Never Too Old
“It’s that damn time again,” Sheila grumbled in bed, before pulling the covers back. Still dark outside, Sheila stumbled into the bathroom and sleepily washed her body in preparation of the nearly two-hour commute, she resigned herself to on a daily basis. Life as she knew it, had become a mundane sequence of events that rarely deviated. As a decorated employee of almost twenty-five years and counting, Sheila yearned for more. She learned to comfortably stifle her soul’s cry with two-percent raises and a pension that she hoped to someday enjoy.
Fifteen minutes to seven, Sheila grabbed her leather laptop bag and slung it over her shoulders. She quickly checked to make sure she had her phone, turned off the coffee maker and stepped out into the garage where her late model midnight Mercedes-Benz E-class rested during the night. The sound of mindless banter from the morning show filled the cabin of her car through her Bose speakers; It temporarily distracted her from the growing dissatisfaction she felt more and more with each passing day.
Sheila didn’t believe in rocking the boat much; she accepted her life as the way it was for the most part. In other words, playing it safe became her mantra. On the inside she dreamed, but in reality she merely survived. On the outside looking in, it was hard to see her discontentment.
“One day I’m going to start my non-profit and travel the world,” Sheila proclaimed to her friend Kenya as she settled into her cubicle. “I’m serious. I can’t do another year of this.”
“When girl? We ain’t getting no younger hunny.”
”I know, I know. I’m just not ready yet. You’ve got to have the money if you want to walk away. I ran the numbers the other day and if I stay another twelve years, I’d have what I need to do really do some things.” Sheila booted up her machine, and situated her desk. “Let’s just focus on where we are, at least we have a job you know?”
Kenya rose from her desk and walked into Sheila’s cubical to talk more intimately. Their cubicle row featured closely aligned dividing walls that separated each cube from the next. Although they were neighbors, every word they spoke over the divider, could likely be heard.
“We’ve been doing the same work for most of our adult lives. Damn, don’t you think we deserve to try to put ourselves first for once? Mr. Barker been getting on my last nerve anyway,” Kenya sighed.
”This is just how it is, besides you have a son that’s about to go to college. Look, I’d love throw this job away, but I can’t and I’m not about to waste my time day dreaming either. Dreaming is for young people.”
”What do you mean?” Kenya asked. “You used to be so ambitious.
“Kenya, c’mon, they’ve got the time to figure things out. It’s too late for me girl. Shit, I haven’t even found a good man yet and I’m turning fifty-three next week.”
There was once a time when Sheila had big dreams and aspirations. She took a few blows that led her to believe her life had become too complicated. Things like a divorce in her thirties, that crumbled her confidence and caused her to deviate from the life she envisioned for herself. And as a result, she spent the greater part of her young adult years masking her pain with an out of balance devotion to her career. Her dreams were placed on a shelf, where she subconsciously promised herself, she’d return at the perfect moment. Well that perfect moment never revealed itself, and Sheila unfortunately settled, hoping things would fall into place again.
When we were children we were taught to go to school, find a job and ride the wave until we’re old enough to retire. Dreaming big was once something cute, that our loved ones encouraged us to do, only later to ask us to get real when we reached maturity. Not only were many of us told to get real, we weren’t adequately taught how to bounce back from trials and tribulations as we came of age. It’s so easy to look back on all the years that have passed and to wish we had’ve took action. Those what if thoughts are sharp enough to cut through the excuses we make for not being happy with how our lives have turned out. “You’re too old now, forget about it,” we hear our mind say when we think what could have been. By the time we realize we’ve been duped by a system predicated on perpetual unhappiness and mental slavery, we begin to feel like all we can do is just accept what is. “Life will be what it will be,” we reason.
There is nothing wrong with loving your career, your work or current path, if that’s what you’ve consciously chosen for yourself. You have to ask yourself if you’re really happy with how things are going. Your heart knows when you’re settling, and it will remind you every time you witness others doing what you believe you should have been doing. Your spirit knows when you’re just going through the motions, pretending that life is going exactly as planned. I wrote this piece to remind you, that if you’ve got air within your lungs, it’s not too late to change course. You’re never too old to dream big and go after your hearts desire. Don’t allow the world to trick you into believing things have to happen within certain time periods.
Getting married at fifty is just as beautiful as getting married in your twenties. Opening your first business at forty-five is still an accomplishment. Graduating from college at thirty-three is still a major milestone. We each have our own course. Close your eyes for a moment and think of some of the goals you used to have. Are there dreams you threw away because you thought you were too old? Have you been waiting for the perfect time to take action? There has never been a better time than now. You have what it takes. When you hear those thoughts or snide comments from people who try to convince you to give up on yourself, I want you to remember these words: You’re never too old. Go get what you want out of life; this is your time.