Never as Good as the First Time

Reverse culture shock has a way of making you forget about all the not so good things you experienced in the host country. The bright lights of Shinjuku shown all the way across the Pacific, and blinded me from the realities of my Life in Tokyo. I probably shouldn’t have expected it to be exactly the same; not even all Cinnabuns are created equal. I think the one big difference between my first journey to Japan and this one, is that I lost the sense of urgency to experience all that I could. Before, I only had seven months to explore an entire country. Each encounter was a love story. Friends became family. Just knowing that it would all be gone one day made each moment precious.

Now that this isn’t just an extended sojourn, but a return to home, my sense of urgency has diminished. The moments are still full of life, yet they are just like any other. I feel like I can have them again. So I passively let these experiences happen to me instead of creating my own value out of them. This is a surprising realization, because all of my favorite memories of Japan happened because I actively cultivated them. That feeling of urgency sparked the drive to act with my heart and intuition.

It makes me wonder: would my Life in Philadelphia be different if I lived with this sense of urgency there? Would I even have considered coming back to Tokyo? Over the past year, I kept thinking that all of the wonderful things that happened me in Japan were just coincidences. The results of being in the right place, with the right people, at the right time. Now I am seeing that I created all of these coincidences. It’s an empowering feeling.

We were all born to create. From the moment we opened our eyes sometime after we left the womb, we literally started to create the world we saw. To this day we are still creating our external world. And none of us interprets it quite the same. From a physical standpoint: we have varying strengths in vision, some of us are cross-eyed, colorblind, others can’t see at all. From a mental perspective: our morals and values create our views of society as a whole. (Which may be why no one can fully agree in politics)

Although we never can absolutely determine what will happen to us in the future, taking an active role in the Life experience opens us up to a realm of favorable possibilities. Until next time: Stay Tuned.


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