Never Too Old To Try Something New
Once upon a time a young child aspired to be the queen of England. The young girl aged a year or two and realized that she either had to be born royalty or marry into it to be a queen. She decided that being the most famous actress in the world was much cooler instead. But that aspiration didn’t hold the clout that the title “First female United States President” held. The dreams continued to change as the girl continued to grow. She was going to be CEO of a major Fortune 500 company, engineer powerful new engines, write movie inspiring novels, hike up Mount Everest, touch the bottom of the Mariana trench, graduate valedictorian from Harvard University…
I gazed into the eyes of that girl some years later. A thunderstorm rumbled the preceding night sky which meant that soft cherub like children slept fitfully under her chubby arms. The sleep deprivation made her eyes puffy, left pillow indentations in her cheeks, and tossed her hair into a matted fit. The years of domestic engineering turned her into a mama-saurus. She looked like she had eaten a vat of olive oil. The weathering on her skin made her look like an old shoe, like she needed to soak in vats of olive oil rather than eat them!
I wondered what had happened to her. Where did the dreams go? When did those aspirations that began with “someday I will be” turn into “once I wanted to be”? When did she begin to empathize with the Secret Life of Walter Mitty? She picked up a brush and began the repetitious process of un-matting her hair and I remember thinking to myself “when did this woman become me?”
That was the moment when a crisis became the best gift ever bestowed on me. It was a mid-life crisis that I was gifted with. I took a picture to remember the woman I was about to leave behind and went to the gym to get into body building. I picked up the guitar that had been solely used as living room décor and learned to play it. I made rock climbing a regular tension breaker, running an energy booster, and football as a means to decompress. I decided that a power jig saw was the coolest gift my husband could have ever given me (other than a compound miter saw-but that’ll come one day). I learned to paint in oil, create murals, and make custom curtains. I found out I was good at it. Finally I took the biggest leap of all when I returned to school after a fifteen year absence. My children think I’m crazy but it’s alright as long as mom has big muscles and can jam on the guitar.
I realized that the difference between Walter Mitty and I is action based. I will never again stop dreaming or trying new things because this I believe: I will never be too old to try something new!