Rough Road Ahead:
The other day I received an email from a friend which stated that I seem depressed, because of the tone of my latest blog. My first thought was “Am I depressed?” followed by, “It be like that sometimes,” then,”It’s okay if I’m a bit down, because these rainy days are just a bump in the road.” I ran through a whole justification in my head of my supposed or real depression, who knows? Euphoria, joy, sadness, darkness are all emotions on the same scale and none should be suppressed.
Coming back to Tokyo from Ubud was as hard as my friend Hanna and I had discussed it would be. We were living in what seemed like a fantasy in Ubud; we were well. We ate plateloads of organic vegetables and fruit everyday; we went to yoga two or three times a day where we were reaffirmed and led into silence; we met friends for meals where we spent hours talking about subjects we were all trying to understand– a lot of “Whys?” We were all seeking, and holes were being patched within us making us whole. Wouldn’t you be sad to leave too? Who leaves paradise? But, there were responsibilities that needed to be addressed.
When I entered high school, I was at least a year and a half younger than most of my classmates. I had been given such a hard time in junior school being about two years younger than my classmates, that I vowed to lie about my age in high school. It was easy to fool my peers, because though I had a young face and was quite immature, I was tall. In the ninth grade I was 5’5″ and by twelfth grade, I had reached 5’10”, so there was no reason to suspect my deception. Yet, the lie held me back.
When it was time to take drivers’ ed in eleventh grade, I couldn’t take the class with my friends, because I was fourteen and a half. Eventually, all my friends learned to drive, yet I had to feign disinterest. When I could legally learn in my senior year, I didn’t want to be the only senior in drivers ed, so as a result of pride, I didn’t take the class. I was being foolish, in hindsight, but you couldn’t tell me anything then. I went to college in D.C where it wasn’t necessary to drive, moved back to Long Island where it was necessary, but I didn’t learn and my brother allowed me to depend on him, moved to NYC, and the years went on. Then, I really did lose interest in something that I know is necessary. I still don’t know how to drive; that’s the story of how a small lie can build and lead down a ridiculous path.
You’re not supposed to turn back on a one-way road, right? Yet, I’m living in a shared house again, saving money for the future, imagining that this time saving in Tokyo will be different. Sharing a living space is okay, because I know it’s temporary. If I were to live here, in this fifth floor box for a prolonged period of time, all semblances of sanity would be lost. It’s amazing how my flatmates and I live in such a small space and keep our own private spaces. It’s surprisingly easier than I’d imagined. I continue to look for the silver linings: it’s great that I can walk to work; it’s convenient; it’s cheap.
My friend’s email touched on something, because I wasn’t depressed, but having depressing thoughts. I was filling myself with worry about things I can’t change right now, like aging, my relationship status, my bank account, and more than one “What should have beens.” Thankfully, it came to me that worrying needlessly needed to stop. I don’t have to entertain discouraging thoughts for longer than necessary. And, I don’t need to talk about them either, no matter who’s doing the asking.
“I proclaim to the universe, ‘ I love life. I love love. I appreciate where I am. I appreciate what I’ve been through. I appreciate knowing what I know. I appreciate being who I be. I appreciate the path that I’ve been on….I appreciate the fun I’m going to have. I appreciate the fun I’m having even now. I appreciate standing on the cusp of what is to come.”– Abraham Hicks
Yes, acceptance of the now is what’s important. The fact is that I’m on the metallic streets of Tokyo now, not on a tropical beach or overcast mountainside. It bothered me for a week, but it’s time to be grateful for the now, what I’ve been given, what’s yet to come.
The years go faster than I ever imagined they would. I went from lying and saying that I was two years older to never saying my age out loud at all. I just read in Bonjour, Happiness (a fun read) that French women never say their age– ever. (I knew I had an affinity for that country.) My friends now range from at least a decade younger to over a decade older, and there’s a connection with them all. An eighteen year old that I met recently said to me that she never wants to “get old.” Ha! We spoke about that for a little while, and I tried to impress upon her how quickly time goes. However, I’m aware that no one at eighteen can really understand that youth is fleeting. Before you know it, you’re the age that you thought was “old.” Before you know it, you’re your mother or father thinking how they did, turning off lights; saying what they did, “Oh, it’s time to get things done;” feeling how they did, “Don’t rush, it’ll be here before you know it;” loving how they did, for no reason at all; noticing hair gradually losing it’s pigment, and knowing this is it. This is really it, so slow down and enjoy it.
Hope you’re well; hope you understand that life has as many downs as ups, and a smile certainly isn’t always on my face; you don’t have to smile everyday either, but try to find something to smile about today. Go take a walk; go read a book; go sit in a room alone in silence for ten minutes; go watch a comedy; go kiss someone; go eat your favorite meal; go indulge in a piece of chocolate; go dance; go forgive someone; go forgive yourself; go ride your bicycle; go call your mother; go write in your journal; go feel good. (I’m going now.)