They say leave the past in the past, but you cant exactly leave yourself behind. (As I usually try, I’ll mix pictures in and out. Though I must admit my old phone took better photos for being an old design.)
I never gave much thought to the term culture shock. I decided a year ago to have no hopes or expectations of this place or of myself. I believed that this way I could start this page of my life blank. A do over for my life up until this point I guess. But whether or not you have expectations, I think everything hits the same.
You reach a point, for the millionth time, where you ask yourself, does this life mean anything? What am I doing here? What are my passions? Whether we mean to or not, I think when we travel far away, we assume that we get to leave who we are behind. Like the voices of doubt and the struggles of the past will wait patiently back home for us and let us have a moment of peace for once in our questionable lives.
For me this may be the only thing I genuinely struggle with in Japan. Do I miss people, and things, and the way America is extremely easy on us, of course somedays I do. But not enough to want to return. Honestly, its been a month and the thought of leaving already makes me sick. But to know, that even to have reached this goal I’ve had since I was five and still think and feel the person that I am, in a way, it’s a hard truth.
The past year has been for me, the constant reminder that I am who I am and I like her. However, this is the test to those words. The ultimate truth that no matter where I run, who I meet, I am this person. I am these thoughts. I hold this burden to live a life for those who didn’t have the chance. When you first arrive somewhere new you want to absorb it all. But eventually comes a time when you put the headphones back in. You look at others and wonder, do you feel it too? Are you as empty as me? And even the ones you can discuss these things with, you know, given time, they will disappear the same way everyone before them did. They always do. This is a truth. So what do you make of a dream experience when it becomes a reality?
I think still, I’m fortunate. I’m living somewhere I’ve dreamed of. Despite being me, despite not being able to talk to anyone, I feel comfortable in this part of the world. So, as we all must do, you find that small thing to hold onto. To that tiny thing that gets you out of bed in the morning. Look at things with wonder. The sky may not be as clear in Tokyo, but it is still there to look to. To see the sun and the clouds. So I believe that I am who I’m supposed to be. Even if I feel at fault in this world. I still want to find a purpose. And as tiring as it can be, it’s enough.