A good chunk of my friends are celebrating birthdays this week. This year I enter my final year of my twenties. In one sense, I don’t find it a big deal, because many of my friends are in their 30s and recently (or about to) enter their 40s. All through my childhood I was always the oldest one, but since university I’ve tended to be the baby of the group! I guess that happens when you leave school a year early.
It makes me sad that a few people I know are complaining about getting older. “Oh I’m too old now”, “I’m getting so old”. I know people who have been frightened of people knowing how young they are, but at the same time freaking out about getting older.
I guess I’m realising that society is trying to lie to us by setting limits based on age.
One of my favourite shows to watch is NCIS, and my favourite character in the show is Ducky. You might noticed that the man who plays him, a British actor who became famous for playing Illya Kuryakin in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., is on my ‘hug’ list. At 79 David McCallum is still going strong at an age where I’m sure a lot of people think you should be retired. At the weekend, the winner of the British Academy Best Actress in a Film award went to Emmanuele Riva. She’s 85. I was shocked to learn recently that the guy who plays Ken Barlow in Coronation Street (a British soap my Nana, Mum and Auntie have watched for as long as I can remember) will be 81 in April. And then of course, my personal favourite Johanna Quaas – the 86 year old gymnast from Germany. My next door neighbour aged 95, still drives (and she drove my Mum to the supermarket back in November when she was unable to drive). She’s fabulous and has more energy and feistiness than me, but I think may be highly disapproving of my lack of gardening skills and knowledge.
When I was in Australia I met a woman in her 50s who was travelling alone backpacking. On the other end of the scale we have amazing young people who are capable of so much. Young girls like Anna Paquin and Abigail Breslin who can be nominated (and win) Oscars. 15 year olds who have discipline and work ethic to win Gold medals like Ruta Meilutyte and Shawn Johnson. 25 year olds who can write an Oscar winning screenplay like Ben Affeck (and then become a BAFTA/Golden Globe winning Director at 40).
Are you thinking you are too young or too old?
Just work hard at what you want to do.
Take a chance.
Grab hold of opportunity.
Because your age is not what matters. It’s all about the effort you put into what you do, and the attitude you have as you do it.
Once you stop thinking ‘no one does this’ or ‘I can’t do it yet’ or ‘I can’t do this now’, and just try…you might be surprised at how far you can go.