I think we have all fallen down that spiral of being inspired AND disheartened when hearing of someone really young and accomplished. I think it’s great that kids can pursue their dreams and accomplish so much at a young age. And I do think it’s important to share those stories because it does inspire and I think, makes the world a happier and more joyful place. Of course, young is relative to whatever age you might be at… so I don’t really just mean little genius kids.
I’ve come across many designers and illustrators that I envy so much. I wish I had started a whole lot earlier, so I would have more years of experience now. But I also come across people in completely different disciplines and I simply envy the fact that they discovered their passion at a much younger age…so they are further along so to speak. They are accomplished and well on their way. The feeling is disappointment in myself, not anger or malcontent towards others. I simply feel really behind – a complete late bloomer.
These feelings can drive me forward, but sometimes they hold me back as well. I start thinking maybe it’s too late? Or I’ll never have enough time to get to the level I want to be at. As life milestones and family start to play a larger role, it’s like my freedom and ability is being constricted even more. No more space…no more time…the light at the end of the tunnel is so far away.
Logically, I realize that there are many people older than me who are still on their road to discovering their true passions. Logically, I know that I too have accomplished much in life thus far… blah blah. It’s all fine and dandy to know these things, but the melancholic feelings remain. I don’t want to simply turn my head away from fabulous people out there, but I don’t want to feel bad either. We can step back and stop ourselves from spiraling downward into our thoughts, but I can’t be hiding away either.
Deep down, I know that it is never too late and you are never too old…to do what you love…to pursue your passion…to learn, do and grow however which way you choose. I know that and believe that. I just need to remind myself how far I’ve come and the many many stories of those who ARE older than me. You know what? It might seem silly, but it does help to hear about those older-than-me people…who did it anyway! Perhaps this is just another mind trick, but it works.
- Charles Darwin didn’t publish his first book until age 50
- Grandma Moses
- Paul Gauguin from banker to painter
- Laura Ingalls Wilder was a columnist in her forties, but did not publish her Little House series of children’s books until her sixties
- Colin Farrell started acting at 34, previously a school teacher
- 11 Famous People Who Were in the Completely Wrong Career at Age 30
- There’s a book called Late Bloomers (Amazon affiliate link)
I’m sure there are many examples out there as well. Instead of imagining a desperate and sad future for myself – which btw whenever you make up what could happen in your head, it’s usually wrong – think of the possibility. Even with less time, every minute I spend doing what I love is totally worth it! I wouldn’t resign myself to life of blah, otherwise. One piece of cake is better than no cake at all, right?