From The Straits Times    |

#HerWorldHerStory is a collection of 60 women sharing their successes, passions, challenges, inspirations, hopes and dreams. Together, they give a snapshot of what it is to be a woman today.

Every month from March till August, we present 10 women navigating their lives now – and in their own words. This is Sharon Au’s story…

In the last 25 years, I have gone out of my comfort zone to try different things because I wanted to experience a lot more in life. I seized the moment and pursued my dreams, embracing the unknown and what the world has to offer.

I was a flight attendant after finishing college, but many know me as an actress, some as a magazine publisher. Others think of me as an entrepreneur when I started a French cooking academy last year.

I’m not one who believes that anyone is too old to try anything new. When I wanted to go to university, I was already 30. People told me, “You’re just too old for uni.” I didn’t think so! I went ahead to enrol at Waseda University in Tokyo as a Liberal Studies major. Those were some of the most enriching times I’ve had. I was a sponge, absorbing everything I could, appreciating every minute of learning. That’s how I’ve defined myself.

I’ve gained financial and emotional independence, which to me are the most valuable must-haves for women.

At 44, I’m happy with my life. I’m writing this from Paris, where I’ve been working for nearly two years. I may not be where I am today if I had listened to people and gave up on my dream to further my studies in Japan.

Studying in Japan opened many doors. I learnt the culture and language, and even went on a one-year exchange programme to France and a two-month course in Spain.

In France, I picked up French and fell in love with the country. I told myself then, “It’d be great if I could work or live here in the future!”

Today, I’m living my dream. In the next five years after I returned from my studies, I took on several editorial and management roles.

When the opportunity to work in Paris came in 2018, I was more experienced to take the big leap. I spoke French and was financially stable and mentally ready for yet another new challenge.

These days, I spend my time at home because of the home quarantine. I used to take walks and visit the museums after work and on weekends. But what I really, really miss are my family and, of course, the food at Redhill Market.

This article was first published in Her World’s June issue.