Hey fellow friends, how are you doing? I’m doing alright, other than a bunch of stress from school and butterflies in my stomach from a tae kwon do tournament (California Open) coming up this Saturday. I wanted to tell you about a little ‘epiphany’ I experienced a few days ago at a concert. The concert was of Angela Aki’s, a Japanese singer/pianist/songwriter, who currently studies music at USC (University of Southern California). She sings both Japanese and English songs, so check that out if you’re interested. Anyways, there’s a song that translates as “Letter~To the Fifteen Old You~” which is my favorite out of all her great songs and this song gave me tears when I realized the true meaning.


Angela Aki is famous in Japan for her passionate, unique voice and piano, however, after realizing that to become greater, she had to study more music. Thus, she decided to quit all her activities in Japan (concerts, events, etc.) and focus on studying at USC. This is a little background history of her. When she wasn’t known that much, she went through a devastating divorce around the age of 29. When her heart was broken and didn’t know what to do with her life, her mom gave her a letter on her 30th birthday. Here’s the thing; it wasn’t a letter from  mom, it was a letter from Angela when she was 15, writing to her 30 year old self! Her song “Letter~To the Fifteen Year Old You~” was based on this letter.

Here’s the translated lyric:

   Dear You,

   Who’s reading this letter

   Where are you and what are you doing now?

   For me who’s 15 years old

   There are seeds of worries I can’t tell anyone

   If it’s a letter addressed to my future self,

   Surely I can confide truly to myself

   Now, it seems that I’m about to be defeated and cry

   For someone who’s seemingly about to disappear

   Whose words should I believe in?

   This one-and-only heart has been broken so many times

   In the midst of this pain, I live the present

   Dear you,

   Thank you

   I have something to tell the 15-year-old you

   If you continue asking what and where you should be going

   You’ll be able to see the answer

   The rough seas of youth may be tough

   But row your boat of dreams on

   Towards the shores of tomorrow

   Now, please don’t be defeated and please don’t shed a tear

   During these times when you’re seemingly about to disappear

   Just believe in your own voice

   For me as an adult, there are sleepless nights when I’m hurt

   But I’m living the bittersweet present

   There’s meaning to everything in life

   So build your dreams without fear

   Keep on believing

   Seems like I’m about to be defeated and cry

   For someone who’s seemingly about to disappear

   Whose words should I believe in?

   Please don’t be defeated and please don’t shed a tear

   During these times when you’re seemingly about to disappear

   Just believe in your own voice

   No matter era we’re in

   There’s no running away from sorrow

   So show your smile, and go on living the present

   Go on living the present

   Dear you,

   Who’s reading this letter

   I wish you happiness

When Aki was lost in life, the letter saved her. In the first chorus, the lyric is mainly a letter written in a 15-year old’s perspective towards the future self. They’re confused with their life and are afraid of potentially not having a bright future ahead of them. In the second chorus, the “response” to the letter is provided.

   “If you continue asking what and where you should be going, You’ll be          

   able to see the answer… Just believe in your own voice… There’s meaning    

   to everything in life.”

This song really relates to the current me. I’ve been worried and afraid just like the first chorus 15-year old who feels like she doesn’t exist. I’m fearful that if I go on like this, I won’t be able to do accomplish anything in life and that I won’t change from the state of myself currently if I don’t make an action. I think to myself, is the goal in life to go to a great university, get a great job that pays a good amount of money, and die? Or is it to simply be happy? This song gave me a part of the answer I was seeking for.

   “Now, please don’t be defeated and please don’t shed a tear

   During these times when you’re seemingly about to disappear

   Just believe in your own voice”

I felt that Aki wanted to tell us that if we keep being honest to our mind and continue working towards your dreams diligently, life can’t fail. There’s no “failing” in life; sometimes you might make mistakes and some people might make big ones, but essentially, you can’t “fail.” Your life can’t be graded.

Then, I thought, what if I write a letter to my 30-year old self? I hope that one day in the future, I’ll look back to this letter and compare myself now to then.

Dear 30-Year Old Aozora,

How are you doing? Are you married? Is your husband nice? Do you have children? Are you happy? I’m in my sophomore year of high school and things started getting tough. Taking AP classes and honors, I sometime wonder if this is all worth it in the end. Does learning about European History from the 1400’s help me when I go out into the real world? Would solving rational functions and finding the zeros be useful when I’m out of school? I don’t know. Everyone focuses on their grades and as long as they get an A, they’re happy with their life. I believe that when you’re out of school, the A that you got in Chemistry wouldn’t matter anymore. Why do some people drop out of high school and still become one of the greatest CEOs of the country? They didn’t spend time killing themselves in AP classes. I feel like I’m always tired and I can drop dead anytime. After school, I’m able to release my stress by doing tennis and tae kwon do, but when I get home, I’m more tired. At night, even though I tried really hard to finish the day right, I think, “Was it a good day?” And I can never say yes. Recently, I’m feeling like something is missing in my life. Half the time, I don’t even know what I’m doing or why I’m doing it. All my peers are amazing in school, so I’m pressured that I have to do something greater to get into a good college. After listening to “Letter” by Angela Aki, I decided to “keep on believing” and just listen to my own voice. No matter what everyone else does, I’ll be myself and do what I feel is right. Wish me good luck getting to where you are. I’ll be waiting for a response from you.”




P.S. The concert was absolutely fabulous. If you like Angela Aki’s songs, I recommend “Sakurairo,” “Every Woman’s Song,” and “Home.”


2 thoughts on “Letter

  1. Wow. This was a long but really down to earth post. I like how you include the video and lyric translation for her singing. And the way you ended it with a letter to yourself really ties the message in. Fabulous writing!


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