Lots of people have something they've been learning for a long time. For some, it's an instrument like violin or piano. For others it's figure skating, dancing, or gymnastics. Still others draw or sculpt. It's wonderful to have a constant skill like that that you can keep growing in.
But sometimes you want to start learning something later on in life. Perhaps you see someone who's really good at the particular skill, or your sibling is learning it and you want to be able to do it together, or simply happenstance. That sounds like it should be easy, and often it is. Lots of things are easier to learn when you're older and have more dexterity or knowledge or whatever makes your particular interest easier.
I started taking piano lessons when I was 14. Most people I know who play started between the ages of four and seven, so I was a little behind, age-wise. Despite that, I'm still taking piano lessons now, and I've found it relatively easy and very fun. If I had started when I was seven, I'm sure I would be a better pianist now, but I'm also sure that I would have struggled more at the beginning, and might have stopped altogether because it was something I was doing for someone else, not for myself. This way I started lessons with a longer reach, feet that reach the pedals and the floor, and a general understanding of music and beginning musical theory, gained from 14 years of growing up in a musical family. There are pros and cons either way.
Sometimes starting something when you're older can be intimidating. For five months when I was 13-14, I took violin lessons. At the end of the five months, I did my first recital. My squeaky performance of “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” was preceded and followed by children who were barely taller than my waist, holding tiny violins that they played with far more skill than I. It can be even harder when it's your own sibling who outshines you, and you're the beginner. Grit your teeth and ask for advice, but maybe also ask them to NOT give advice, and remind them to be extra nice.
At the beginning of January, I started taking figure skating classes. Before I had been able to skate forwards without falling, but that was the extent of my abilities when I joined the class. As I've slowly been learning how to actually look good skating forwards and even backwards, I've also been learning how to avoid the little girls on the rink who look barely more than four or five, yet jump and spin quite impressively. Aside from me and one other girl around my age who I occasionally exchange commiserative smiles with, the only people anywhere near my age are the girls who have been doing this since they were about four or five and now do things that I cannot even imagine ever being able to pull off and my brother, who, while not nearly as good as the best people there, is an excellent skater in his own right.
My point is that you can try new things any time even if you're the outlier in the class, whether it be by age or size or something else. I will never be an Olympic level figure skater. Most of the five-year-olds who I try to avoid knocking over with my long, flailing limbs won't either, but perhaps one of their number will devote their life to skating and end up there. Sixteen is too old to start if you want to be in the Olympics, but I can definitely reach the level of hey, she's pretty good! at the ice rink free skates. I can be the person who can sit down at the piano and play something that sounds like music. Those things bring me joy, which is what I want out of them.
If there's something that you want to know how to do but it seems like no one else in the class is your age (or gender or race or anything else), try it anyway! The hardest part can sometimes be finding beginner classes for someone who's older than the average beginner, but I've found that something can generally be worked out. I've been in a homeschool gymnastics class that I was officially a year too old for, but there was no class for my age group. Try to be polite; adults like that.
Does anyone else have skills that they started learning recently? What are things that you would like to do? I'd love to hear your experiences.