“It’s too late to…”
What a crippling way to start a sentence. What a terrible demotion to the human spirit.
My opinion? Let’s scrap it entirely from our everyday vernacular. Leave it behind along with ‘I’ve peaked’. Reserve these over-used and abused expressions for when they realistically apply. It’s too late to grab your camera off the kitchen counter at home when you’re on the peak of Mount Everest.
It’s not too late to fall in love.
Love is an ageless gift. If a love once new and all-encompassing ends, give yourself time to grieve. Eat cake on the questionably clean floor of your bathroom. If that relationship was ‘all you knew’…learn some more! Here’s a beautiful opportunity to remember who you were before, examine who you are now, and reconnect with who you want to become.
If some misguided soul lies, saying: ‘It’s too late to get remarried. Your too old and you have kids and good luck removing that tattoo of your spouse.’ Meet their disillusion with: ‘it’s never too late for love. I will get remarried if I choose. I’m too old for jello shots, maybe, but not adventure. My kids are upstanding citizens and will charm the pants off the next person I choose. Besides they love me and I’m important and that tattoo is actually of my dog…so jokes on you…and my former spouse.’*
*I’ve never been married or remarried; however, I’ve watched friends and family members get married and remarried. It’s not easy on anyone; however, all of them are better versions of themselves today for acknowledging their heart.
It’s not too late to start writing again.
I began this blog because I grew tired of the nagging negative Nancy monologue in my head.
The lines go a little something like:”Megs, you peaked in high school when you wrote that play. Girl, have you seen your portfolio. Dusty.”
In an effort to drown out the negativity on loop, I resurrected some of my journals. Pieces of writing from a simpler time. An era of blissful ignorance and poetry.
I uncovered a letter I wrote in my junior year of high school. An essay of sorts asking for acceptance to the Cal Arts summer program for writing.
The essay prompt asked: “Why do you write?” A pretty broad question. Young me answered quite poignantly: “Turning my everyday observations into stories gives my life an exciting amount of purpose and beauty.”
I read that particular line over and over. A remembered mantra and it felt like home.
When I graduated college, people parachuted down from reality-land and demanded “What are you doing with your life”, “What’s your purpose?”, “Write a book or have a baby, otherwise you’ll be evicted!”.
It’s taken me up until this moment to regain my voice, look these people (and myself) square in the eye and answer: “I’m growing and learning and breathing and loving – that’s what I’m doing with my life.”
My purpose? Well, for starters, I was born into this word without signing a consent form. So my purpose is what I decide upon and that may change as I grow, learn, breath and love.
As for the eviction notice? Kindly mind your own reproduction.
Dear friends, write because it gives you purpose and helps you see beauty in pain. Write a sonnet for your cat. Write a short play about the people you encounter on the bus. Write for others; but, most importantly, write for yourself.*
You ARE a writer. Even if you haven’t published yet. Even if you may never be deemed ‘famous’. Screw the implications of fame associated with how many strangers follow you on twitter! If you entertain the ‘masses’ that are the people directly in your life, you ARE famous.
*Replace ‘writing’ with whatever hobby applies to you. Hopefully it’s not killing ants with a microscope…but you do you, boo.
It’s not too late to get active.
Who cares if it’s been 100 years since you did a proper yoga session. Your body will remember if you treat it with patience and humor. I avidly participated in yoga during college. I took a chance one day and crashed a 6am class led by a 72 year old Indonesian woman. One roll on the floor in happy baby pose and I was hooked.
Recently I began missing that consistent practice. My first and unproductive action was blaming my ‘useless’ body for gaining back weight and my ‘weak’ mind for losing dedication. I also blamed Target for not selling my favorite yoga pants anymore. A girl needs a sturdy pair of leggings.
Thankfully a much anticipated revelation hit me in the core: the problem wasn’t my body (a garment that is a part of who I am…not all that I am). The problem wasn’t my mind either. The problem was Target. Kidding! The problem was that at 26, I was already resisting aging and change. I was obsessed with what my body and mind could do THEN…not the potential of NOW.
It’s not too late to create a new practice. Even if it’s mostly comprised of happy-baby pose on the floor of your office after hours.
It’s not too late.
Not even if you are 26 or 49. Not even if you’re about to celebrate year 72!
Someone in my recent past asked for my five year plan. When I gave him my truthful answer, he asked the question again. As if I hadn’t answered. As if my answer was not enough. As if he was an absolute ass-hat.
When I humored him with another answer. He actually gafawed and said ‘ok. that’s it? It’s going to be too late if you don’t do this, this, and this now’.
I actually gafawed and politely asked him to ‘shut the fuck up’.
This guy was, as I mentioned, an ass-hat-douche-canoe. He decided not to humor my decisions to proceed through life without ‘not possible’ and ‘not enough’ in my vocabulary. So I proceeded right out of our relationship. Following through on my life goal to grow and learn and breathe and love…myself.
Here’s my un-asked for advice from a good place:
If your hear someone you care about burble: “It’s too late…wahhh”, sit them down. Pour them a cup of tea or a shot of tequila. Tell them about the revolutionary idea to ban that horrible sentence starter. Explain that it’s only use is to distance oneself from their very possible and worthy happiness.
Remind them that they are not alone. That you feel overwhelmed or discouraged at times too. But on other times you feel like Beyonce in a field of wildflowers.
If you catch yourself thinking “It’s too late…whyohwhy”, force yourself to stand tall. Do a few jumping jacks and a couple right-left jabs at the conjured face of an ass-hat from your past. Blast your favorite song and forge forward into the soul-gripping exhilaration of being right on time for your individual path.