Hi, I’m Sakura, and I want to share something really important with you today that I hope will impact your life, in a really positive way. But, before I start, I have a question for you: “How old do you think I am?” Well, actually, I’m 38. Now, a lot of people wonder why I am here studying at university at my age, so let me share my story with you. As I said, it could change your life.
I’ve already had a career. When I started work at 17 it was really hard and I was always under a lot of pressure to give a perfect performance. Every single time. However, it was really enjoyable and challenging, so I chose to keep working. Also, to be honest, I really hated studying school subjects then.
My job was really cool, I got to meet some interesting people, learn new skills and visit some interesting places. I also had some friends studying at university and they seemed really happy with their uni life; always talking about life on campus, the clubs they belonged to, their part-time jobs, and how they could make loads of friends, including lovers. They’d also talk about their favourite student hobby: drinking, drinking and more drinking. In some ways I envied the fact they could balance learning and having a good time, and live life at their own pace. For me, my life was just so hectic.
As they’d talk about campus life, I imagined myself having the same experience one day. This became my dream, and when I was in my thirties, I realised I wanted to change my life completely, but I felt stuck and felt I had no choice but to continue in the same direction.
I felt trapped, as if I were in a locked cage underwater, slowly drowning. And as my friends chatted about politics, social issues and international affairs, I felt they were really smart and I couldn’t keep up with their conversation. Again, I felt a little envious, especially when they talked about their life plans and how easy it seemed for them to change direction.
I felt like I was having some kind of mid-life crisis, but looking back this was the best thing that could’ve happened to me, as I learned that it is us that makes life easier or more difficult for ourselves; especially when it comes to preconceptions about age.
So, I asked myself, when we want to start something new, should we worry about age? Is the fear connected to other factors like family expectations, social obligations, or a fear of the cost of time, money and energy? To these things I say: “NO!” Nothing need stop us from doing what we want to do.
Not chasing our dreams is as stupid as believing the locked cage under water is real. It’s NOT!! and again I say: “NO!” I am proof that age does not matter. Nobody can say that 25 is too old to start learning to ride a bicycle or that 38 is too old to start college. “Nobody!”
Japanese people live for a long time, so we actually have a longer chance to chase our dreams. Hidekichi Miyazaki this year broke his own World Record in the 100-meters sprint. He was 105 years-old. 105!! Age means nothing! He’s my hero!
I’m 38. So what? I’ll say it again: “So what?” It’s not too late for me to catch up on the education I chose not to pursue in the past. Here I am. I’m doing it! So can you! You can make a change for the better, regardless of society’s fixed paradigms of expectations, especially when it comes to age. Age means nothing, it’s just a number.