Some people dream of jumping out of planes or kissing the Stanley Cup. Others aspire to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or backpack around the world. Our goals and desires tend to change over time, morphing to suit our current customs and theories, as we do—sometimes for better, other times not necessarily so. For me, there has been one item standing atop my ‘to do’ list for nearly all of the 20-something years I’ve spent on this planet. And that is to write a book.
Well, guess what? I’m finally doing it.
I use the word ‘finally’ loosely, as I’m actually taking these steps toward crossing off one of my main goals in life long before I thought I would. It’s kind of silly, maybe, but whenever I pictured what the future ‘author’ me would look like, she was at least 30 years of age and most often married with children. Little did I know I had stomped gently on my expectations for myself when I was merely a girl in elementary school, all because I had assumed the stigma of aging—an area I would come to learn a lot more about as time wore on.
I know what you’re thinking—why is this woman in her 20s acting like she knows what aging even means? And maybe you’re right to wonder, but I probably know more than you give me credit for. I’ve walked in the shoes of a Zoomer, after all.
What I’m actually referring to here is the quite the opposite stereotype to the typical negativity associated with age. I actually believed that before I hit my 30s I was too young to write a book. Too naïve. Not smart enough. I hadn’t lived life long enough to accumulate the experiences and wisdom required in order to write a book.
Even as I write this post, I still hold on to some of these fears. I know I am still learning (although I hope it will always be that way). Perhaps I am afraid that if I document my writing in the form of bound pages available for purchase off a shelf (whether physical or digital), then 20 years from now I will look back at the pages and think what the hell was I thinking? Why did I write that? Why did I think I could write that?
Of course, that attitude isn’t getting me—or anyone else—anywhere fast.
If I learned anything from the Zoomers it’s that age is just a number. You can start your life at any point you choose. You’re the one who determines whether you are “too old” or “too young”; and usually these expressions are just excuses. And excuses are not going to write a book.
I met with a mentor in the writing and publishing field last week and we started talking about this project. And I realized that it has constantly been on my mind over the last few months. I keep pushing it back because I’m busy or I’m not ready. The thing is, I’ll probably always be busy and I doubt I’ll ever feel ready. These obstacles are a part of the journey—they’ll always be there. Whether or not I choose to go around them is up to me.
So I’m writing a book. It’s still in the very early stages. But I’m doing it. And writing this blog post will help ensure that I do. And when I look back on this book one day, I hope I think to myself I can’t believe I wrote that in my 20s. And I bet I’ll be glad that I did.