I am participating in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, during which I’ll write a blog post every day in April except Sundays. The topic for the first day begins with the letter A and I’ll work my way down to writing about something beginning with Z on my last day.
Here we go!
I is for It’s Never Too Late
I’ve written before about being a late bloomer in life, especially when it comes to self-discovery and insight into why I am the way I am. Maybe that independent, angry, and standoffish young woman never took a deep dive into herself because subconsciously she knew she’d have to work hard to straighten out a few things. Once I got a glimpse into the inner workings of my mind, I was fascinated. Now I can’t stop looking.
Self-enlightenment has been a slow process, but I had an epiphany dump during my first middle-aged crisis, around 41. My kids were little and things were going ok with life and work in my little privileged bubble, so I had time to worry about age old questions like why are we here? And, what do I want to leave behind? I discovered I didn’t know exactly, but being a taking-action-to-solve-the-problem kind of girl, I felt pulled to explore my creativity to search for answers. Though I couldn’t, and still can’t, put my finger on it, it’s the creativity and the desire to learn new things I was drawn toward.
So I started this blog, auditioned for a play, and took an acting class. Improv, to be exact, and I LOVED it! I am a planner, but there is no planning in Improv. You have to be spontaneous within the construct of the scene yet still advance the story. There was freedom in those constraints.
Auditioning for the play when the only time I had ever been on stage was my first grade Christmas play (I was an angel, natch), had never memorized lines or acted in any capacity before, was terrifying. Terrifying. But I did it. I didn’t get the role, but I auditioned.
And as most of you know by now if you are still reading these blog posts after all these years, if I could figure out a way to get paid for writing about my opinion or pondering ancient questions of the human psyche I’d be doing it by now.
I wasn’t able to continue Improv for a variety of reasons and haven’t had the chance to pursue acting again either, but I do a fairly decent job of sending my thoughts and opinions out into the world on a regular basis from this blog.
I was in my early 40s and did all those things for the first time and am pretty proud of myself for it. If I can do it, anyone can do it. The last several years I’ve focused my creativity on solving problems I’d never wish on anyone, though I did find the nerve to backpack again at 47 after not having done so for about 16 years . Pretty damn proud of myself for that too, even though it wasn’t always pretty.
I turn 50 this year and I’m feeling the need to venture out again. Preaching “it’s never too late” is one thing, but trying new things is scary and takes time, a commodity I’m sure we all feel we don’t have enough of. Still, I think part of why we are here is to constantly learn and evolve and do hard things. To meet new people, expand our knowledge, and continue discovering why we are the way we are.
After all, it’s never too late to learn rock climbing so you can apply for a really cool job or venture onto an online dating site (the horror). It’s never too late to plan a post-retirement through-hike of the Appalachian Trail or a sail around the world.
It’s never too late. We are NEVER too old.