07 September 2009

"...and what have we done... another year older..." --John Lennon

Picador.


Tiger Woods started playing golf at age 2. H.P. Lovecraft wrote long poems at age 5. Wolfie Mozart did his first composition at age 6. Pablo Picasso painted Picador at age 8. Blaise Pascal wrote a treatise on vibrating bodies at age 9. Jean Piaget published a paper on the albino sparrow at age 11. Bobby Fischer won the U.S. Chess Championship at age 14.

Can we all agree these people are/were freaks? I mean, really, talk about setting the bar too frickin' high for the rest of us. Talk about messing up the curve. Talk about pressure!

Nobody expects you to be a success at 2. If you're getting your sippy cup to your mouth at 2, that's worthy of applause! In fact, knowing some of you as I do, that's still a pretty darn good accomplishment!

Ah, 2... Those were the days, hm? Your meals provided for you. None of that having to microwave your own ramen, gosh darn it. Anybody else remember the Gerber's Spaghetti and Meatballs? Mmmmm. But I regress.

The thing is, at 2, we know what is exceptional. As we do at 12. Even at 22, we have some markers. But at 32? 42? 52? Things get fuzzier. When we're little, we're told we can do anything with our lives. The sky's the limit. So, we all dream of being extraordinary in some way, right? Even if we aren't precocious.

And this leads to the question of the day: By what age do you think you need to be successful? Or, alternately, at what age do you say, well, I haven't done anything extraordinary yet, so I guess I won't?

17 comments:

Liebchen said...

I'm kind of hoping that there's no age limit - that there's always the possibility for extraordinary.

Bowie Mike said...

That's why we have kids. It's sort of like giving up the quest to be successful, and saying, "ahhh, let the little ones try."

Oliveira said...

The fact that it is never too late to make a literary debut -- I know some writers who started at the age of 78! -- makes me hopeful.

But I think at the ripe old age of 31 any hopes for a pop star career should be put to sleep...

Gilahi said...

Grandma Moses didn't start painting until she was in her 70s.

Cyndy said...

If you don't set an age limit, there is no age limit. On the other hand, setting an age limit establishes a goal, and it is easier to determine your own success that way. And some people base their opinion of how successful they are on fame or money, others on how happy they are in the end and/or along the way. So it depends on a lot of different things.

Lora said...

someone left this link on my blog on my birthday:
http://www.whatwasdone.com/

I think genius happens every day. Sometimes it's applicable to more than the person who comes up with whatever little gem they came up with and sometimes it's applicable to just the "genius" alone.

At least that's what I tell myself to make me feel better about myself and my child.

erin said...

I thought I was going to be blow your mind famous before I was 25.

I thought for sure I'd end up as some sort of writer that transcends fiction or some sort of journalist that broke the biggest story of a lifetime.

Instead I write a blog and take care of many children. Strange.

Shannon said...

I think success is how you define it - I don't really have any of the outward markers of success. Unless you count my collection of stylish hats.

But I'm a happy, well-rounded person who contributes to society and has many friends. I'll take that over a pop career any day of the week.

Hannah said...

I agree with many of the commentators here, that success shouldn't have an age limit. You never really realize your full potential and hidden talents until your older and have the freedom and money to explore the world and yourself. :)

Mike said...

On the news a few nights ago they had a woman that was having her 112th birthday. She is the 30th oldest person in the world. So there's a goal for you. 130 or bust.

Titania said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Titania said...

sorry for deleting the previous version, but that was awfully written, even for me...
*********
Right now, I think I really stopped caring about being famous or anything... I care more about preventing my job from stopping me from having a life (which it keeps trying to do)

Hammer said...

42.

Alice said...

i used to get kinda depressed about how all these people younger than me were accomplishing so much more than me... but then i decided that i actually really like my life the way it is, so i HAVE accomplished my goal of living independently, and traveling a lot, and having friends and living the way i want to live, where i want to live.

so suck it, mozart.

f.B said...

god, i hope there's no time limit. i was hoping to put the world on stop for a little while.

The Maiden Metallurgist said...

I suppose I'm not trying to do anything extraordinary. I like my small life. Though I do wish I could afford to take a vacation. Maybe I could be a little more successful.

lacochran said...

Thanks to everybody for weighing in and especially to Erin for actually giving a number (how to keep it real!) and to Hammer for reminding us of the meaning of life, the universe and everything!