This particular thought has been on my mind often lately. Especially as I count down to my fortieth birthday, I’ve been thinking about the concept of “too late” and about how I had expected my life to turn out and who I had thought I might grow up to be, etc.
I was one of those unusual people who knew what she wanted from a very young age. Before I was in middle school, I already knew I wanted to work with computers (and some form of art ideally) and I knew that I wanted to study in the United States.
As I step back to look at my life now, I joyfully acknowledge that I have had many of my dreams come true. I have now been living in the US for twenty years, I own a home that I love, have a truly wonderful husband who loves me probably as much as any human can, I have two young kids who are gifts that I am grateful for each day. I have a job at a wonderful company who treats its people as well as can be expected from a company. And I get to work with computers and help build a product I care deeply about. I get to coach people who inspire me. I also get to do a lot of art in my spare time and have the honor of designing for a few manufacturers whose products I love.
I am not sure I could have designed a better life if I tried.
Of course, it’s far from perfect.
I still think about “what i might have been.” I wonder what that even means. I think about the kind of person I turned out to be. The way I treat the people I love. The peace I seem to yearn for but never allow inside. The changes I would like in my day-to-day life. The amount of stress I am carrying at any moment in time. How much I’d like to do with my kids. How much more I might want to do for myself.
There are parts of me that I wish were fundamentally different.
But then I think, wouldn’t that change everything? If I had been a different person, wouldn’t my life also have turned out differently? Would I be willing to give up all that I have to be this other person? My husband, my kids, my life?
I have always chosen to take the known over unknown. Partly because when I sit down to think about things seriously, I realize that there’s more good about me and my life than the bad. Most of which I wouldn’t be willing to give up in exchange for other possibilities.
This doesn’t mean I couldn’t change and shift things now. In this day and age, forty is not old at all. If I am lucky, I might get to live another fifty years. That’s more years than I’ve been alive so far. It means that instead of being near the end of the road, I am not even halfway yet. So this is no time to give up.
It is definitely not too late to be who I might have been. Every day is a new opportunity to recalibrate. I get to choose who I am each moment. Who I am and who I want to be.
It is not too late to be who I want to be.
I had a lot of dreams at the age of nine and I followed through on almost all. Now that I am almost forty, it’s a good time to sit and make some new ones.
How about you, do you think it’s too late to be what you might have been?