Article by Wendy McCance
Have you ever had a moment when you see the big picture in an unusual way?Something was said or you saw something that made it all clear?
I was working all morning and around noon took a break. I was watching an old video on YouTube that was originally aired on VH1. At the bottom of the video, there was news going across the screen of a well-known musician that had died at 44. This was an old video, and I heard this news years ago, but suddenly I saw things in a whole new way.
It was just a few years ago when I was 44. It was around that time that I decided to become a writer. What has followed since I made that decision has been remarkable. I was so thrown when it occurred to me that if I had somehow died just a few years back, I never would have experienced the best times I’ve ever had. Once I became a full-time writer, there have been so many amazing moments that my world has changed completely.
I remember being in my mid 20’s and debating going back to school. I felt too old and when figuring out the years it would take to finish a degree while working full-time, it seemed like it would take much too long. Back then I thought that by the time I finished, I wouldn’t have enough years left working in the field for it to be worthwhile. This in my 20″s? I can’t believe that’s what I thought back then.
I have heard the saying, “it’s never too late.” It’s sad, but I wasted a lot of my longer years being paralyzed with the fear that I was just too old to start over. I can’t imagine how my life would have turned out if I had been as brave and determined as I found myself to be when I began my writing career.
With writing, I remember thinking that I may as well go after what I was passionate about because I had nothing to lose. When I began writing, I had already had so many dark experiences that I was willing to try anything to get a small piece of light shining back into my life. It was by far the best decision I ever made.
Lately, I have been looking for a creative outlet for my writing. I was looking for something as different from what I do each day as possible. More importantly, I wanted to collaborate with some other people. Writing can be lonely and although I can tolerate being alone much longer than many people I know, it has finally worn on me too.
I began to go down the, “you are too old” path when I was making decisions about what was next. I do have times when I mourn my age and wish I could take my knowledge and go back in time. Since that is impossible, I try to block out the whole age game and go after what sounds good.
I used to think my next creative project would be to write a book. It occurred to me that I spend so much time already doing solitary writing that I would be happier to find something that would thrust me into a position where I would be working around other creative types.
I began to test out the idea of writing songs by doing some writing, and found that I loved it. The melody pops into my head as I am writing and the stuff I write has been pretty good. Now I am going to start taking guitar lessons so that I can understand music on a deeper level and will be able to read the notes. I’ve even begun to look around for local musicians that might be able to give me some advice or throw me in the direction of someone I can work with.
This is going to be great fun and a hobby that maybe someday can turn into something more serious. We’ll see. I feel lucky to have a writing career and some terrific clients. Now I will also have an enjoyable hobby to pursue during free moments.
So I wonder, what about you? Has age held you back from going after something you really cared about? Do you feel silly mentioning that you would like to do something that seems better suited towards younger people? Honestly, I feel a little silly mentioning getting into music. It feels like too little much too late. Even so, I know I will enjoy it and have some great experiences so I’m not going to let age stand in the way.
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