Getting older is not the end of the world. Sure, it’s literally near the end of your life, but it can be amazing. Really.
Cultivate the route to old gitdom with style. You can be legitimately grumpy. You are allowed to think you know everything. You can even pee your pants. Although this is not recommended if you currently have strong bladder control. Just wait, it will possibly happen eventually anyway.
One day you wake up and realise that somehow you got older. This is often called a midlife crisis. Or what is most commonly known as ‘losing your rationale because you think death is looming’. If you don’t fully embrace this stage, the fallout isn’t pretty.
Don’t believe the hype (I am so very old school – geddit?). A midlife crisis can be great. Buy the stuff. Chase the dreams. Because one day you’ll be broke due to crappy pension payouts, living on a tin of supermarket brand baked beans.
Today’s manifesto: I am going to rename ‘growing older and cautiously chasing your dreams’ as ‘styling it out’.
Who dictates that because we are getting older, our capacity to dream must shrink along with our ‘bits and pieces’? Your past dreams do not need to sag, like your boobies (this applies to men and women – some blokes have a better set than I do).
Your aspirations can be given a boost; call it Viagra for the soul. I am not venturing further into the need for a ‘pep up’ in later age. Although sponsorship from Viagra on my blog one day is a stand up, big dream *chortles at how she she gives advice on ageing but will never grow up herself*.
I asked some
bored idiots trusted friends on Facebook recently (other sources for a writer’s procrastination are available) to divulge their childhood and current dreams. It was interesting that the majority didn’t share the dreams they have now. Most detailed their childhood dreams.
Kudos to those who made their earlier dreams become reality. But is that where it ends? Is it now game over for dreaming?
I get it. Life gets in the way. Responsibilities seem like barriers. But let me put it to you; do dreams always have to be huge in order to be valid? Do you have to go all out straight away?
Children know how to dream
Start small. It’s the only way to re-learn a skill, because the truth is, many of us are paralysed by the fear of having to re-learn a process we were once rather good at. You were, honestly. I have yet to meet a child who does not have a dream and fully embraces it.
Sure, some of these dreams appear nuts to adults. Although I defy you to tell a child who shares that she wants to be a unicorn, that it’s silly. Why is it silly? Because you are using your older person’s grumpy head.
That kid is ‘styling it out’. They are working on that unicorn gig right now. They made the horn and stuck it on their head. They throw glitter down the toilet because only unicorns crap sparkles.
When that kid grows up, they will hopefully evolve their unicorn dream, such as becoming an obsessive gamer or a vet. Although if after many years of veterinary training, they still aspire to be a unicorn, or want to treat them, therapy may need to be delicately suggested.
I can’t speak for everyone, but if childhood dreams don’t come true, we don’t usually die. Some smart arse will now give me an example of how this has actually happened. Fill your boots; I could do with some more comments…
We may attempt to fulfill our childhood dreams and feel like we have failed because we fully achieved them. This is where ‘styling it out’ comes in. Those who responded to my question about what their dreams were/are now, often detailed where they are now. None of them sounded like resounding failures to me. They just adapted and moved on, or modified their original dream.
Question and Answer
Question: Why can’t we make, adapt and modify dreams now, in our older years?
Answer: Because YOU told yourself you couldn’t.
Some people won’t like that answer. They will state that circumstances, past rejections, obstacles and what others could say, will stand in their way. I know. I say it and think it. I am not judging you.
Every time I sit down to write I have to calm the voice in my head that tells me at my age (TM), to grasp such a huge dream, is ridiculous. The voice snarls, criticises, and calls me a fool for telling others about my dream.
I talk back to the voice now. Writing can be lonely. Having an inner voice, even if it is a snarky bitch, provides company.
I started this dream small. I was rejected at the age of 11 (See my previous post ‘Crushed by a Cheeseburger‘). I thought I’d left the writing dream there. A few years ago, unbeknownst to me, I started small. I dared to tell trusted people I felt like I had a ‘book in me’. Not literally. That’s just uncomfortable.
When the trusted few didn’t laugh, I left it stewing for a while. Then I read and read and read. I didn’t know it then, but hindsight is a beautiful thing; I was learning. I was reading other writers’ work, assessing, and being inspired.
Then came the Christmas gift from the husband of a fancy schmancy pen and lovely notebook. The next stage up from starting little was in progress. That first scribble on paper made the dream begin. It does not make me a published author. But I have put the dream into action.
So with every sly whisper in my ear that I’m an idiot for pursuing a dream at my age (TM), I tell it to shut its trap. I am not a motivational guru. I have days when I think that I’m an idiot for trying. Then the husband brings out his pom poms (oi, gutter mind, learn metaphors), throws a Dairy Milk at me and retreats, whilst yelling how proud he is of me.
You are never too old to follow your dreams
The moral of this post is: do what you should be doing. Dream. Dream small. Dream big. Just dream and then pursue it. Style it out and be down with your bad dreaming self. De-clutter all the ‘I can’ts/I shouldn’ts/It will never works’.
Tell your dreams to trusted others. If they laugh at you, assess if they really need to be in your life, or you need to to lace their tea with arsenic. Do not show the police this post when they arrive though.
Make a small start. Modify your dream a little if your trusted others advise you. They know you well. You may have actual limitations. Although assess whether they are real insurmountable restrictions.
Even superheroes can be a little bit more cuddly than ‘the norm’ (eugh to ‘the norm and it’s normalishness anyway)
All in all, grab a kid, and learn from then. Cautionary note: make sure you know the kid, and its parents, and your record is clean.
Ask children what their dreams are. Watch how they work towards it. Observe them doing it without fear.
Then go be that kid, in older dude’s clothes, style that dream right out, and show the kids how it is done. It is the dreaming equivalent of dad/mum dancing. Others may cringe and judge you for it, but secretly they’re jealous that you have the guts to do it. Now go get that extra
vodka inspiration and strut your funky dream stuff.