If I’ve had a bad day, I default to one song.
Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen by Baz Luhrmann.
If you don’t know it, the premise is simple.
In the late 1990s Mary Schmich wrote a Chicago Tribune column called Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young.
Film director Luhrmann enlisted actor Lee Perry to read it to the backing of a trip-hop version of Rozalla’s Everybody’s Free.
The resulting five minutes is uplifting and life-affirming.
It’s the sort of track where, if you’re having a downer, the words alone can help you take stock and pull yourself out of your funk.
If you’ve never heard it then find it on YouTube and store it in your favorites for the next time you have a bad day.
I agree with the sentiment of the piece – youth is wasted on the young.
And the older I get, the more I appreciate everything that is on offer.
That’s why, just after I turned 30, I decided to do the one thing I had always wanted to do but never actually got around to. I went to university.
It was a scary experience – I went from having always been the youngest person at work or with friends to being the oldest.
I was worried I would look as out of place as Michael Gove when he argued that Tinie Tempah was his favorite rapper.
The experience was remarkable, though.
I know “you’re never too late to learn” is a predictable adage but, trust me, it’s true.
From start to finish it has been a journey that has changed me and finally, 15 years after I first thought about doing it, I’m on the verge of being a graduate.
In Sunscreen, Perry says “in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you.”
You don’t need to look back. The opportunity is always there ready for you to take it.