An example is I was also very interested in Japanese many years back in college, around 22. I started to to self teach the Hiragana. I only made it a small way in because I had issues remembering the characters, even though I spent over a month trying to remember them. I'm now 30 and I have recently taken up trying to learn Japanese again, and in two days, I had the entire Hiragana memorized to where I could quickly read the characters. That's a HUGE difference in ability to remember. Same thing with the Katakana.
For nearly my entire life, I've had issues remembering people's names. It took me months to learn the names of the people who sat next to me in class throughout my entire schooling life. Even post graduation, it took me months to learn the under 10 people's names that I worked with every day. Now I hear a name once, and I almost always remember it.
I must say that my interest have recently changed in the past few years. I feel as if I'm learning less and less new stuff in my field of expertise and my interest in other stuff that I used to hate(mostly because of my lack to remember stuff), like history or other cultures, has dramatically increased. It's kind of strange, because I'm highly introverted, but my quest to learn is forcing me to go outside my normal areas of comfort that I have had for my entire life until now.