It’s not my thing trying to get back, but this time let me tell you where I’m at. – The Jackson 5 (I Wanna Be Where You Are)
1) I recently re-joined the land of Facebook and received a message from a good friend that contained the question, “So when are you coming to this side of the world again?” The side of the world he was talking about is New York, and though New York was good to me at one time, and may be again one day, I have no current wish to see its bridges, skyline or subways. (Zero longing to step foot in the city of my birth). I’m going to tell you something shocking– at the moment, I have no yearnings to fly anywhere (especially somewhere I’ve already been). That admission is crazy, because there’s nothing I usually love more than getting on a plane, but all the travel plans in my head, require only an express train ticket, no exorbitant fares, and no security lines.
Can it be I stayed away too long? – The Jackson 5
In one of my favorite Jackson 5 songs of all time, ‘I Wanna Be Where You Are,” little MJ pines that he wants to be where his love is, anywhere that love is. I have another shocking admission, my love is here in Tokyo. My love is me. My current love is Tokyo. My love is getting on my bicycle on a sunny day and riding around the city, which leads me to number two.
2) A few days ago, I exchanged a round of emails with a friend who I’ve always known from a great distance (literally). When I told him that I choose not to make plans with anyone far in advance, he told me that I have a “selfish cancellation issue,” and that “the key is to put your friend, who you committed to, above your own feelings at any given time.” I’m as confused by that statement now as I was when I first read it. Why would I choose to put someone’s feelings over mine? (If anyone can sufficiently explain this to me, please send an email to my gmail account: firstname.lastname@example.org).
When I asked him, his response to me was that if I don’t compromise, and I interpret “compromise” to mean compromise on my peace of mind and wishes, then I’ll end up “pissing off friends, and losing them.” I think we misunderstood each other. There’s a thin line between compromise and self-sacrifice, and surely my friends should understand I like myself and my company as much, and oftentimes more than them. Doesn’t everybody?/Shouldn’t everybody? Another friend told me that I never compromise, which I disagree with, because I know that I have on past occasions. However, it’s probably true now. It’s most likely true.
3) Happiness is not a destination, it’s a journey. Happiness is not tomorrow, it is now. – Brahma Kumaris
My friend T has recently sent me a few emails about moving to Germany. She assures me that the pay is good, the living cheap, the apartments spacious, and her friendship will keep me warm in the wintertime. I’ve been to Berlin, and know it wouldn’t be too hard to have more than her friendship to keep me warm in the frigid temperatures, but to reiterate point number one, for the first time that I can remember, I want to be exactly where I am.
This evening, after getting out of work early, I was starving and decided to go to my favorite ramen shop in Ningyocho for a bowl of tonkatsu ramen. Upon my entrance, the chef and waitress greeted me with smiles, and the typical Japanese hellos one hears when entering any establishment. The waitress then pointed to what she thought I wanted, which of course, was what I was planning to order. I ate alone, content with my ramen, and the broth splattering on my peach skirt. When I left, the chef came out of the kitchen, and gave me the gift of a scarf in packaging. When he saw my confusion, he pointed to the scarf on his head, and bowed. At the moment, this is home.
I have all the love I need inside, and it’s enough love for me to stay.