Risk-taking Can Lead to New Avenues
- The story of how she became a documentary filmmaker
- The lessons she learned from the people in The Beyond Sixty Project film
- What she learned from the experience of making it
- The stories from the film that resonate with her even more today
- How her life has changed since the release of The Beyond Sixty Project
- The benefits – and the challenges – of working with an intergenerational creative team
- What’s it been like to be a grandparent during COVID
- Her advice for people who may want to pursue a Second Act career
- And what’s next for her
Melissa Davey is a documentary filmmaker who lives in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. She is a wife, a mother and a grandmother to three young boys. She is a world traveler and curious about everything unknown. She recently retired after more than two decades from GENEX Services Inc., the largest Managed Care case management organization in the U.S, where she was recruited to build and operate the company’s Social Security representation division. Prior to GENEX, Melissa had almost twenty years of diversified experience in the field of disability. She held senior leadership and management positions throughout her career. Melissa’s second act is fueled by a lifelong passion for film and story-telling.
On Second Acts
“What I have found is that there are huge numbers of people in their sixties and seventies who are finishing careers, or maybe even already a second career and are saying, Okay, I’m done with that. I don’t want to work at that pace. I don’t want to work possibly for another individual or a big corporation or whatever it might be. I want to do something meaningful for me that will also benefit others. That’s what I’m hearing all the time. What can I do to keep going, but improve upon myself? And one of the greatest things we can do is try something new and something that might impact others in a positive way.”
On Dreams (and Deadlines)
“I think people need to not discount dreams. And I think a lot of times messaging when we were growing up was, Oh, that doesn’t, that doesn’t make sense. You go to college, you get a job, and you build a career. And that’s what you do. People might have other artistic dreams or, any type of dream, that might be pooh-poohed by either family members or society in general. I think that we should not ignore that. And I think that we should – especially – not ignore that as we get older because of the calendar, because we only have so much time left.”
On Taking Calculated Risks
“Taking risks is one of the most important ingredients in life. If we don’t take risks to step out of the boxes that we construct for ourselves, we don’t experience new things that may challenge us – and may change the way we view life, people, ourselves, etc. So in order for growth to occur, I think we need to take risks. And I certainly heard that from all of the women that I spoke with [for the film] and, in retrospect, I look at my own life and I do see that the risks I took – and I took many – some calculated, some just happened. They paid off no matter how uncomfortable they were. If you wanted to categorize them as right and wrong, no matter how wrong they were, they all paid off – and they all led to this self-reliance this resilience that, I think we don’t really recognize until we’re a bit older.”
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