It’s Not Too Late

Sep 28, 2010 by

It’s Not Too Late

When you were a kid, dreaming about your future, what was it you saw?  What did you want to be? Why? What does your future look like now? What do you dream about now?

Why aren’t you doing something about it?

Childhood Dreams

Children are expert dreamers, because nothing seems impossible. Every child can grow up to be anything–a doctor, a ballerina, an astronaut, President. Most children try on various dreams and futures for size. I know I did.

Through various stages in childhood I wanted to be: a teacher, a writer, an actress, an astronomer, an Olympic gymnast, a veterinarian, a lawyer and a marine biologist. (I’m pretty certain after hearing this from people repeatedly that most girls want to be a marine biologist at some point, just so they can play with the dolphins) Considering I’m currently a lawyer, a teacher, a writer and an actress, I guess I didn’t do too badly on my list. But looking it over, and considering what I’ve accomplished, there’s been a nagging sense of “not enough” that I’ve struggled with for a while, a questioning of path that has led me to some drastic re-envisioning of just what each of those words means for me, and to me.

Straying From the Well-Trod Path

Truth time: I’m almost 35. The mere sound of that number occasionally sends a cold chill down my spine now and again.  By my age, society says we shouldn’t be questioning our path anymore. We should be settling down and having kids and buying a house and planning for our retirement. We should be contributing members of society on a safe and well-trod path. A quick inventory of my Facebook page and the statuses and lives of my high school graduating class does nothing to disabuse me of this notion. There are pictures of smiling kids and discussions of house renovations and a sense that everyone else is moving along in a direction I’ve no desire to walk.

Thing is–I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that most of the coolest things in life are off that well-trod path.

Still, when I started thinking, and then talking, about deviating from that path, of striking off on my own into a new frontier, I got a lot of concerned looks, and a few people saying things like, “well, that’s all well and good in your twenties, but don’t you think it’s time you settled down? You have a good job, a stable income, a solid retirement plan, health insurance…”

They aren’t wrong. I do have all of those things. But it seems to me that there has to be more to life than security and a good benefits package.

It’s that nagging feeling the “all well and good when you’re young” idea that I had to stumble around. I mean, aren’t I young? Is 35 too old to redesign my life? I’ve had friends who are nearly a decade younger tell me that they feel that all their chances passed them by. It was even a recurring theme on True Blood this season (and forgive me my deviation into vampire fiction in a serious post, but it bears mentioning). Jason Stackhouse was forced to confront the possible breaking of his high school record, and the punk kid about to do it was belittling Jason’s life, making it clear that glory is for the young, and Jason (who can’t be even 30 yet) had missed his chance to get out, to do something, to live his dreams and be the man he wanted to be. Well, I call bullshit.

It’s Not Too Late

It’s not too late.

Did you hear me? It’s not too late. Not for me, not for you. I don’t care if you are 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 or well settled into your retirement. It’s not too late. If you’re reading this now, it’s not too late. If there is something nagging at your soul, begging to be born, it’s not too late. If you look at your life, and it is not what you want it to be, it’s not too late. If you dread going to work every morning or feel like you’re stuck in the prison of your own choices, it’s not too late.

In the words of Bon Jovi, “I just wanna live while I’m alive, ‘cause it’s my life.” (You should probably get used to the pop culture references. It’s liable to happen often. You’ve been warned)

It’s your life. You only get one shot at it. It’s not too late to make it everything you ever dreamed. You’re not too old. Your chances haven’t passed you by. Chances and choices surround you, in every moment, and with every breath.

So, what did you want to be when you grew up?  What do you want to be now?

It’s not too late.

[Photo Credit: pedrosimoes7]

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