My host father told me that it takes 9 repetitions of a new word for a child to understand it, while it takes 36 repetitions of the same word for an adult to comprehend. At least, I think that’s what he said. My Japanese wasn’t great at the time. But what I understood from this was that it is far easier to learn new things when you are young than when you are older.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn new things or that you shouldn’t try to learn new things when you’re older. It’s just more challenging. And I applaud those who take that challenge.
I’ve passed a quarter century now and there are times when I feel old. Just typing out quarter century makes me feel it. It’s easy to forget how young that really is when all around you your peers start settling down and having kids. Kids who are your little brother’s age and younger are getting hired in management above you and trying to explain to you how to use the new iPhone. There it is again, that feeling of being ancient. I wish that could mean I could apply to assisted living. I would love some assistance with my chores.
But that feeling doesn’t mean you’re behind, that you haven’t accomplished anything. Even if you only have one major breakthrough each year - that’s only what 25? Year one you learned to sit up. That’s big. Year two and you can talk. MASSIVE. Those years keep passing and seem shorter since 1 year out of 6 takes ages but 1 out of 12 flies, by 24 you start forgetting people’s birthdays and leaving your keys in the fridge, so finishing one painting comes just as monumental. Did this painting finally make sense of light and color for you? That’s like learning to talk. WAY TO GO!! Seriously. I am super proud of you! Didn’t reach a goal? Don’t give up, just gain some perspective and try again. Watch this video: http://vimeo.com/84022735 Now watch it again. You’re welcome.
So. Do you feel like you’re too old to start a new project? To pursue your dream? Just because the year’s half gone? Give yourself permission to change the thought from I can’t, maybe later to I CAN AND NOW!
What do you want to start? What do you want to learn?