I was shopping in a bookstore recently when I overheard a man complaining about turning 50.
His wife tried her best to reassure him that 50 was an incredible milestone, one that he would remember forever. But, her assurances fell on deaf ears.
He started complaining about his regrets, his gray hair and the fact that he had packed on quite a few pounds since he and his wife met. Again, the wife tried to tenderly reassure him that he still “had it” and that she was proud of the man he had become. But, he wasn’t moved.
I never intervene in people’s private conversations, but I felt something tugging at me to speak up.
“Your wife is right, you know. Fifty is an incredible milestone and you should feel privileged to make it there. My brother died at 22. He is forever locked in his youth. No gray hairs. No protruding stomach, nothing. He would have turned 50 last December. I would give anything to have him here with what you’ve got,” I said.
I had his full, undivided attention. His wife, who stood inches away from me, quietly ingested every word that spilled from my lips.
I then reminded the gentleman that some of the greatest people who walked this Earth have had the most spectacular second acts and that he would be no different.
We stood in that Barnes & Noble bookstore chatting for close to an hour about his life and the dreams he had for himself that he failed to fulfil. I then asked one simple question: what’s stopping you?
He started to laugh and replied, “nothing, I guess. Well . . . I guess it’s just too late. I’m old.”
This man stood at the precipice of one of the greatest milestones in his life, regretting the dreams he had for himself and it was all because he thought he was too old.
We ended our chat and he insisted we hug (even in a Covid-19 environment). I couldn’t resist. Maybe something I said resonated with him. I honestly believe God orchestrated this meeting.
But, his story is not unusual. Every single one of us has a desire in our hearts that we have either shared or withheld from the world and when it doesn’t come to pass, we shrug our shoulders and say maybe it wasn’t meant to be because if it were, it would have happened by now.
As long as there’s life in you, it’s not too late. You have to trust and believe that everything is in your reach until you exhale your final breath.
And just because it hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen. It may just mean that it’s about to happen.
I hope you carry these four words with you this week: it’s not too late.
This Bahamian Gyal