It’s never too late to be what you might have been.
– George Eliot
The above quote may or may not be correctly attributed to George Eliot, who was actually Mary Ann
Whether or not the quote is accurate, the sentiment is. Mostly.
I mean, let’s be real. It’s a bit late for me to think I might have been or will be an Olympic swimmer.
I suppose I could say that the shoulder/neck injury derailed my chance to be standing on the platform, my body glistening with chlorinated water…
I’ll wait for you to get that image out of your mind.
Never mind that I was in my 50s and way out of shape when the injury happened. Never mind that with the injury the best I can currently do in the pool right now is to struggle not to swim in circles.
Wait for it. You’ll get it.
But the reality is, I was never going to be an Olympic swimmer.
True, I spent every summer vacation of my childhood at the pool almost every day from opening to close. But I was never on a swim team. Never a champion swimmer.
In college I stopped short of the lifesaving course. There’s moderate regret there.
How did I get off on this tangent?
Everybody. Out of the pool.
The point is that, regardless of your age, it’s not too late to pursue a dream.
If you want to write, write.
If you want to paint, paint.
If you want to play the piano, then play.
I’m talking to me here, and I fully realize I can’t do all of them. At least not well.
You may have different dreams. You may have different goals.
Don’t give up on them.
One of the things I learned from Jeff Goins is that, rather than saying “I want to be a writer” I should be saying “I am a writer.”
That was a simple, yet significant, shift in the way I look at my writing.
It’s not a matter of wanting to be a writer when I can retire. I’m a writer.
Right here. Right now.
Am I a great writer? Am I a best selling author?
Not. The. Point.
I’m a writer.
What is it that you’ve always wanted to be? What is it that you’ve always wanted to do?
Is it write? I’ll see you on the Best Seller’s List.
Is it act? Save me a seat at the Tonys.
Is it to own your own business? To build your own house? Open a bakery?
Fill in your own blank. I can’t do that for you.
What I can do is to encourage you not to think that you have to give that up. Because you don’t.
Don’t just dream. Do it.
Don’t get me wrong. Dreams are great. I’m a big dreamer. (That is not a reference to physical size thankyouverymuch.)
But you can dream all day, all week, all year, and never get anywhere.
Get up and do something about it.
It’s not too late.
photo credit: 2014-07-