I had thought about it for quite a while, but figured that I didn't have the money for a guitar, or lessons, and I had no time, and I'd probably be really bad at it, so why bother. A thousand things held me back. I regret it a little. Music has always been an important part of my life. I feel like I've missed out a lot having started learning to play so late. There's nothing for it, I know, so regret is a useless emotion, but still. There's a lot of life I've lived without doing the things I wanted to.
There's so much that I wish I had started sooner than I did. Martial arts. It has been such a boon to me, both in terms of fitness and mental health. How much better would my teens and twenties have been if I had the self-confidence I gained from training martial arts?
Same with weight lifting. My inability to lift my own weight over a high wall has always bothered me. How much vexation would I have saved if I had started weights sooner? What would life had been like if I hadn't let my fears of appearing 'too masculine' (and therefore even less appealing than I already thought I was) or 'too intimidating' (I was told often to tone myself down for that reason), or any number of pressures placed on women specifically when it comes to appearance and abilities get in my way?
How many incredible friendships have I missed out on because I was too afraid to put myself out there?
A lot, I imagine.
It's a damned shame that it's taken me until my thirties to dare do the things I always wanted to do. The only thing holding me back was, I realise now, myself, and my fears of rejection and ridicule. It's really nice not to care so much about either of those now.
If I could go back to my fourteen-year-old self, I'd have a long chat about these things. Chances are, fourteen-year-old me would still be too afraid to come out of the corner, but maybe not.
Still, I can't help but look reflect on my life and wish that I hadn't been so afraid of things.
Don't mind me, I'm just thinking out loud. Here's a question, what thing did you start later in life that you wish you had the guts to do sooner?
Right, I have writing to do.