Tokyo: Dream it, Do it.
It's official. I am living in Tokyo and studying Japanese while abroad. If I could travel back in time and tell my younger self, "hey, you know how you it's always been your dream to live in Japan while studying Japanese? Well, some crazy things are going to happen to you in your life. Good and bad but, I promise you that by the time you are 29, you are going to be making your number one dream come true.", I would have thought that maybe I let my life fall into drugs or something. See, even though it was always my dream, I just never thought it would actually happen.
However, I'll tell you this... I didn't stop at anything to try and make it happen. The funniest thing or I guess the most convenient thing is the timing of my trip. I had it all planned out while I was still happily married to someone who I gave my full trust to, and was betrayed recently thus resulting in the ending of our so-called "happy" marriage, at least I thought it was. Two months prior to leaving, I was left with a very heavy and broken heart, trying restlessly to put back together the pieces before I left. But, what I didn't know was that I actually needed to leave and come to Tokyo in order to do that. Coming here was THE BEST DECISION I EVER MADE. And, you better believe I am DAMN happy I didn't let anyone stop me, not even the one person I thought loved me unconditionally and whom I thought was supportive of me, nope, not even him, from doing what I believe in my heart was meant to be. Let's not get into that though, let's continue on with JAPAN...
Arriving after an eleven-hour flight to Seoul, two-and-a-half layover, and then another 2-hour flight back to Japan (I know, backtracking was really weird but I couldn't complain cause the airline was REALLY great) I was BEAT. But, I still had a 30-minute taxi drive to the hotel which cost me about ¥7,500, yikes! Pretty expensive but, since I arrived after midnight, I didn't really have a choice. My hotel was super nice and I was beyond excited to have finally touched down in Tokyo. It was all SO SURREAL TO ME. I seriously could not process (on top of the lack of sleep) that I had finally made it and my dreams were all about to come to fruition. That night, I have to admit, tears just rolled down my face as I laid there thinking to myself of all the things I had to go through to get to that very moment in time. God works in mysterious ways, and he never has let me forget that. NOT. ONCE.
The next morning, I woke up to the view pictured above and I was still in complete awe. I caught a little bit of the sunrise, exhaled deeply and whispered to myself, "this is it, I'm here". THIS WAS IT, I was here and ready to make moves I had dreamt of for so long. No more Googling "How to work and live in Tokyo" or "How to study and live in Tokyo". I just woke up IN TOKYO, it was real life. I took a shower, got dressed, grabbed my camera, and set out to find some coffee before starting my big day: I had orientation and was going to be moving into my apartment (shared house) that day.
After getting some coffee and a quick bite (onigiri, I missed you soooo) I grabbed my things from the hotel, checked out, and headed for the school. Let me tell you, I packed lightly, taking only a Peak Design backpack, duffel bag, and Away suitcase and even still I was having a super difficult time lugging my stuff around. *uuuf*
After being interviewed at the school for my level placement exam, I had to make my way to Kyodo station where I would be meeting my landlord. This was literally one of the most difficult things I ever had to do. Taking all of my bags down and up multiple sets of stairs through busy Tokyo train stations is as difficult as it sounds. I was a hot mess by the time I got to my neighborhood. Once I did, though, I found a cute little coffee shop to sit at while I killed some time. My neighborhood is the cutest! But then again, it's hard not to say that about every corner you turn into here in Japan.
My first days in Tokyo, I just spent them getting used to the timezone change and exploring a bit. I got to meet a great friend in person, finally, Masa. <3 We spent my first weekend days hanging out, going to Tokyo Tower, eating delicious food, and he helped me get some shopping done. Seriously owe him a ton for being so kind to me my first few days here. ありがとうございました！！
One of the best things you can do in a new city is to just wander and get lost. I have found that it's how I often find the best little nicks and crevices that lead me down some gorgeous little narrow streets. Sure, check out all of the most popular spots as well, don't get me wrong. But there is something super charming about the unknown areas. Which in addition to finding some really awesome new digs, you are sure to photograph some places people may have never done so before.
It's also how I happened to stumble upon my now regular Izakaya joint where they know me by name, hook me up with delicious meals all the time, and where I also get to practice Japanese ever so comfortably. These guys treat me so well, I am beyond thrilled to have found that little joint and I would have never had I not been adventurous enough to just get lost and mindlessly walk into the pub, just willing to try something completely new. There is something completely humbling about not knowing anything about a restaurant or even the country itself. You meet a lot of great people, see a ton of unique places, and just get to experience things you otherwise wouldn't if you were always so reserved.
All in all, my trip here has been nothing less than my one and only dream come true. I have met some incredibly kind people, both Japanese and even others who are here trying to find their way or also studying Japanese. It has only been a week and I can already tell you that my heart is beginning to heal all thanks to this beautiful city plus the experience that I am enduring while living here. It's funny to think that just a week and a half ago, I was still consumed by the stress and pain of betrayal. But, as my wonderful friend said, "You just had to travel to the future to heal and forget". And while chances are I won't forget a damn thing since this has probably taught me the most valuable life lesson I have ever learned, I have definitely begun the healing process and I am looking forward to the next two months of full recovery. In summary, don't let anyone tell you that you shouldn't do something because chances are if they do tell you not to, it's for their own selfish reasons.
People should want to see you grow and should support you in anything that brings you happiness. And, if they can't love you when you are trying to grow or better yourself, then they don't deserve you when you finally get there. There is definitely a silver lining to heartache, betrayal, cheaters, liars, etc. My metaphor has always been this and is more relevant to me now than ever: when you have trash, you throw it out and let the garbage man come pick it up to take it away. You never think to yourself, "man, I should really keep this bag of trash around or dig through it again". So, there, let that garbage go. Otherwise, that shit will rot and stink up your whole house (life) as long as you allow it to until you finally have the guts to let it go.
If anyone is going through a similar issue and needs someone to talk about it, you can hit me up. I've done my fair share of mourning, crying, and beating myself about it already but, I am in a better place now so I am happy to help anyone who is in need of some healing themselves. The most important thing to do when shit like this happens is to stay positive, keep yourself busy, and surround yourself with people who love you. Life is too short like my awesome boss always says. Keep your head up. Things will and always do get better.
I'll try to post as often as I can but, with school and work currently kicking my ass, I have hardly even had time to shoot photos to be quite honest. I am definitely still getting adjusted and having to study all the time does take a lot out of me and my brain. I love keeping you guys as up to date as possible with what's going on and I really am trying my best to do so. I hope you guys enjoyed the flicks and sorry for the long, emotional, and drawn out text but I just needed to get that ish off of my chest.
Until next time... またね〜！(see you~!)