Does Age Define You?

A few months ago, my youngest son turned 6 and I recall how excited he was to be having a birthday. Thirty days prior to his birthday he started a countdown and he talked incessantly about all the things he was going to do on his big day. He was eager to not be 5 years old any longer. “I’ll be a big boy now, right mami?” he asked continuously. He was 5 going on 12, and on his way to “catching up” with his older brother. His birthday (finally) arrived and he had the time of his life, the “bestest birthday ever,” he proclaimed all day.  He went to bed ecstatic that night.

Early the next morning he woke up screaming, “MOM…DAD, I STILL FEEL 5!!!”

We could barely hold back our laughter, but we managed : ) I told him aging takes time, it’s not something that happens overnight and becomes noticeable right away. How many of us, including myself, still feel 25? It’s funny how adults feel an inner child inside them always, while children feel older than they are and wish to be adults quickly. It seems like we are always worrying about our age at one point or another…sigh!

I look up to individuals who follow their dreams no matter what their age is. Take for example, Mozart who taught himself how to play music at the very young age of 3, or Michael Jackson who started his singing career at the age of 6, or Picasso who completed his “Guernica” masterpiece at the age of 55, or Madonna who continues to rock at the age of 58, despite the brutal criticism she receives simply for being older and not acting like a “58” year old woman. I admire that she refuses to abandon who she is like many women do after a certain age, required by society’s standards.  These individuals sure didn’t let age get in the way of their ability or potential to do something great. How admirable is that?!

I think that this concept of how you feel about your age is so important and in essence defines how you act and feel. Unfortunately, we are aged by the culture we live in and the influence of media, it’s about how we should look, how we should act, how we should feel, how we should dress, and those stereotypes are wrong and oftentimes out of date. If you see yourself as old (or refer to yourself as old), then you’ll most likely feel and act that way, so don’t let your mindset limit you or hold you back. Who said that certain milestones need to be reached at particular ages? You’re never too old to go back to school, to start a new career, to start a new love, to go dancing, to run a marathon, to fill in the blank.

So defy it! Don’t let society, media, others, family, friends (and even yourself) tell you what is appropriate or not for your age or make it a negative thing. It’s your life and remember that “age does not define you…you define your age,” so go for it and be fearless. This is your time!

What new thing are you going to do today?

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