I came across this video on Facebook this morning and felt compelled to share it. It is an advertisement for some kind of drink, but that just comes at the end. The message in the video is beautiful. A guy meets a bunch of different people, all adults, in a restaurant and asks them what they want to be when they grow up.
Everyone laughs or scoffs when they’re first asked the question. The older people are a little incredulous, like “you do see how old I am, right?” Idris Elba, the guy asking the question, points out that we are always growing. The people acknowledge he’s right and there is always more to learn. But at some point, once you reach a certain age, it starts to feel like it’s too late or you just get stuck in a routine of responsibilities and don’t know how to break out of it.
I definitely know what I want to be when I grow up – a dancer! And a famous writer on the side. No biggie.
Do you remember feeling excited about the future when you were a child? You could do anything and be anyone, whether it was a fireman or an astronaut or a ballerina or president! But something happens as we grow older. We lose enthusiasm for our dreams. Maybe it’s because reality hits us and we realize how hard it will be. Maybe it’s because society teaches us that there is a time limit on dreaming big and once you’re out of school, other things like getting a job and paying bills take priority. Maybe it’s because we just don’t know how to go about turning our dreams into a reality.
If I had seen this video a few years ago, I may have come up with the same answers, but they would have been whispered instead of declared and attached to a lot of excuses driven by fear as to why I couldn’t be those things. Ballroom has helped me reach a point where I do feel comfortable announcing my ambitions to the world. And then actually pursuing those ambitions! So what if I’m in my thirties and just getting started? I’ve learned that it’s never too late, as long as you’re still breathing!
Statistically, I probably won’t make a name for myself as a dancer or a writer. But the point is I’m pursuing what I love. I am still growing, no matter how old I get. I’ve regained some of that child-like enthusiasm and am putting it to good use! This weekend I sent off the draft of my second book to be reviewed. I’ll go to my ballroom lessons this week and try another hip hop class. I am writing and I am dancing! How aware the rest of the world is of my writing and dancing doesn’t matter as much as the fact that I am doing it.
So what about you? What do you want to be when you grow up? Share in the comments!
One of my readers sent me this video by Prince Ea after watching the Idris Elba video. If you weren’t inspired enough by the first video to get up and get going on your dreams, this will help.