Live Your Life and Forget Your Age

I once remember watching a video about an 80-year-old woman who received her college degree. It reminded me of a conversation I had with my mom. While her fingers rhythmically shelled peas on the living room floor, she looked at me and said, “Its too late for me to better my English. Im not young anymore.

[Photo courtesy of Shivani Bhakta.]
This idea circles around our conversations quite often. When I bring up all of the things I want to accomplish in life, my mom gives me her full support and says, I never got the chance to fulfill my dreams.” She believes its too late to have a bucket list now because of her age.

Age is a funny concept. Its inevitable, yet unattached, to the accomplishments in our lives. You can be 14 years old and graduate college or you can be 80 years old and graduate college.

I think about some of my cousins and friends (who are we kidding? Your friends *are* your cousins when youre desi) who are stressed out because theyre single and feel the need to be married by a certain age. I sometimes find myself feeling pressured when I measure things I have done or have yet to do, given my age. Should I be more successful? Should I be married by now? Is it too late to do this?

I think what we should be asking ourselves instead is: Is there a stop button thats magically pushed if Im not married by 30? Does the rest of the time I have left on this earth not matter if Im in my 40s and havent traveled to that country? Am I going to let a number stop me from learning new things and getting the degree I always wanted?

We will continue to follow the tracks of time collecting for yet another year. Its something we dont have control over, and maybe thats what terrifies us. However, what we do have control over is what we let define us. Its society that tells us to reach certain goals at a certain age. But what happens if we dont?

Life continues.

So what are you going to do with the time you still have? Are you going to spend it giving up on your dreams because of your age? Are you going to stress out about finding a partner by a certain age? Or are you going to continue living, learning and growing?

I encourage my fellow South Asians, or any children of immigrants, to listen to your parents stories. Listen to their sacrifices and let them be your motivation to accomplish all that you want out of life, unmeasured by other peoples restrictions or societal concepts.

Your path hasnt stopped yet, and it wont stop just because you didn’t accomplish something by a specific time. Live your life, chase your goals and forget your age.

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By Shivani Bhakta

Shivani is an ESL teacher with a passion for reading, writing, traveling and helping others through education. She's a firm … Read more ›