Fulfilling Your Dreams
When Are We Too Old To Dream?
Though it may be too late for you to send presents, I thought I’d share with you that my birthday passed very recently. It happened on October 16th; I turned 48 years old.
And sitting on my sofa that day, taking a break from producing one of my audio books, I began considering my mortality – 48 certainly isn’t “young” by any standards – and I wished, for just a moment, that I had begun following my dream of becoming a writer just a few years earlier. Mind you, I’ve been writing since I was 16, but I didn’t take it seriously and become fully invested in it until just a few years ago.
Starting younger, taking my dream seriously when I was in my 30’s instead of when I was in my 40’s, would have really given me a leg up. Who knows where I would be today?
But, at least, a small wisp of reason from the far reaches of my mind countered, I started when I did and not later. And, thinking of this, I was relieved that I’d started when I had.
This, of course, only got me thinking about what would have happened had I started later. What if I had started writing in my 50’s or 60’s or 70’s? And I wondered, when is it too late to begin following your dreams?
The answer came to me right away. Never. Clearly, you’re never too old.
Consider for a minute how dreams make us feel more alive, more fulfilled. They make us happier and healthier and enrich us in a way few other things can. Wouldn’t we want that feeling for two years? One year? Wouldn’t we want it for five brief minutes if that was all we could have?
You bet we would.
Granted, you might not get as far…
I can’t help considering someone in my own life, my brother, when I think of this. You see, he discovered film-making late in his 40s. In the span of just a few, short years, he purchased a small mountain of film equipment, learned a variety of computer programs for editing and sound and what have you, and began shooting everything he could. He put together a few travelogues, which was where his passion led him, founded a small business, and began to see a far horizon to which his dream might take him.
I remember conversations my brother and I had during that time. They were always filled with hope and ambition. He was so animated, so alive. No longer were his days bogged down with the tedium of everyday life; now, when he spoke, he always focused on the future, on what could happen, on what might come next. I felt a certain kindredness there that we had never before experienced and I think it was because we had both taken that same step and we could each understand the other like never before.
Then, a few years later, my brother gave up.
And I don’t judge him at all because I know that following your dream is one of the toughest things there is. Being untethered means being beaten by some brutal winds and that can take its toll. The only reason I’m still hanging in there is because I’ve been at it for so long I’m in too deep to get out.
I think my brother probably looks back on those few years as a film-maker with fondness; at least, I hope he does. Giving up on a dream is not the same as failure; never trying would have been far worse.
I know so many people who have been too afraid to take one step into their dream and live in a kind of half-lit fog; never quite knowing who they are or what they’re capable of because they never tried.
It’s never too late to see your way clear of that fog. Even if you don’t go as far as you like, at least you saw the horizon.
About the Author
Author and Playwright, Ken La Salle grew up in Santa Ana, California and has remained in the surrounding area his entire life. He was raised with strong, blue-collar roots, which have given him a progressive and environmentalist view. As a result, you’ll find many of his stories touching those areas both geographically and philosophically. His plays have been seen in theaters across the country and you can find a growing number of books available online. Find out more about Ken on his website at www.kenlasalle.com. Ken La Salle is represented by Loiacono Literary Agency, LLC.
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