About two months ago, my husband and I bought a full-sized electronic keyboard. We both played a bit in high school, but didn’t really stick with it. Fast-forward twenty years, and it’s one of my biggest regrets that I didn’t continue to play. I figure that, even if it takes me another twenty years to become an “expert” piano player, it will be worth it. I really want to eventually be able to accompany myself while I sing. There’s a long road ahead of me, but my age helps me see the value of starting something new and challenging myself in a way that I didn’t see when I was a teenager. If you’ve been having similar thoughts, I’m here to tell you that you’re never too old to start your dreams.
Age is just a number
Painter Grandma Moses didn’t start making art until she was 78 years old. That’s 40 years older than my current age. If I started painting now, assuming I was granted the privilege of living to her age, imagine what kind of a painter I could be in that span of time! Grandma Moses died at the age of 101, and was still creating art. If she’d told herself she was too old, she’d have missed out on an exciting 23 years of her life.
Moses isn’t the only older person to find success – check out this list of people who found their calling after the age of 50. You can even find examples in the seemingly youth-obsessed world of TV and Film – Viola Davis, Alan Rickman, Burt Reynolds, Betty White and plenty more didn’t become household names until after age 40 (that’s like, age 5000 in Tinseltown)!
Older and wiser
For some people, finding success in love, career, or even a hobby later in life may actually be a blessing in disguise. There are those of us – myself included – who might not have handled success very well at a young age. I know myself so much more at this age. I also know enough to know that I’m going to continue learning things about myself the older that I get. If I achieve a dream of mine later in life, I am better equipped to appreciate it.
Plenty of people are going to dissuade you from following your heart. Why add yourself to that list? I know it’s difficult, but you’ll have to be your biggest cheerleader, whether you want to become an action movie superstar, or go to law school. In the meantime, if you struggle to believe in yourself, surround yourself with people who are supportive. Look for anyone who encourages your passions – maybe it’s your spouse who is pushing you to start your business, your coworker who never misses one of your improv shows, or your best friend who will listen to chapters of your book over the phone. There are online communities made up of people who, if they’re any kind of decent folks at all, won’t care how old you are. They’ll just care that you’re trying your best.
Dream big, (mature) star
Life is far too short to live it with regrets. If you’re thinking about trying something new, or finally chasing that dream you’ve always loved, go for it. Maybe you won’t have the exact success you’re envisioning – maybe it will be better. Just don’t stop. I promise that you’re never too old to start your dreams.