I discovered a cool project by link surfing off Notes from Pureland Mountain. It's called the ageless project and it's purpose is to send "the message that the personal, creative side of the web is diverse and ageless."
Age. I'm one month away from my 38th birthday and being here in Japan that makes me nervous because I am already out of the running for many jobs due to my advanced chronological status. That is one of the reasons why I need to get out of here.
Overt gender discrimination in job ads became illegal a couple of years back, but there's no legal or social problem with discriminating on the basis of age. Many of the universitites seem to embrace it, actually. They specify that you must meet their age requirements not only at the time of application, but at the time you would accept the post. In my case my birthday is in March. Most teaching jobs here start in April. So it's possible I could be rejected for a job because I would be 26 days too old by the time the appointment started.
Of course not all schools are that rigid. And of course, I shouldn't allow myself to get bogged down by someone else's standards. But I came to this country when I was 22 and have spent the bulk of my adult life here. It has had a great influence. The prevailing mood seeps in around the cracks and I have at times found myself longing for the facade of stability and security that is held as sacred here. That "permanent position" that guarantees an income and a title and the denial of any other possible path through life.
That is not what led me here half a world away from where I started. It's not my ideal at all, but still sometimes the thought creeps in. I should be "looking out for my future". I should be striving to climb the career ladder, even though I know it doesn't lead to anyplace I want to go.