Never too old for young love

Young love can happen at any time in your life.

I’m 57-years-old, single, wrinkly, a full head of grey hair, divorced, has a grown son, and planning for my fast-approaching retirement.

When I was married, I really thought I had fell in love and found my life partner. I did in a way. Helen and I will always be connected through our love for our son James, who has grown into a young and ambitious man, ready to forge his way ahead in the Kenyan economy. Helen and I still love each other very much, but my love for her is no longer in a romantic way – actually, it never was.

You see, when you have a “plan” set for yourself (e.g. graduate university, be married by 30 and be a grandpa by 55) you may have settled for someone that you see as a competent life partner, and may have ran away from the other one – the one you’d always fight passionately with, nothing ever went to plan with her, and your stomach would be filled with butterflies every time you waited for her. You were afraid of that one…you were afraid of the unknown.

Now, decades later…I’ve realized that I was afraid of the unknown and have settled for Helen, the safe choice. It may sound harsh, but Helen is a great woman and a wonderful friend, but that’s what she will always be to me.

Almost a year ago, I was introduced to my colleague’s 25-year-old niece, Carol. Gorgeous, intelligent, ambitious and had a passion for life that was absolutely contagious. I knew I had a crush on her, but I kept that to myself because I knew she would never like me…someone who was much older than her.

One weekend, I finally mustered up the courage to ask Carol out on a date. I knew she would probably have to think about it, and she did. But, by the following Wednesday, she called me back and suggested we spend a whole day at Blankets and Wine.

I was ecstatic! I was like a school boy waiting for his first date!

We had a wonderful afternoon and evening in the Nairobi sun, and as concert-goers were dancing in the background, Carol and I kissed. Imagine you being given a gift you’ve wanted for eternity – we were both all smiles and we couldn’t keep our arms from each other.

Young love can happen at any time in your life. Be open to new experiences and don’t be afraid to try. You may have your doubts and you might feel self-conscious with your age, but sometimes, it is us that stop ourselves from living life to the fullest.

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