17 Jan Tokyo Heartbeat
TOKYO. I feel its heart beat. Three years ago, coming to this city was the first major step in following my dreams to travel the world and live a story worth telling.
My heart brought me here then, and it’s guided me here now. Japan’s my home, and that’s still surreal.
That initial trip was the beginning of it all.
It enlivened my spirit and awakened my soul to a new possibility, and since then, I’ve been unable to stomach the thought of a life bereft of going for something meaningful. It doesn’t have to be travel; it doesn’t even have to be something crazy.
But I believe we know if we’re giving ourselves a serious shot at what speaks to us in words unwritten, unspoken, unseen, only felt.
It’s scary. But we have to try.
My best friends left after a nearly month long visit. I’m torn between the sadness of seeing them go and the excitement of beginning the next season here, for there’s a beautiful future in store. I’m back in Osaka to begin the next chapter.
There’s a give and take, often a sacrifice, which comes from making a significant life change. But I believe it deeply that you must pursue whatever calls you. Regret is often what hurts the most.
Coming to Tokyo for the final leg of my friend’s visit brought back the feelings I had on that first trip: sheer amazement at the energy, the lights, the pockets of electricity and those of serenity; the flow, style and the burning blue fire that is Tokyo.
It can feel like another planet, and in those moments, gazing upon distant twinkling city lights or the beauty of the finest detail — such as the color of a flower in the deepest recesses of the labyrinthian city, where you might imagine life would be forgotten, yet is anything but — it’s hard to feel anything other than how incomprehensible this planet is in depth and wonder.
Yet there were also times when life would feel normal. For a moment, I lost sight of how improbable being here and calling Japan my home, once was. That’s okay, too. Obviously it will happen as life goes on.
It’s a act of will to retain our sense of everyday wonder.
Yesterday before leaving, when wandering through the streets of Akihabara with my best friend in the rain, my mind brought up thoughts of the upcoming work this week, things I have to do. For that moment I started to think negative, dreary thoughts.
I’m still me, discovering who I am and what it means to be alive. I have my same worries and fears, but I’m facing them.
I hope that what I share can help you face yours too. In that moment, my best friend turned to me and said, I can’t believe we’re in Tokyo right now.
It had already been five days here. He’d been in Japan for a month. But the wonder hadn’t faded.
That’s why we’re best friends.
We weren’t caught in the neon lights, nor looking down on the jaw-dropping landscape of the city. We were sauntering down the back alleyways of a grey and unassuming neighborhood with our coats zipped up, staving off the rain and cold with clear plastic umbrellas.
And that’s when it hit us both.
We’re in Tokyo.
This was once an unimaginable dream.
Things happened on this trip with my friends that can only be fate — experiences which derived from boldness and, without a doubt, burned brightly in love.
I have to believe the stones on this path I’m walking are presenting themselves because, irrespective if I know exactly where they’ll lead, I’m following my heart.
It’s rarely an easy path, hardly straightforward. But it’s the only one worth following. My heart has brought me here, and it’s what’ll continue guiding me on this adventure.
I believe we must trust that innate feeling which tells us how to live a life that is truly ours.
And that can be the scariest thing of all, accepting that perhaps what’ll make us truly satisfied, happy even, will come from taking a chance on ourselves, trusting that what we feel is real and worthy, and that what we want might not be for everyone.
What we want will change as we move through life. That’s okay. That’s how I think it’s supposed to be.
Some things seldom change, like who we truly are. We deserve to live the life of our dreams. We deserve to fucking go.
I’ve felt this way many times before: the end of something meaningful, the start of something new.
Relationships, chapters, experiences, adventures.
We must have faith.
Faith that the best times are yet to come.
Faith that what has happened has happened for a reason.
Most of all, faith that if you adhere to those pangs of life within you — those that tell you to step left, speak up, say what you gotta say, stay or go — your heart will guide you in the right direction.
The destination may not be clear at the moment. It definitely isn’t always for me.
But I feel something deeply and that’s where I’m headed, towards the light, towards the love, towards the life of my dreams which speaks to me in words unwritten, unspoken, unseen, only felt.
I hope that you are too.