capable of being more. Vera Wang was a skater, a journalist and then a fashion editor but she got mainstream successful in her 40’s as a bridal fashion designer.
- Believe in yourself. If you believe that you can succeed and you act accordingly regardless of what life throws your way and how much time passes then the chance of success will be higher. You believe in yourself and you persevere.
- Life is in stages and as such it is important to trust your journey and your growth process. The people that we call ‘overnight success’ put in years and years of background hard work. Don’t be hard on yourself because your growth is slower than the person next to you. Respect your process and your journey.
Today i’m grateful to Uju for making me dig deeper. For making me understand that i’m not too old to pursue some of the things that fire my soul and for reminding me that i alone set the life span of my dreams. As you set your new year resolutions, please remember that age is not a barrier to the pursuit of dreams, give yourself the gift of recognizing your talent and developing it to best of your capacity.
Love x Light,