Background: My informant, O, is a 19 year old male consulting over text with his 60 year old Persian aunt. He recalled hearing this proverb from his great grandparents and grandparents growing up.
ماهی را هروقت از آب بگیری تازه است in Farsi
O: My dad always says this one to me, and my great aunt too. This idea is very ingrained in the culture. It means that it’s never too late to do something, it’s never too late to start school or accomplish a goal you’ve set for yourself. My family would say it as a sort of comfort, like they’d tell me stories of people who didn’t find success or their calling in life until they were older.
My thoughts: I personally really enjoy this proverb because it speaks to a exceedingly common insecurity about how to live one’s life. Across cultures, it doesn’t hurt to be reminded that you don’t need to be doing everything at the same pace as your peers, and if you need to take some time off in your life to figure things out before you go out and find what you are meant to do, you can. But you should always know that one day you can do what you dream. The fish are always there for you to catch, and it doesn’t matter at what point in your life you accomplish something, it’s more important that you just accomplish it.