If you think it’s too late for you to try something you have always dreamed of doing, but have held back because you are afraid, or you have looked for reasons not to take the leap; then read on.
If you have procrastinated and allowed that evil voice in your head to spin scenarios of your failure then read on. Trust me; no one cares if you try something and it doesn’t work out. You are the only one who will obsess over it. I think our egos are so precious that we sometimes believe the world will stop if we try something and it doesn’t work out. Have you ever worn an outfit to a party that you came to regret? I once wore a one-piece, button up, silver pant suit, with a belted waist, which I embellished with a multiple chained necklace, giant silver heart shaped earrings and…. finishing off this spectacular look… a pair of bright blue ankle boots. I remember walking past a mirror and catching my reflection and thinking…. WTF!… I’m a chubby astronaut in a silver onesie, boarding the space shuttle, dripping in jewellery and Batman booties. I was horrified. I thought about it for days and days and didn’t want to see anyone from that party ever again. When I finally brought it up to some of my pals they said they couldn’t remember my outfit and the others said all they could remember was laughing with me that night. I had ruined my whole experience by thinking everyone was talking about me and my horrible fashion faux pas. No one was talking about me but me.
Have you ever seen the Maysles brother’s documentary Grey Gardens? If you haven’t you really should. It focuses on the two Edith Beales. Big Edie and Little Edie, who were Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ Aunt and 1st cousin. They lived in an estate called “Grey Gardens” for years as it crumbled and went to ruins around them. Little Edie had always wanted to be a star on Broadway and, she had some opportunities, but she stayed with her overly needy and demanding mother Edith instead. She always talked about how she could have had a life if she’d only stayed in New York and not given in to her mother. The movie was a success and the focus it brought on them caused Jacqueline to step up and have the house renovated for her relatives. When Big Edie passed away in 1977, Little Edie was 60.
And, like I said, it’s never too late. Little Edie took her cabaret act on the road after her mother’s passing. She finally achieved the success she craved her entire life. She performed songs like “tea for two”, along with some of her original songs, accented by her very original dance moves. People loved her and supported her. I think they were rooting for her because her dreams finally came to fruition. She took the chance and believed in herself. She passed away in 2002 and I really wish I’d been able to see her perform.
It is never too late.
I have had many a whacky idea that I did not succeed in launching. Millions of them actually.
Sometimes, though, you can try something and even if it doesn’t succeed, it gives you what you need at the time. Not all successes are measured in financial terms. You are not just your work title. Success can simply be allowing the world to see the person you aspire to be.
If you want to start a band in your forties, then do it. If you want to paint and adorn your house with your originals; do it. If you want to take singing lessons so you don’t crack the plaster; do it. If you want to take tap lessons so you can do that Shirley Temple dance on the stairs…. Don’t do that one…. brings to mind Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.
Part of becoming who you really want to be is referring to yourself in those terms. If you are an artist in your spare time then refer to yourself as an artist. If dabble in music then call yourself a musician. If you think it’s pretentious it’s OK to be pretentious. If you label yourself something then people will begin to accept that label which will give you more confidence to earn that label. I hope this makes sense.
I know my beautiful mom regretted not staying in a successful career once she married my father. She worked for Elizabeth Arden at the makeup counter and then became a model for them. She was a buyer in New York and was eventually asked to be on a new medium called television. She said no because my father didn’t want her to work. He wanted her to make sure their home was spotless and that dinner was on the table when he got home. She often talked about those early days where she was appreciated and respected in the work force. She had opportunities and she was sought after and she walked away.
She said she had no choice in her decision. That’s the way things were.
I hope you all take a chance and don’t end up with the regrets my mom had. Even if you take baby steps it’s OK. Personally, I say jump in and see what happens. You can’t wait for someone to make it happen for you because you have to do that on your own. You can only really fail at something you didn’t even try. I will support you!
I dedicate this blog to my mom who sacrificed her dreams.
One thought on “Regrets, I’ve had a few…”
Such great advice! You are a shining light!