At 10, I wanted to learn piano.
The only problem was, I was too late. I was old now, far too old to make a fool out of myself in a class of 5-year-olds that had more talent than I. If only I had started earlier, I would already have five years’ experience under my belt.
At 15, I saw a piano in a window. I couldn’t believe how stupid I was for not picking it up five years ago. Who cares about a little embarrassment when I could have been playing for five years at this point. I couldn’t believe that I was such an idiot.
At 20, I saw the piano class on the term master schedule. Man, I would be great already if I had picked it up at 15. I would be amazing if I picked it up at ten. But now I’m much too busy with school.
That thought process is complete garbage.
Every single thing that you learn in life will just become harder to do as you get older. If you always wanted to learn how to paint, take a class and be proud of yourself no matter the outcome. Why waste time caring about what other people think when you could be learning something you love?
Don’t expect greatness immediately, but feel good about the small successes. Your mindset should not be that the sky in the painting looks ugly as sin, but that that one flower in the corner actually looks kind of good. It is never too late to learn something new.
The same thing happens with languages, instruments and arts, to name a few. There is no perfect moment to make a change in your life. It shouldn’t take a catastrophe to make you realize that you have been putting off learning the things that make life worth living. You want to learn French? Yeah you do, it’s beautiful, so what are you waiting for. It sounds cliche, but you aren’t getting any younger so you should make the most of today.
The same goes for timing. We need to stop pushing things off to a point where they will be easier, or better timed. Newsflash — if you wait until the perfect moment, you’ll be waiting all of your life.
People think that they are too busy to study abroad in college. You think that in five years, when you are working at a full-time job, you will have two months to just backpack Europe? You think that in 10 years, when you are settling down for a family, it will be that much easier? Absolutely not — go now while you still can.
I finally took that piano class I always wanted, even though there are 9-year-old savants that play better than I do. Maybe I won’t win any awards at the moment for my terrible rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” but I am happy because I know that I am better than what I was yesterday. And I will be better tomorrow.
It is never too late to learn. So for the love of God just do it.