I Believe in the Fountain of Youth

Daniel - De Leon Springs, Florida
Entered on December 6, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65

I Believe in the Fountain of Youth

I believe in the fountain of youth. It’s found next to the well of knowledge. I have been luckier than most, because at age 56, I have returned to school. My first class in decades was an English composition course. I believe it has opened my mind and my eyes to what a person is capable of as the years pass. My grades have been better than I could have hoped or dreamed they would be.

There are times in everyone’s life where we are forced to change our direction. I have had many such times in my life. I believe that change doesn’t have to be scary; it can bring new hopes and new dreams. A new outlook brings an energy that one loses when their job or life becomes mundane. I wake in the morning ready to face new challenges with a certain youthful exuberance that I thought was gone from my life.

I arrive at class every day wearing a tie, something I did only for weddings or funerals for the last thirty years. I see younger students that come to class dressed in everything but their pajamas. I am reminded of when I was that age. Everything but learning was on my mind. I don’t blame them because they own youth.

Every day, I believe I can control my future better than I could the day before. I am starting to feel the invincibility of my youth again. While I hadn’t written an English paper since high school, I found as I put my thoughts to paper, I was able to tell a good story. Memories of my youth made me smile and even laugh out loud. Laughter is perhaps the best medicine for the heart and soul. I find that my abilities to put my thoughts on paper had not been tested in decades. I find myself looking forward to the next challenge.

I believe that making new challenges to overcome is a way to stay young. Simple perseverance will add to ones’ life. The feeling of besting a challenge is youthful. I’m not saying go back to school full time, rather, take an art class and paint a picture or a horticulture class and grow something beautiful, and something beautiful can grow in you.

Some would say that dreaming is for the young. I now believe dreaming keeps me young. When I was a young man I was always willing to take on a new quest. Now, I believe that by setting out on a new quest, it will make me a young man again. My body has aged but I refuse to allow my mind and soul to follow. Now I want to write a short story, sing a song or dance badly like I used to do. I truly believe that the fountain of youth exists. It can be found next to the well of knowledge.

If you find it as I have, thank a teacher.