Of all the things in life we don’t have control over, age can be one of the most frustrating. As basic as it is – defined simply as: the length of time that a person has lived or a thing has existed – it can often times be a source of contention.
Little kids want to be big kids.
Big kids want to be teenagers.
Teens want to be adults.
So the cycle goes on…
And then evolution happens; and we’re given that coveted title ADULTHOOD. The name grants us the validation we’ve been seeking since a child. All of our hopes and dreams become unleashed: free to run wild. A sense that anything is possible consumes our very being. So tell me why, when the world is finally at our fingertips, do we find ourselves wanting nothing more than to go back to being a kid again?
There is a comforting fact about it all; it’s just a number. I mean seriously, it’s nothing more than a combination of digits scribbled down on a piece of paper. Sure, there are some rules – do any of us really want a toddler driving on the highway? Or a pre-schooler running for President? At the end of the day it doesn’t validate who or what you are. There are toddlers out there who can play Mozart. If you closed your eyes and listened to their classically trained little fingers, would you even know that they couldn’t form a comprehensible sentence?
So tell me why; when the world is finally at our fingertips, do we find ourselves wanting nothing more than to go back to being a kid again?
The point I’m making is that age doesn’t need to be the barrier between how you want to and how you actually live your life. The great Mark Twain insisted as he grew older: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” That seems easy and makes plenty of sense, but it’s not so simple to live by when you have people in your life constantly telling you what you can’t do. I’m not talking about what it means to be able to vote or drive a car because face it, those laws aren’t going to change anytime soon.
For all my fellow dreamers:
I promise you are good enough.
Maybe you’re not the best right now but that’s the beauty of being young, knowing you have an entire lifetime ahead of you to perfect your craft.
Everyone started somewhere. LeBron didn’t come out of the womb with a basketball in his hand; and Picasso wasn’t carrying a paint brush. There is no such thing as failure for the person who doesn’t give up. I get that it’s scary to try new things but what’s scarier is having to live the rest of your life never knowing what could’ve been. It’s okay to try something and not like it or even to try something and not be good at it. That’s how you learn. Whether you end up reaching millions through your career or giving a hundred life-saving vaccinations to children in need. What matters is that you’re doing what you love; and you aren’t letting anyone else tell you that you can’t be successful.
There is no such thing as failure for the person who doesn’t give up.
And please, never let anyone ever tell you that you’re too young to make a difference. Yes, you are young, but that is completely irrelevant to your ability to follow your dreams. Nobody was ever too young to change the world.
It boils down to this: You will never know unless you try. I hope you try MANY new things throughout your life. But get this; chances are you won’t be good at all of them (especially not at first.) Never let that initial failure stop you from brushing yourself off after a good fall and getting back up to try again.
You are the future, but you don’t have to wait on the sidelines for it to arrive. Go out and pave the way for all your fellow dreamers, those by your side and the ones who are yet to come. YOU GOT THIS! No matter what anyone else says to you, remember the only person who can hold you back is yourself.
Keep on dreaming
Chelsea Bak: 24 year old student studying psychology at Penn State. Check out more of her writing here
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