Live all of your (potential) years, not half of them!

A couple of nights ago I was checking out the Humans of New York site, when I came across this short story from a photographed lady:

 “I’m trying to distance myself from the idea that youth is the best time of life, because a lot of my friends are really anxious about growing older. I’m studying classical drawing, which helps. It really slows things down. We can work an entire month on a single drawing. And I don’t plan on reaching my peak before the age of fifty.” 

Immediately I thought ‘This is lifechanging.’ This short paragraph put so many things into perspective for me, and in a way it ‘unblocked’ my mind. I reacted in a similar way to this ‘Ageless Dailies’ StyleLikeU video above.

This is because lately, the topic of age and the course of life has been something I have been thinking about a lot. While it sounds simple and obvious to say, to actually understand that life is not over until you are no longer alive, is a bit of a challenge. For example, so many of us plan our lives and goals around age points i.e. ‘I would like to buy a house by the I’m 30’ or ‘I want to earn X amount of money while I’m still young’. The fundamental truth is that there is no rush! The practice of making life plans can be of great benefit however, if you put pressure on yourself to achieve all of those plans in your youth, further still, if you have limited foresight beyond your young years, then life is more likely to become a blur in which every achievement is reduced to a tick off your crammed to-do list.

Added to this, we need to rethink what we consider to be young. These self-imposed limits force us to live our lives as if there is a peak to reach, and as a result, we limit our capacity to explore and simply think. Quite literally, we have our whole lives to live – all of however many years we are given – to experience things, to accomplish goals, and to make our dreams manifest. We don’t have to prematurely retire from life’s goodness and opportunities because of age check-points we assign to everything we do.

So going back to the short story, in that moment of reading and re-reading it, I realised the value and importance of treasuring every potential day, week, month, year that life affords us. We should remember to treasure the temporality of life, and not reduce it. If there is something you dream of doing, get on with it! It will add to your richness of experience. That’s one thing that this inspiring StyleLikeU film has taught me.

P.S. Sorry I’ve been absent for some time! Now that exams are over I can breathe a bit :).