Never too late

Over on his “Living!” blog, Sam (no relation) has a post called “Don’t let your age decide your fate.”

 

I laughed when I saw the title, because I was thinking about the same topic last night, from a different direction. Sam writes from his perspective as a Millenial, while I’m a middle-aged Gen-Xer. He’s reacting to news stories that talk about the limitations Millenials face. I’m thinking about the artificial limitations that seem like a part of being middle-aged.

More specifically, I’m talking about the perception that it’s “too late” to start learning something new, or to strike out on a new path.

In your youth, you’re told “you can do anything,” but I never beleived it. (Except for one brief period.) Now, at fifty, it’s easy to fall into a trap of thinking that it’s too late to try something new.

This is especially pernicious for me, because when I was younger, I often told myself I was too young to accomplish some of the things I wanted to try. Wait until you’ve got a few more years experience before you try to start a business, I told myself, and never tried. I’d start a novel with some heavy themes but run aground on the shoals of, You’re a little young to be writing about that, aren’t you?

So I waited. Stayed in a job I didn’t like for fifteen years, and would probably still be at if I hadn’t been laid off three years ago. Wrote fiction, but didn’t take any chances, played it safe, and didn’t grow as a writer very much at all.

And now that I’m fifty, my inner critic is going to flip the switch to, “You were never anything special, and you’re getting a little long in the tooth to start now.

Nuts to that.


One thought on “Never too late

  1. Nuts to that for sure! The saying goes ‘The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago… The next best time is now’ and despite my inner doubts I am going against my urges to play it safe more and more in life. Why should being 50 be a reason not to pursue your dreams? You’re still young and as we are from different generations, it just shows that no matter what age you are, those doubts will manifest and emerge in different ways. It is all about conquering them. I hope you go on to do whatever you have always wanted to, and thanks for reading my post 🙂

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