I don’t know when it happened

I don’t know when in my life I somehow convinced myself that I wasn’t worth it. That I would never amount to anything. That I didn’t deserve anything. So I stopped trying, doing the things I loved, striving, being who I was. I guess it was fear of inevitable failure. I’m not exactly sure what led to this. I mean I have a vague idea, but it wasn’t one thing in particular. And anyway, it doesn’t really matter.

I’ve turned a corner recently. Actually it was a really long corner. Razor sharp edges. But somehow I made it. I began to realize that this life was mine to live and striving forĀ failure is inevitable. It is a rarity in life to be the best at something or to be perfect or to be the person that you want to be. But being able to experience and grow and change, that is living.

Life is shaped by those tiny glimmering moments, when a smile creeps up your lips unexpectedly. When you feel that little flutter in your gut and that warm glow in your chest. It’s the anticipation in your beating heart before you do something exciting or nerve-wracking. Life is sitting down with a cup of tea after a long day’s work and being proud that you went out and did it. Or spending the day in bed curled up in a blanket because its your life and fuck it.

I think I spent a lot of my life changing myself to be someone I thought I wanted to be. Trying to find a sense of belonging and self-worth. Maybe it was there all along. Because I’ve never been happier. I’m working hard, doing the things I love, and soaking up the moments.

I guess I’m writing now because I’m heading into a semester full of unknowns. Things that could go fantastically or horribly wrong. I’m taking a risk and doing something that tore me apart physically and mentally years ago. I’m afraid, but I hope that this time, I’ll be able to face everything gracefully, with my head held high, just there to enjoy the moments. But who knows…

Life’s meant to be scary

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.