When I was a teenager, I honestly believed that I would be rich and famous by the time I turned 21. I’d grown up on fairy tales, Disney movies, and a vivid Ugly Ducking complex since getting glasses at age 5. In high school I was into acting and musical theater, and as I lay in bed at night I imagined myself collecting an Oscar for Best Actress. I wrote endless versions of my acceptance speech and designed my red carpet gown.
When I was 28 and distinctly not rich and famous, I got an astrological reading from a woman who told me that I wasn’t really going to accomplish anything until I was 35. “You’re a late bloomer,” she told me, and I remember thinking, ‘But what about my whole success-by-age-21 thing?’
Now, at middle age, I’m still waiting to become rich and famous. I’ve long passed age 35 and, presumably, the late bloomer moniker no longer applies. At this point, I would fit squarely in the “it’s never too late to achieve your dreams” category.
I wouldn’t give up any of what I’ve learned on my way to not being rich and famous. I breezed by 21 while living in San Francisco, taking personal ads over the phone. At 28 I was in New York City working with homeless people. Age 35 found me working in Hollywood. Each day has been an adventure, or a grind (or both), and what I’ve learned is this: success doesn’t always mean wealth and fame. Instead, it is the accumulation of experience and being kind no matter what. If I can keep achieving these things, I’ll get to walk my own version of the red carpet every day.
Does your life match up to the fantasies you had for yourself as a kid? Figure out all the ways it’s even better and focus on those instead of what could have or should have been. This way, you’ll get to walk the red carpet every single day!
Tags: gratitude, mental health, self help, travel, work