Sometimes people like tell us what we can or should do, or can’t or shouldn’t do anymore, once we hit a certain age. For example, the end of our 20s. Well, they can kindly go screw themselves, because here is the thing. Have you ever thought of the idea that age might not matter? Hypothetically speaking, what do you think would happen if age simply wouldn’t exist anymore? Those two digits erased from our lives. If that would be the case, do you think more people would do the things they really want to do, but in reality don’t, because they use their age as an excuse for not doing it? I personally think so. No, I actually know it, because I’ve met a great many people, who let their actions or inactions be determined by how old they are. But why is that?
I ask this myself more frequently nowadays, because I myself am close to getting 30 and I surely have not figured out my life. I have no idea what I will do next year. I am as single as a pringle and I don’t have a lot of money. And on top of that, I regularly see pictures and posts on Facebook from my former school friends, who are getting married, having kids, building houses and enjoying their merry lives together. They have “figured it out”. Does this put me in an existential crisis? Do I feel envious of my friends? No, it doesn’t and no, I’m not. Because frankly speaking, I don’t care about my age. I don’t look, feel and surely don’t act like I’m 28. I just simply love the fact that my future is a blank piece of paper, waiting, even demanding to be filled with ideas, dreams, adventures and love. It confirms my belief that we can do whatever we want, whenever we want and that there is a whole world out there to explore. There are just so many possibilities in our lives, and I won’t accept that those possibilities cease to exist, because we’ve reached a certain age. For me, it doesn’t make any sense. I love traveling, so should I stop doing that as soon as I turn 30? Of course not. The world is my greatest mentor. Or should I stop playing video games, because they are just a waste of time for kids? Forget it! You can’t even imagine how much the great stories inspire me. The impact they had and still have in my life. And I also really like killing little blue slimes.
They may look cute and innocent, but…! Okay, they actually are. I’m a ruthless bastard…
So, why should I stop doing all those things and more, because someone told me to? I don’t believe there is a mental switch that gets flipped when we turn 30 and suddenly we’re a completely different person. Now, if you wake up one day and start to panic, because you’re 30 now, then your age is not the cause of this internal crisis, but your whole life is. It means that you are not living they life you really want to live and you are probably pushing your own dreams away in order to help someone else achieve his or hers. But your dreams will always be there! They speak to you and tell you that together, you can make your life and maybe even other peoples lives a lot better. You will never be too old for them.
Sometimes it just takes longer for us to figure out what we want to do for the rest of our precious lives. On one hand, there are people who know from a very young age what they want to do or what to become. Novak Djokovic for example, knew that he wanted to be the Number 1 Tennis player in the world when he was 6 years old. 6 years! When I was that old the only thing I knew was, that my mother is the Number 1 Tetris player in the world. On the other hand, for some it takes a lot longer to find success and “figure it out”. A great example is Colonel Sanders, the founder of the fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (or simply KFC). After a lot of trials and tribulations in his life, he finally struck gold when he opened his first KFC restaurant in South Salt Lake in 1952. By then, he was 62 years old.
For a long time I was certain that I wasn’t going to spend the rest of my life in Germany working for the same company. I knew there was something else out there that I wanted to do and this for me was a first big step. Though I have to admit, that in the beginning this “knowledge” was like “a splinter in my mind, that drove me mad” as Morpheus in The Matrix put it. I knew I had to change something, but I didn’t know where to begin. In the end, it took me about 25 years to finally overcome my doubts, fears and insecurities, and to take my life into my very own two hands. It was very difficult for me to quit my save and secure job in Germany in order to travel the world, but I knew that the pain of leaving my friends, family and my job behind, would only be colored by the fact, that I was finally on the right track. And this is enough for me to keep going.
If I want to do something, I just do it and it doesn’t matter if I am 28, 36 or 59 years old. I will always act regardless of how old I am. I will always choose to chase my dreams, instead of letting that splinter drive me mad for the rest of my life.
So, if you are in my position and struggle to find out what you want to do with your life, don’t panic and don’t give up! You will eventually figure everything out. Some people may be like Djokovic and some like Colonel Sanders, but what all the successful women and men in this world have in common is, that they never give up when it gets hard.
The reason why a lot of people give up or don’t even start to chase their dreams, is because age is such a beautiful excuse. We humans love excuses! They make our lives so easy. For example, if you come late for dinner or a meeting, how many times have you blamed the traffic or something else for your delay? On the other hand, how many times have you actually blamed yourself? “Sorry, darling, I should’ve left earlier, in case I get stuck in a traffic jam.” Basically, being honest to yourself and to the people around you, instead of making excuses.
Because with age it is the exact same thing. You have a dream you want to make true, but you tell yourself you are too old. How about telling yourself you are just a giant pussy, who is too scared to do what you really want to do, but you are just using your age as a comfortable excuse? It’s hard, isn’t it? Being completely honest to yourself. It can be painful. But trust me when I say this. The pain of being honest to yourself, especially when it’s easy to make excuses, is only going to last for a short time and ultimately will make you a lot stronger and self-conscious on your journey to make your dreams become reality. But the pain from the splinter in your mind, will always drive you mad and will last forever. As scary as it may sound, but at some point we have to decide, which pain to let into our lives. The one that makes us stronger or the one that drives us mad.