The days of bright sunniness continued as we headed to San Francisco, one of my favorite cities.
Of course, the famous SF fog rolled in to greet us, along with an icily whipping wind. It was still wonderful to see the Golden Gate again, and take some photos at the Palace of Fine Arts nearby.
Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands.
Conservatory of Flowers at Golden Gate Park.
Being back in California made me think about the past, my present, and also the fast-coming future.
I've called the Bay Area my home from middle school through college, after which I immediately set off for Tokyo. When asked why I would fly halfway around the world, sometimes I find it hard to answer in a way that most people might understand.
After graduating from college, I could have taken the more commonly traveled routes.
But how can one explain in words, when the heart decides to go out and pursue a certain place,
a different kind of life?
As a 3rd year Cognitive Science major at UC Berkeley with only about half a year to go before graduation, the feeling I had was so strong, it was overwhelming.
I had plenty of uncertainties, worries, and heart-clenching nervousness.
But somehow, I knew deeply that this was the right way.
Tokyo and I have had an up-and-down relationship with each other-
times that have left me in frustration and tears, and times that I've never felt happier to be here.
But it is in this city that I have grown perhaps the most in my life - at first, the isolation in such a huge, teeming metropolis, then the many sparkling and colorful surprises hidden among it, and now the gradual finding of strength and peace in the core of who I am.
Let's not be afraid to set foot outside of our self-drawn boundaries and comfort zones - places we have always known, things we have always taken for granted and barely even notice anymore.
It's never easy to do something others may not fully understand, and even those you love and those who care sincerely about you may tell you not to do something, that what you are doing is wrong.
But no matter what they may say, the only person who truly *knows* you is yourself.
You always have the power to learn, change, make decisions, and grow.
Don't ever let others tell you that you can't.
Life is much too short to waste with regrets that we didn't try, that we didn't do.
Let's live every day knowing that we gave it our all
to celebrate and embrace this life in our own way.
(P.S. And yes... my hair keeps getting shorter! Maybe next I'll be bald...just kidding! :)