Have you always wanted to take a cooking class or start up a class of your own? Perhaps you’d like to learn violin or start volunteering at an animal shelter? Everybody has desires and dreams that are often put off for “later,” but when later turns into years down the road people often use the excuse that they’re “too old” to do that now — whatever “that” may be. Nonsense! It’s absolutely never too late to embark on a new adventure and take a dive into uncharted waters.
Our society teaches us that we “can’t teach old dogs new tricks,” but that’s simply not true. The older we are, the more knowledge and insights we have to apply to new opportunities going forward. Don’t let others discourage you or make you feel silly about wanting to try something that excites you. You may find you have a hidden talent that you never would’ve known about had you never taken the initiative to try!
Maybe you need a bit more inspiration — some concrete examples of folks who tried something new later in life and turned hobbies into amazing careers. Dreaming of a career or opportunity in writing or cooking? You should know Julia Child was nearly 40 years old when her first cookbook was published. Prior to discovering her love of French cuisine, Child worked in advertising and for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. Want to try a hand in acting? Samuel L. Jackson was 46 years old before starring in Pulp Fiction. Thinking of achieving success in the comedy/television arena but you’re currently on a completely different career path? Joy Behar, a comedienne and co-host on The View, was a high school English teacher! She didn’t start her show business career until after age 40.
Inspired yet? Need some more convincing? Take French poet Victor Hugo’s words: “Forty is the old age of youth, fifty the youth of old age.” It’s so important not to limit yourself based off of society’s “norms” and what others view as acceptable ages to do certain things. You’re in your sixties but you want to go sky diving or snorkeling? Do it! You’re 20 but you want to take a knitting class? Why not! Your friends will be jealous of all the cozy scarves and sweaters in your closet for sure. As Shakespeare wrote, “age is but a number” and, though he was referring to age in the sense of romance, the historic phrase can be applied to anything in life.
It’s easy to get caught up in wishing you had started something from a very early age, but don’t let that hold you back today. Even taking a small step to try something new is a big step in the long run. Don’t let yourself get stuck in the day-to-day rut; there are always opportunities out there and people to help, but you have to be the one to take that first step towards change. Wishing you had a different major in college or a more financially secure upbringing is not going to change anything today. Choices you’ve made in the past don’t have to dictate the rest of your time on this planet. Stop making excuses, get out there and do something you’ve always wanted to! Time is not going to slow down. Book that class, download that language app and buy some new pots and pans. Start new traditions, dye your hair a funky color and write a letter to your grandma. Go, go, go!
Spread kindness and cheer, xo