Age is a number. That’s what they all say yet they all follow the rules.
Age isn’t just a number. Age is just…age. Why are we controlled by this concept? It places us relative to others around us instead of what we want. People say age matters because they see life through a lens of how others view us. That’s the whole metaphor, after all.
I used to look at other people’s fashion blog and grouch at the fact that their taste in fashion was so extravagant at age 16, and there I was, wearing oddly bright and mismatched colors with Payless flats at age 16. I thought I was literate until I met someone who was, arguably in my perspective at the time, “more literate.” I began to tease apart all the book recommendations I’ve given. Geez, am I really just a poser of a well-read human? At age of 19, I began to question the validity of my taste. I used to think I loved my poetry and writing until I started reading other people’s writings on the Internet, whether they were 17 or 40. I was intimidated by the fact that my writing was subpar compared to either age. Can you even believe that? I was so taser-ed by a year’s difference. These are such minor details that should not ever, ever cross my mind. How can I ever grow if I constantly fall back to negativity? It stunts my growth!
I thought to myself, Newton discovered the laws of gravity at age 23, what am I doing with my life? When I started cooking, I thought I became the newest master chef. Then I observed that everybody else around me knew how to cook their style of food, whether it be Mexican or French, and I thought that my Chinese food looked and tasted atrocious. Okay, this is silly, but like you, these are perpetual thoughts that command our next step, which is usually, retreat.
I remember talking to one of my friends who is an aspiring writer and I told him that I can’t write stories because I write like a 3rd grader when I try. And you know what he told me? He told me that I’m undermining my story-writing, and that even if I did write like a third grader, there would be a third grade audience to appreciate it. Bam. And that’s how inspiration is done :)
Why do we judge people’s intellect and knowledge of the world based on how old they are? I hate when older people tell me I’ll understand when I’m older. Fuck you. It frustrates me when people in their mid-20’s tell me I don’t know what real life is. Shut the fuck up already, you look idiotic. Why do we judge people who have dreams at such a young age? They tell me that within a decade’s time, you’ll see why they were called dreams. Shut up, Jesus mother-fucking Christ. While I was in Rhode Island, I saw an older man, probably in his 30’s, enter the ice-rink and he immediately fell. He immediately startled me because he was right behind me and I was holding onto the railing and I thought he was going to run into me next! He laughed and stood back up. Throughout my time at the ice rink, I observed that he kept falling, but he just kept going. I could tell it was more of the adventure of ice skating than the actual idea of mastering it that mattered. He had so much spirit.
Let’s face it, most of you would not have the backbone he did in those moments. And it’s okay! It happens to the best of us. We care about how we are perceived. However, if you always care what other people think of you, they will always have the upper hand. Like anger, it only fuels you, not the other. The same applies to these poisoning thoughts.
If you’re not willing to struggle, to shed off those layers of perfection, to let yourself feel embarrassed, then you’re probably too bland anyway. Your mind is generally blank besides this and just this compare-and-contrast business. You probably don’t understand happiness, just unhappiness, which you generally believe is caused by others and not something deeper within. You probably don’t even have dreams, you probably don’t even care about being inspired, you just want to get through the day. If you are one of those people, this piece of writing is irrelevant for you, as is most of my other writings. Your deepest obsession is probably the last time you had sex and when this agonizing pain will be relieved again. You care about the longevity of your eyeliner and finding the man of your dreams. You’re probably uncomfortable with change and don’t even know that it exists. Your idea of change dwells in changing makeup brands. You only go to the stores you go to for the strict reason of its prestige, but you convince yourself it’s out of quality. You wouldn’t dare step into Wal-Mart, and you wouldn’t ever be caught found at a trashy dive bar because it’s damaging to your image. What worries you the most is if anybody will get too drunk and ruin your night. Late night thoughts consist of when you will get married and have the platonic family you’ve always dreamed of. You’re materialistic and status-conscious. However, despite what I’ve said, it’s all been a lie. Because you do have dreams. Everybody has dreams, you simply have to recognize them. It’s not about creating a dream that matters, it’s about uncovering the dream within you. This writing is for you.
What happens to us is that we naturally steer towards the negative side of thinking because it is much each easier than trusting the world around us. We look at other people’s works and we personalize it. We begin to think our work, that we loved so fondly just a second ago, is now trash. Start to recognize that you are your own unique style. You are not the compilation of what is deemed acceptable. This does not only apply to the work you create but also you as a human being. Start to recognize that you are special in people’s lives, that the world would not have the same hum if you did not exist. Stop comparing your friendship to the friendship of others. Quit questioning. You are already important.
The purpose of life isn’t to compare it to who you should’ve been or who people already are. The purpose of life is to see who you are, today, yesterday, tomorrow, and love all of it. Let your identity be integral to who you are, not these little bits and pieces cut into failures and successes. You won’t be able to fully flourish if you are tied to the idea of compare and contrast. That’s the whole fallacy, that idea. When you compare, you place yourself next to what already exists. We live in a society where we only know of the past patterns, we can reflect but we can’t grow. Our thinking patterns are representational of how we lead our life. Be bold enough to innovate. Quit looking for validation from society that whatever you do is good. We become stuck in being “good” enough, but as I’ve said time and time again, there isn’t such thing. What is good may have captured Steve Job’s interest but not Deepak Chopra’s interest. We live in a world where we are struck by this idea of perfection, but we only want to be perfect to others. We don’t already see that we are already perfect within. We struggle to seek this acceptance from society so that we never have to accept ourselves.
Stop letting these labels take over you. Stop containing yourself in these walls that prevent you from being the very being you are. Start being yourself. There is nobody else in this world that fits that label more than you do.
Okay, this topic got off track. What I’m saying is that age is just a number because it’s never too early or too late to learn absolutely anything (this is what sparked my interest). My friend who is a dancer is hopefully going to teach me how to dance, because I find choreography to be thrilling. You can learn, and as a matter of fact, relearn an old hobby. Just because you didn’t learn how to paint when you were 8 does not mean you cannot paint. Did you know during Van Gogh’s time, he only sold one painting? His paintings spread across the world long after his death. You can still try that sport you’ve been wanting to play as a child instead of watching from the sidelines. You can still climb trees, you can still play hopscotch, and boy, you can still play hide and seek and pick dandelions and make wishes.
You are not meant to only have playtime when you are 6. You are always meant to play. You can always have fun. Life is so much more than just learning to play the violin in 3rd grade and paying bills as an adult. Life is a blend of all things, all beauties, all interests. It is never too late. Nothing is ever too late.
Break the cycle. Do not participate in this culture of misguided people. This does not mean life is one big ball of chaos, because I already know, yes, your first thought is that there will be disorder. There is disorder within order just as much as there is order within disorder. Stop falling for definitions. Life is too vast and too beautiful to fit into any definitions.
Stop sitting in front the TV. Get up and do something. Take the time and patience to achieve on your own schedule, not what society considers permitted.
Do not let your life be one masterpiece of discouragement. Even worse is to live in ignorance of this exact aspect. Become aware. Become your own inspiration. Become very much of who you are.
– – –
(guys, i was so determined to write this out before all the passion and thoughts escaped me that i forgot about what i was cooking, and these boiling tomatoes are now mushy, pout face)