I was 27 and living in London when I decided to leave the corporate world behind, come home to Australia and study music full-time. And I have to say, it was not an easy decision to make.
Firstly, I wasn’t certain I could create a sustainable living in it - I’d been playing keys and singing in garage bands for years and was lucky to make $50 at a gig.
I was also making good money in my media/marketing jobs at the time. They gave me nice titles and opportunities to move up the corporate ladder.
But truth be told, it wasn’t just the fear of leaving behind the cushy lifestyle that was stopping me, it was a belief so ingrained into my psyche that I had to do some major excavation work to shift it…
It was the insidious, false belief of ‘I am too old for this.’
Luckily my intuition prevailed. Despite my fear, I auditioned and was accepted into a Bachelor of Music in Jazz. Thus beginning my life as an enterprising and extremely fulfilled student for the next three years.
From time to time, the ‘I’m too old’ belief would raise its ugly head throughout my degrees but I forged ahead regardless.
So what made me take the leap?
I was fortunate to discover the amazing jazz singer and musician Melissa Forbes who had quit law to study music at 27. She has crafted an incredible career in music and her story played a big part in my decision - she was and still is my inspiration!
My Mum (also known as Sage or Guru) reminded me of my ‘single, no dependent or financial responsibility’ status. Thanks for rubbing salt into that wound Mum – it worked!
I also drew inspiration from her story. Mum changed her life at 38 years old when she decided to finish high school, earning her Senior Certificate. She was the first in her family to study at University and became the legendary primary school teacher she is today.
I pictured myself five to ten years down the track feeling even more miserable and stuck in an unfulfilling career. The thought gave me heart palpitations and was the impetus I needed to ‘dive off the deep end’.
Age – what about it?
Why does age always seem to be a good reason not to pursue our dreams or even take up new skills or hobbies?
I’m always surprised by the amount of talented people in their early 20’s who come into my singing studio thinking it’s too late to have a career in music. There’s this idea out there that one needs to ‘make it’ before they turn 20 in order to be successful.
I am equally surprised when a 60 something year old thinks it would be silly to take up singing as a pastime, even though they have always wanted to. Or they think it’s too late to do something about a business idea that has been burning inside them for 15 years. I know 60 plus year olds who are creating exceptional careers as singers and creative entrepreneurs. I also have 60 plus year olds learning singing from me, just for the joy of it.
The truth is, we’re ageless…
In Dr Christiane Northrup’s book Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being she argues that it isn’t such a bad thing to lie about your age, even to yourself. In fact, you may prolong your life, if you do.
She says, “In a sense, we have a shelf life. Structures on the tips of our chromosomes called telomeres, which are like wicks on sticks of dynamite, grow shorter when cells divide.
"When the wick gets small enough, cells no longer receive the instruction to replicate and their death follows.”
Dr Northrup states however we can “actually reverse aging by improving our ability to repair and lengthen our telomeres.”
She mentions that good lifestyle plays a part in this, including eating a healthy diet and engaging in stress management activities such as meditation and exercise, but she argues that a healthy mindset about our age also plays a major factor in our longevity.
She argues, “…the belief in the positive aspects of aging strongly affects your biology and thus your survival.”
Dr Northrup further states, “Your beliefs and thoughts are wired into your biology. They become your cells, tissues, and organs. There’s no supplement, no diet, no medicine, and no exercise regimen that can compare with the power of your thoughts and beliefs. That’s the very first place you need to look when anything goes wrong with your body.”
So if we believe ourselves to be ageless then our body will match up to this belief. And therefore should no longer be an excuse to put our lives on hold.
So the question now is - what’s the first step you’re going to take towards living your dreams?
Making a big drastic step like quitting your job in order to pursue your dream, isn’t always the best option for everyone. I had no responsibilities therefore if my plan was to go ass up – it wasn’t going to be the end of the world. Although, I must say I did land on my face a few times (I’ll spare those details for another blog post), but these moments just spurred me on.
Some of us need to ease our way into achieving our goals, one step at a time. This approach is particularly helpful when our dreams are big and perhaps a little overwhelming. So we start with the obvious and the easy.
If your goal is to learn French so you can live in Paris for three months out your year, you could start by downloading a language learning app like Memrise or enrol at language school in your area.
You may decide to dedicate an hour a day reading blogs written by expats living in Paris - my favourite is Messy Nessy Chic – or researching the logistics of living in another country.
Your next goal may be to save up for a holiday to study French for a month in Paris or go rural to make it cheaper.
Do you see where I’m going here?
Break that goal down into do-able chunks! The important thing is you need to take the action steps towards it.
And for Goodness sake – if the thought pops up that ‘you’re too old for this’, tell it to ‘eff off… I’m an ageless Goddess.’