Sunday, July 5, 2009

You’re Never Too Old

“You can’t teach an old dog a new trick.” Or can you?

Like many of you, I had that message firmly planted in my brain. I assumed it was true until I was in my mid-twenties. At that time, I went through major changes in my life. I wanted to feel better and grow as a person, so I decided to take the lemons and make lemonade. (I’m into clichés today.) Since I had a little extra free time on my hands, I made a list of things I had always wanted to do. Over the next couple of years, I took various lessons and tried ceramics, horseback riding, piano, speaking Spanish, and then finally went back to school to get my masters degree in education. At 29, I became a teacher.
I discovered I like ceramics, but you can only make so many vases. I enjoy horseback riding if I’m on a gentle soul who forgot how to run. One day, the rather large horse I sat on was spooked by a sudden gust of wind. In what seemed like an hour, but was probably only a minute or two, I learned what it’s like to be on the back of a bucking bronco. Did I mention Big Red used to be a race horse? He spun, I hung on for dear life, then spotted the bush I was probably falling into. Somehow, I managed to stay on the back of that Goliath. The following year, I learned that although my short stubby fingers can hold onto the reins like a rodeo cowboy, they were not made for the piano. As for speaking Spanish, I’m still trying to conjugate those verbs. But…I do enjoy teaching-not the politics however.

In my mid-thirties, I decided I wanted to learn to draw and oil paint. I’m the least talented artist in my family, but with a good eraser, pencil, patience, and a lot of time, I can impressively copy a picture free hand. I did even manage to paint a desert scene I decided to keep. I believe working on my right brain helped when it came time to write.

When I was turning 40, I came across the address for Romance Writers of America and decided to learn to write. I had written a humorous speech in college that qualified for Nationals and witty Christmas letters that have garnered their own fan mail. I had always felt like there was something missing in my life. I spent twenty years trying to figure out what it was and once I started writing, that feeling finally faded. I like to think that constant craving for more was Devine intervention – a message from above telling me I needed to keep looking for my purpose. The point is, I may not have been a puppy any longer, but I did learn how to write and I love it!

Don’t let anyone ever tell you, “You can’t teach a dog a new trick.”
If you want to be a writer, write. If you want to try your hand at a new genre – go for it! If you don’t think you have talent, keep reading and practicing your craft – you’ll overcome any deficiencies you might have.
It’s your life! The only limits are the ones you place on yourself.

Until next week,

Happy Writing!
Tina LaVon


Mari said...

Oh I agree. I don't believe in assigning attributes to ages.
Better to regret the things you did than what you didn't do is another great saying.

Tina LaVon said...

I love that!
It is so true.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tina. Another great post! Ditto what Mari said. Too bad my scale tips in the regretting side instead of the didn't do side:)But no one can say I didn't live!

Estella said...

Great post!

Tina LaVon said...

You have definately lived the dream that many have wished they lived.

Tina LaVon said...

Thanks, Estella