Never Get Old. Never. This is the first thing I wanna say to you today. Feeling yourself oldie, huh? Yee, me too. But I tell you this: the sooner you’ll realize how this world works, the easier will sort out any age crisis. And the first and the best solution is – to live. I know it’s a bit cheesy but, listen…
The best things we face every day by reading motivational reads or by watching youtube success stories are all are quite cheesy. So don’t be a smart ass, take it easy 🙂 Mind and heart – are the best two things that help you stay in your 20s no matter how many grey hairs you got and how old you’re really are.
So what the fuss?
This is the story you should read because it’s the best example to describe today’s issue.
I am at the local cafe. Not the best one, but tolerable for a cup of coffee or two. The owner is working at the bar today. And since I hardly learn anything, like “never sit at the bar when there’s an owner present because he will be talking non-stop”, I sit there, right in front of him.
“Hey, you are a smart man, Alex, aren’t you?” he starts right away.
I have not even ordered my coffee yet. I get a feeling that this might be the trick question to drag me into another conversation of his favourites: politics, other people’s appearance or character, the importance of patriarchy, religion, disabled people, and so on. And I immediately regret my decision. Why oh why have I decided to sit there? Have I no brains at all?
– Well, I suppose you can say that, but I would not call myself smart – I reply cautiously.
– Tell me what. I give classes in film making…
It needs an explanation. See, besides being a so-so cafe owner, he is also a kind of local town reporter and a bit of a filmmaking teacher. Something of everything, with nothing under control, sadly. A jack of all trades, master of none, suits here perfectly. I wish it were the other way. And I would sincerely love him to succeed, as I do love visiting the cafe I am sitting at, it has great potential. But to my regret, all of it is, no doubt, wasted.
“… and they are like for teenagers and scholars,” he carries on. “For their pass time, you know. But it happens so that lately I get a lot of requests from old people. Like really old ones. Over 40 or even 50. Weird, is it not? I mean to start studying anything at this age, is not it insane? Do you recon it’s some kind of fashion for oldies? I really don’t get why they need that.“
The owner finishes his speech and stares at me, waiting for an answer. What could I say here? I have no idea. To suggest I was disgusted and devastated to hear something like that is to say nothing at all. I have not even tried to explain my point to the cafe owner on the matter. The words and speech like “No matter how old! Never Get Old at Heart!” would be stupid to say. He was so sure of his point.
#1 Never Get Old at Heart: Do not listen too much
But I believe I kept a straight face and replied something in a polite and neutral manner to avoid further discussion of the topic. I kept thinking about it for a few days more. Not about why the “oldies” are still happy to discover new things, but about the life this cafe owner leads. The life that makes him ask questions such as this.
I should say that our conversation took place in Russia. Why is it important to note? Because in Russia you are expected to become an “adult” in your 18. Why in quotes? See, Russian culture has an extremely perverted understanding of what being an adult really means. It will take me about 3 other blog posts to try and explain it to you, so let’s just drop it for now.
The thing is, every time I am in Russia, I feel like an elder. Things people expect here from you, well, they are expected too early. And when in, say, UK your life only starts at 30 and only blossoms by forties, in Russia, it’s about the time your life as an active member of society is coming to an end.
Sounds awful I know. So here are my point guys. No matter what country you’re from. That’s why I’ll repeat: never get old at heart. No matter what you do, in most cases, you have all chances to change your life completely, whether you’re 30 or 60. Want to start play violin – no problem. Good luck. Remember about Wang Deshun or maybe Yasmina Rossi? These are the best examples you could possibly find.
#2 Never Get Old – It’s just a beginning
Remember an episode in Sex and the City that’s called “Valley of the Twenty-Something Guys“, where most of the men under 30 are considered to be teenagers, almost children? That’s how I was and I am treated in the US, UK and all over Europe. And I love it. In countries like Russia, people don’t have that luxury. Why? I have no idea.
And that’s the problem. People think that something is gone forever. If you messed up once – you’ll never have a chance to fix it or begin again. What a disastrous logic/philosophy. Remember my dear ladies and gentlemen: it’s just a beginning. Always stay on track, stay consistent but never be too harsh to yourself.
This is your life.
We walk around with these serious faces, constantly worrying about stability, future, taxes, responsibilities and so on. We strive to be respectable, successful, sensible, we live to other people’s expectations. Does that cause anything but anxiety? I highly doubt it. Well, depression maybe, or a midlife crisis.
#3 No trials, No second attempts. Remember that!
Our lives fly by us with a crazy speed of a car on an autobahn. And if things such as money, food, clothing are easy to buy/earn again – time isn’t renewable. We don’t have too much of it to waste. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life has a mind of a grumpy older man? I don’t.
And remember – don’t get old at heart when you have a great time ahead of you. And even if you are 105, and most of your days are behind, why give up now?
Every day can be an amazing adventure if you make it.
P.S. I am including that marvellous song “Young at Heart” written by Johnny Richards and Carolyn Leigh and performed by Bing Crosby (I am a fan of Crosby, so naturally I prefer his version) because despite doing my best in explaining my point of view here in that post, these guys did it much better.