So after a fourteen hour plane ride, I arrived in Tokyo last night, the beginning of my semester abroad studying Buddhist traditions in Japan. On the plane, I was a major wreck. There was nothing I wanted more than to turn back, to be safe and snug back at home or in the purple bubble on campus. After working all summer, I had had exactly three days to get everything together for my trip and none of that time was spent preparing myself mentally for spending three months in a country where I understood about two words.
But I pictured myself being back at Williams, facing another long year of classes. It would be safe, sure, but how much would I really be growing as a person? How much would I really gain? I think that a lot of people spend their lives trying to get comfortable, trying to make enough money to live comfortably and finding the right people to live comfortably with. But honestly, life is about pursuing the scary stuff. How much life are you really experiencing if you aren’t a little bit scared?
This morning, I am traveling to Kyoto from Tokyo. At the airport, I ended up at three different check-in counters on three different floors before I found the right counter. And then, I almost got on the wrong bus, which would have taken me to the wrong plane. Whoops! But now I know my way around the Tokyo airport so wuddup.
I’m still scared out of my mind. But that’s how I know that this is a good thing. And trip could still end badly, I could have a terrible experience. Obviously I’m trying to stay optimistic, but either way, I refuse to regret taking this opportunity. I’m only looking forward from now on.
And to quote my favorite singer, life’s for the living, so live it, or you’re better off dead.