“Being Erica” has been showing here in South Africa and for the advertisement, a bunch of women were asked what do you regret? They all had regrets except for one who struck me as not being able to tell the truth, so she doesn’t count. None of them said “My dreams are still alive, I’m starting to work on them now.”
It didn’t occur to any of them to even think about it. They said “I certainly wouldn’t be an accountant, I’d be a rock star”, “I wish I’d been more inspired, learned how to play an instrument”, “I wish, if I’d practiced more, I’d been a professional ice-skater”.
It’s terrifying for me to watch the dead-endedness of it. All the women were clearly very dissatisfied with their lives and had huge longing still, but they think their dreams are over, which means they probably are. The walking dead. What’s stopping the accountant from learning how to play an electric guitar and singing, or Miss uninspired from going to therapy, starting an instrument now? And what’s in the way of the ice-skater getting back on the ice and practicing now?
There’s a belief that runs deep in a certain part of South African culture that sends me running for the hills shrieking. I can’t and but what can you do? pretty much cover it. The latter is like a national anthem, a mantra. There’s a bloated virtue in the self-sacrifice of it, the saintly shrug of the shoulders. Gaaahhh.
I prefer the words of a song Second Time Around. Of course it’s about love, but you can apply it to dreams and starting again with your life. Anytime, doesn’t matter what your age is.
Love is lovelier, the second time around / Just as wonderful, with both feet on the ground / It’s that second time you hear your love song sung / Makes you think perhaps that love, like youth, is wasted on the young / Love’s more comfortable the second time you fall / Like a friendly home the second time you call / Who can say, what brought us to this miracle we’ve found / There are those who’d bet / Love comes but once – and yet / I’m oh so glad we met / The second time around.
Love the optimism of it.
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