I absolutely love living in Japan.
I often find myself saying “X is so much better in Japan”. Anything from mayonnaise to the weather to architecture seems to just be far superior than in America. But lately I’m really thinking about whether or not these things actually are better or not. What is it about these minute components in everyday life that seem so much better in this enigmatic country? Sure, they could actually be of a higher quality, especially since Japanese society is well known for taking pride in their work no matter how unimportant one’s task may seem. But I think the answer to why I am enjoying these arguably arbitrary details is a much more obvious one:
I am happy. I am happier than I have ever been in my life. I am happier than I can ever imagine myself being if I lived in America. And when you’ve attained a level of happiness that I have, everything becomes more vivid, exciting, and worthy of appreciation. Since I have such a fantastic life here it means that everything included in it, whether its the smell of the pavement after rain, a strong sun on a cold day, or yes, even mayonnaise, really is much better in Japan.
23 is undoubtedly the strangest age I have ever been. It’s an age where I am constantly questioning, “What template of 20-something life should I be following?" When I ask myself this I don’t mean Im looking for a certain trend to follow or a new way to reinvent my life. Overall, I have a fantastic life and I live a surreally beautiful and interesting country. Really I’m just conflicted with how I should conduct my life in one of two ways:
The first way is of course be a free-spirited, or at the very least mildly irresponsible person like many other people my age are. Sure, their bank statements might be low, but I take that as a symbol of socialization, memorable experiences and a carefree mentality that things will work out in the future. There is plenty of time to find a job, get your shit together, and do what needs to be done to survive. But the spontaneity of being young is a transient and valuable commodity. “Fuck it! I need to go to see Outkast’s reunion show. I don’t give a fuck if I need to eat only beans out of a can for a month I have to be there!!!" I think I’ve lost this mentality and my 17 year old self would be pissed at me for it. I think back to the times where I was working or preoccupied with something I thought I should be doing as a preparation for my future and as a result I missed out on memorable times with the people I care about. I have nothing to show for whatever was taking up my time then, but I would’ve had something to remember had I been with my friends, regardless of it being a good or bad memory. Out of all the people I work with I am the youngest, and I can’t help but feel like Im doing something partially wrong by being 23 and turning into a workaholic already.
But on the other hand, there are so many people that are my age that aren’t doing a damn thing with their lives. I busted my ass in college and now I live abroad doing something I’ve always dreamed I would. I’m making and saving more money than I ever have before and its a gratifying and rewarding feeling. The angel on my shoulder is telling me to keep my feet moving in the direction I’m going and it will pay off in the future. There’s no way to tell when I’ll need to drop serious money on an emergency, and in the event I had to I’d be proud of myself of all the times I didn’t spend a $100 for a ticket to a music festival or a quad or some stupid shit that I don’t need. But what if I never need to? What if I work and I save and all my frugality yields no reward? What would be my next step; to have a mental breakdown at 38, buy a corvette in order to compensate for the youth I disregarded so I could save money that I’d never spend?
It’s empowering to be where I’m at in my life, but I can’t help but think the negative tradeoff is I’m missing out on all the things people my age should be doing. Maybe its because I’m isolated from the culture I am used to and only receive bursts of information of what my friends are doing or where they’re going. I’ve been thinking about this a lot because I have the potential to take either choice and live my life in that manner. Either way, I just want to conduct my life in a way that will bring in the most happiness and positivity that it possibly can.
If you are ever questioning your self worth or searching for any sort of purpose for yourself, just think about one staggering fact. You are the center of the observable universe. Not Earth. You. Think about the weight of those words and the truth that they hold. There is nothing that anyone can say in opposition when you rightfully claim that you are the focal point from which the endless beauty of space and nature can be beheld.
Go ahead and try to just paste that all into google translate and see what comes out. Just learn a new language you dummies don’t cheat.
—(Fork And Knife)
The best Brand New song in my opinion. Although BN’s instrumentals are best suited for Autumn, the dejected lyrics are more akin to the Winter: bereft of happiness and desperate for resolution