Life is a spectrum – or many spectrums I suppose really, with someone occupying every point along each one. The very tall to the very short; the very poor, to the very rich with everyone in between; the very youngest mother to the most mature – good luck Janet Jackson, you’re going to need it. There is always someone better off (however you choose to measure that) and someone worse off than you. That’s the status quo of life as we know it, however irritating it might be.
The good thing about it though is that viewing the world in this way opens a world of infinite possibilities. Well goodie gumdrops. Like what? Once upon a time we were more governed by our insular communities. I’m talking pre-interweb and all that. You didn’t hear about the extremes of life so much because firstly there was less of an outlet for people to share – just the 4 television channels in the UK, similar elsewhere I imagine – and a load of crappy magazines, and what everyone else was doing around you. We were so restricted then – or maybe we just felt we were.
Now, there are programmes dedicated to people who didn’t know they were pregnant until they gave birth. Not just one person, loads of them!! People with weird addictions (like eating pottery?!), and documentaries galore on the tallest, shortest, fattest, thinnest, richest, poorest people on the planet. Not to mention Google, the gateway to absolutely anything you ‘need’ to know.
We can gorge ourselves on knowledge – or maybe not ‘knowledge’ in the purest sense, perhaps nosiness and intrigue are more accurate. But here’s the thing; the positive I take from all the chaff that’s out there in our Information Age. You are never ‘too’ old to do something new, change something, become something or someone else. There’s someone out there, older (in mind, body or spirit) than you, doing now what you’re telling yourself you’re ‘too old’ to try.
If you’re in your 20’s and think you’re too old for anything -pardon my French, but you can fuck off!! No, that’s not very nice is it. It’s all relative. Ok, if you are in your 20’s leap on in – to anything! I heard someone say recently – give yourself the opportunity to make mistakes now, as responsibility does gain weight as you get older, and those mistakes might feel a bit heavier. Now is the time to take big risks.
In your 30s you’re still blissfully young. And in your 40s and 50s and so on. Be delighted you’re ticking off those years of survival-we’re all heading for one door in the end. Life as we know – despite our (rather successful) efforts to lengthen it in most cases – is very short.
If you hate your job, change it. If your dream is to paint – then paint. Or to be a drag queen, an ultra-marathon runner, or a tree surgeon. If you want to travel the world, learn a language at 60, learn ballet or be an opera singer – try it! Do it! You never know what you might unlock. One thing is for sure, no one got happier sitting and moaning about how shitty their job is, or musing about lost youth and opportunities missed.
If you’re thinking – yeah that’s all very well, but I just don’t have time – then watch less television. In trying new stuff news, I’ve decided I’m going to become a yoga teacher.
Don’t assume that everyone who appears to have done brilliantly in life did it in a textbook fashion and knew what they wanted to do as a teenager. They didn’t. There’s plenty of stories of ‘celebrities’ and business people who found their fame and/or success later in life. Look at the wonderful Mary Berry (for my British readers), or Frank McCourt who wrote Angela’s Ashes – an amazing award winning book – he took up writing at 65. Another little story of triumph – the first ever Kenyan athlete to win a Commonwealth gold medal in a field event learned how to throw the javelin on youtube.
Don’t assume anything comes easily either – but don’t let that stop you going for it, just make sure you try and enjoy the ride wherever you’re going, it’s not all about the destination.
Dream big EVERYONE – dreaming’s not just for the little ones.