I read a great article about female artists (the youngest of which was in her 70s) who were just beginning to make a name for themselves. I was especially surprised that most of these women came from areas that we usually don’t associate directly with art, such as philosophy, math, politics, or literature. Not to mention their continued interest for new subjects and disciplines at their mature age, which awakened a great admiration within me. They don’t seem to mind that they were discovered during their later years. Quite the opposite, they give younger artists this particular bit of advice: “continue doing what you love, no matter what age you are, that’s what’s most important.”
I recently called a friend of mine, who works as a dentist, to congratulate her on her 48th birthday, and she told me with much glee about how she was taking courses on mesotherapy and learning something new. My friend is also a woman who makes fantastic leather bags and performs in physically demanding theater roles. I don’t think that she wastes even a day reminding herself about her job, responsibilities, or her age when she has made up her mind about doing something. And when I told her how she inspired me, her response was, “I’m never happy with the results I get because I split hairs, but what can I do, I continue trying.”
Continue trying. Perhaps these are the key words. Not finding, resolving, and finishing. Just continuing to try. Hands-on. With joy. With curiosity. Sometimes with utter disappointment. Continue trying.
In an age where we worship youth and physical beauty, if you’re in your twenties, 48 may seem ‘too old and far off,’ and if you’re in your fifties it may fit into the ‘already in the past,’ category. As for me, 48 is a young age. It’s a point in life where, if you’ve taken care of yourself, you could be physically fit and healthy and, most of all, enjoy the benefits of having accrued large amounts of experience, which gives you a mental advantage over the younger generations.
The New York Times article shows that 90 is also a young age. If there are things we want to do and create, and ideas that gives us excitement, then perhaps any age is young, every age is beautiful.