Brunch with a friend’s friend

Today, Chris and I met up with my friend, her husband, and a friend of hers visiting from out of town. My friend and her husband live in San Francisco, but because her friend visiting from Singapore was in the States but had never visited New York before, she decided to take her to New York for some sight-seeing. She recently got married, and she and her British husband are settled and living in Singapore, which is where she was born and raised. She talked about always wanting to live in a place like San Francisco or New York, but she felt like she was too old for that.

“That’s the kind of thing you do when you’re young,” she insisted. “My friends all did that before they got married and had kids. Now, I’m too old to move around and have that kind of fun life.”

So, what is she saying.. that because she’s in her mid-30s, any exciting life prospects in terms of living and exploring are all just dead? I told her that anyone is really capable of doing what they want to do, and that the real limit is the mind and not the age. It’s actually really fitting to discuss this since the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times have recently published articles with themes of “It’s never too late to start a brilliant career.” Oftentimes, when we think of really accomplished celebrities and minds, we forget that most of them didn’t start that path until they were in their mid 30s to 40s. Success and adventure aren’t always something just reserved for the young and eager. My former colleague and friend, who is married with a one-year-old daughter, just relocated from Amsterdam to Hong Kong. She said she doesn’t want to move back home to New York and that she’s not done exploring and living in other places. She’s 36, probably a similar age to my friend’s friend today.

You kind of get what you want out of life. When you arbitrarily set limits, you limit yourself. If you want to make something happen, you can make it happen — assuming you are relatively self sufficient and leading a comfortable life. It would be a different story if you were living paycheck to paycheck, inundated in student loan payments or needing to support and take care of aging parents who had no other form of help. I always get annoyed hearing people creating these artificial limits for themselves and not even realizing that they themselves are doing this. Society can say whatever it wants, but what you choose for yourself is just that – choosing for yourself. I suppose you need to differentiate that for yourself first, if you ever get there.

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