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5 Things 60-Somethings Can Learn From Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn isn't just a role model for the transgender community. Boomers can learn something, too.

 

1. It's never too late to be who you are or chase a dream.

Caitlyn is 65 and just transitioned with the whole world watching. So, is it really that hard for you to eat dinner in a restaurant alone? In the face of her courage, isn't it time for the rest of us to stop being afraid to make a change and break out of our ruts? If not now, when will we finally do the things we say we have always wanted to do?

Whether speaking to the transgender community or building a new circle of friends, Caitlyn says that "every day is a new adventure." When was the last time you could say that? 

2. Family matters.

Throughout her interview with Diane Sawyer last spring, Caitlyn made repeated references to not wanting to hurt her family -- especially her six kids. Her love for her family made for a deeply poignant moment during her acceptance speech for the ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award

One of the best scenes in the "I Am Cait" premiere was when Caitlyn's mom spoke about her daughter's courage. Heck, we even thought it was adorable when Caitlyn and son-in-law Kanye West bonded over sneakers. 

The point is: Family matters. Make amends, fix broken bridges, love each other. And stay true to yourself while you are doing that.

3. Make a difference in the world.

 Many boomers came of age during the 1960s and 1970s with a determination to change the world. It's one of the reasons volunteer tourism is so popular right now with retirees -- they want to pick up where they left off.

Caitlyn has been a great role model for living your life with purpose. She is using her global platform to bring attention to how intolerance has wrecked havoc on the transgender community, especially teens. A staggering 41 percent of trans people have attempted suicide and 51 percent of transgender youth have thought of taking their own lives. Caitlyn has spoken out publicly and pledged to help change that. She used her latest blog as a call to action.

4. We're all up at night over something.

Caitlyn has been an Olympic hero, a motivational speaker, reality TV show star and is now a world-class glamour girl. But as we saw in "I Am Cait," she's up at night like everyone else her age. "I hope I get it right," Caitlyn repeated through bleary eyes. 

In her case, the worry is mighty. Coming out in such a public fashion brings with it deep responsibilities. But the point is, we all have our worries. And we all hope we get it right, whatever the "it" is. Nobody is alone at 4 a.m., even though we think we are.

5. Dating is hard, but we can do it.

You put yourself out there and hope for the best. You lament how you haven't dated in decades and laugh when a friend compares it to riding a bicycle -- you know, once you nail it, it comes back to you. Still, you hold back.

While we don't know if Caitlyn will be Tinder-swiping any time soon, we do feel her pain at having to traverse the dating minefield. Caitlyn gets asked out on a date by Candis Cayne, a transgender actress, in an upcoming episode off "I Am Cait." No spoilers here, but there is absolutely a sense of "if she can do this, so can I" that comes from watching her. Go boldly into that dark night -- and thank you again, Caitlyn, for going first.

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