i don't mind my age or the thought of getting older. i think a lot of it has to do with my mom's approach to aging - i grew up hearing her say, "i'm x years old and proud of it!" or, "i've earned every one of the years i've been alive." she's never botoxed or tummy-tucked and taught me from a very early age that moisturizing at least twice a day is the most important thing you can do to keep skin looking youthful.
but despite all that, i realized that i was starting to feel too old. i've found myself questioning if it's appropriate or silly to even start certain ventures because of my age: is it weird that i'm still taking ballet classes or that i picked up the banjo at 28? if i was going to be a ballerina or a musician, shouldn't i be accomplished in those areas by now? i've begun doubting myself and even worse, shying away from starting new things (picking up tap or oil painting again, for example) thinking, maybe it's just not worth it.
i know how this sounds and if it was one my girlfriends saying this to me, i'd respond with, "don't sell yourself short!" or "you are never to old to learn something new" or some other encouraging statement because, well, of course my girls are amazing and can reinvent themselves, but me?
i think a lot of it has to do with my personality; like a lot of type-A, over-achieving, perfectionist girls of our generation, i want to excel in every facet of my life. i also have many interests and and so i end up dabbling in many things - dancing, singing, art, music, sports. i've begun to feel like a jack of all trades, master of none.
this print is just the reminder i need
i need to find a way to reframe my goals. since i'm not in college and in a dance company anymore, dance class isn't about preparing for a big performance. singing isn't about getting a part in the musical, painting isn't about getting an A.
we learn from an early age that success often means medals, trophies and ribbons - it means winning the game, snagging a solo, earning first chair. but goals don't have to be about winning; they can be about personal growth, exploration, and just plain ol' fun!
maybe my goal for ballet is going to class twice a week and working back up to a perfect fouette. banjo doesn't have to be about becoming a virtuoso and starting a band, but i can set a goal of learning a mumford & sons song to play with my husband.
so, tell me, have any of you struggled with defining success as an adult? how have you reconciled the desire to perfect a craft with giving yourself the freedom to try new things?