A level is something that goes up by fighting.

During my time in Japan I have a favourite story I haven’t shared.

I have this bad habit… When I become bored, or if my thoughts become too much, I will wander away on my own. It doesn’t matter where I am or how late it is; I just run away. One time I left a place crying. My feelings had been hurt, I had drank, and I was in a new town and I wasn’t exactly sure where the station was. So I sat outside the venue for a moment near a bridge with the idea that I would cry there until I couldn’t cry anymore.

A man stopped by me smoking. In Japan, it isn’t something that often worries me so I ignored him. Figuring he’d ask something like “want to play?” and walk away when I told him no. But he just stood there smoking looking over the bridge. I felt uncomfortable and wiped my face and figured I should find the station. When I stood up that’s when he talked with me. “What’s wrong?” My Japanese is miserable, and his English wasn’t that great, but in the best way possible I explained to him that I always find myself running away from situations. Mostly in terms of love. How I hurt people’s feelings and how they hurt mine. I can’t be sure how much he understood. And I honestly didn’t understand much of his advice aside from doing my best and taking care of myself. He asked my name, but often Holly is hard to say in Japanese. He said that he would call me Hotaru. Pointed me in the direction of the station. And that was that.

So when I meet people in a bar or on the street or some random website to practice Japanese with locals I will usually tell them they can call me Hotaru. A person today was practicing English with me and said; “truthly, i love the name. we, japanese  love firefly deeply. because the Transiency made us remember romance, and tragedy. ah〜suteki”.

And this made me remember that night and feel really grateful for the Japanese name that man had given to me.

Tonight I found myself watching a movie I thought would bore me to sleep. But here I am at 1 a.m typing this because for some reason the things we don’t think will move us often do. The movie was about a girl in love. But the boy she was in love with had to be in a relationship with a girl that would make his dream of opening his father’s old shop come true. So the girl pretended to date another boy so the four could go on double dates and it would be like the girl and her actual love could meet.

I was thinking… how sad love is. That it’s so rare that we actually be with the person that we loved the most in the world. I actually don’t really believe it works that way for anyone. We can grow to love others and find out what works best with the way our life forms, but that’s just it. The person that we love most always ends up being someone not suited for us.

In the movie there was this book… In that story this girl loved a man so much that she went crazy. And it’s true that we believe, for something to cause us so much pain and to lead us that far into “crazy” it must have been something truly special that we felt.

Relationships are something I always find myself writing and thinking of. I think how lucky I have been to learn so much from people. Even the people that I myself have hurt. This feeling that everyone wants a companion, even if you don’t love them the most. Somehow everyone can always work around that.

“I don’t love you the most. I won’t be faithful to you. But somehow we will have a life that we are together.” Sometimes I really wish one day I can understand that feeling. To make it work without the feeling of “I really love this person the most.”

Because loving someone the most is going to mean that you and that person won’t be together. But at least loving someone, that is supposed to be enough. Somehow.

But as my final time here begins I feel glad that I loved so much. Even if the people that I loved the most could never make me feel that in return. And I hope still that I can always love people somehow. Even if it isn’t proper. And even the people whose feelings I have hurt, I’m really grateful that you cared about me enough to be hurt. And I hope that you find a love that works in your life.

The movie said; “A level is something that goes up by fighting.” And it made me remember that I want to keep raising my level.

I’m happy I was given a name like that. And I hope that in my life I can remind people of love and loss and that those moments are really precious and allow us to “level up”. And I hope I can remember that too.

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