Recently, I dyed my hair green. Many remarked how brave I was for doing that because they wouldn’t dare to do it. Between the comments I received there were some “Oh! I wished I was as brave as you, but I’m too old for that” and the one that shocked me the most, “Aren’t you too old for that? You’re 26.”
I must be honest; I had to sit back and reflect. Am I really too old for what I like? Is it time for me to mature? I even thought I’m too immature for my age. I like colorful hair, my style is not the most professional one, I like anime, cosplay, and videogames. I should be around looking for a job and tiring my ass off, not having time for me, but here I am, doing everything I love.
The truth is no one is too old do pursue their passions. Actually, nobody is TOO ANYTHING to do what they like. My philosophy is that if you like it, you should go for it. You want to wear that crop top? Wear it! It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the figure of a Barbie. You want to cosplay your favorite character? GO FOR IT! HAVE FUN! You want to take dancing lessons? Enjoy them! Learn a lot!
It might be scary at first, but you´ll be a winner as soon as you take the first step. I’ve always liked different things and I’ve been criticized. It used to affect me, but on the long run I learned that if you don’t do it, you’ll regret it. Believe me, I’ve let many chances run past me because I was scared to try them. I used to belly dance around ten years ago. Last year, I wanted to come back because I missed it, I missed dancing and I pointed it out to someone. This person told me “But you’re too old for that already. Why don’t you do something else? Something more common in your age?” I let myself be influenced by that comment and I didn’t do it. I regret it because I felt empowered while dancing. Many of my insecurities were gone when I danced belly dance because I was surrounded by girls who loved themselves as they were, and that’s contagious! But because I overthink it, I said to myself, “Yeah, he’s probably right… I’m too old for it.” Please don’t be like me!
There are no rules or guides to do what you like. People always highlight how they wish to be like me in terms of doing their hair or wearing clothes. The secret is to not let people’s words get to you. It took me a long time to understand this. While young, I went through a lot of bullying and critics because I liked colorful hair or because the style I chose to wear. At first, it used to affect me a lot, but as I grew up I understood that no one has the right to choose your happiness for you. These are things that bring small joys to life and if this is something you can do to feel better about yourself or to have an instant of happiness, you should go for it. Life is too short to be sad and to have boring hair or clothes! Maybe our definition for “fun clothes” are different, but as long it makes you happy, it won’t matter, it shouldn’t matter to anyone else but you.
Another thing is, I used to be very conscious of how I looked. My self-esteem was five feet underground and probably others picked that energy, so they would treat me as such. Once I stopped worrying for what people thought of me, everything around me changed. I got surrounded by people who had the same interest and style as me, and even those who were different to me would compliment me and admire what I wore or even my crazy hair.
It’s possible that if someone criticizes you is probably because they are envious in some way. Maybe they weren’t allowed to do it, or they were scared. Just stand tall, do whatever you want and feel proud of it. Society likes to play by the rules, but many of us were born to break those rules. Believe in your potential: you’re doing it and you rock it!
Be bright, be dark, be proud and love yourself! Once you do that, you´ll see that everyone else will accept you and will see you for what you are and not for how you look.