Koshigaya Laketown (越谷レイクタウン). A humongous shopping mall and outlet located in Saitama prefecture (next to Tokyo), the most spacious I've ever seen in Japan. It's so big, even the train station there is named after the mall. The place is jam-packed with clothing stores, food courts, supermarkets, a pet store, a movie theater... anything you could possibly need. Although I've seen plenty of department stores in Tokyo, endlessly stretching malls like these are still a rarity to me. It reminds me of the Great Mall in Milpitas that I used to visit back in California, except larger.
I first experienced Koshigaya Laketown a few years back, when my friends took me there.
Since then, I've gone back a few more times to fully explore it from corner to corner.
It's still cold in Tokyo, but I'm beginning to get excited since the air shows signs of warming up. It feels as though it's been a long, long winter. I've been braving the cold and winds on weekends to do photoshoots, but I'm sure it will be so much more comfortable to shoot once spring finally rolls around.
Sometimes, I find myself breathless with the sense of time flying and flying, only wishing I could ask it to please stop for a while. Like mornings before work, the soft light filtering in through the curtains, warm blankets wrapped around me. Just wishing the clock would freeze for a moment, and if I close my eyes, a minute can sometimes feel like an hour.
Do you ever regret, wonder why things aren't turning out the way you want, and dig a hole of unhappiness and burrow your way in until everything turns gray? It could be at a particularly bad point in your life. It could be something that seems to stretch on and on for ages, and you feel powerless to change it. You could feel so out of place, a fish out of water, a dandelion under the lawn mower on a perfectly manicured lawn.
If you're feeling this way right now, let me tell you.
It's not wrong to feel this way, to be who you are. Feeling sorrow, pain, frustration... all of that makes us human. But time... time is so precious, too precious to waste away seconds of it buried in unhappiness, if you can do anything about it. Because honestly, you can.
You are the one in charge of your own feelings.
You can always change how you look at a situation or how you deal with something, and make things better for yourself.
I've always been quite a sensitive person, and I used to have a not-so-good temper. If someone said something that made me feel offended or hurt, I would instantly take it extremely personally and withdraw into myself, boiling with anger on the inside. It would take me a while to come back to normal, after which I would be pretty exhausted from all the inner raging and dark thoughts. Not to mention all the time wasted during which I could have done any number of things: watch a movie, work on photography or music, go explore somewhere new, and (most importantly, of course) eat some delicious food.
But these days, I think I'm growing up a little. When I start to get angry or frustrated about something or someone, I try to pause and take a step back. Ask myself what's *really* the problem and why I'm feeling this badly. Try to imagine what would happen if I go on spiraling down into my hole of self-despair, and if I would really like to do that. Then I take a deep breath, and tell myself to relax.
Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. But what's good is that I'm now more aware of myself, and I'm trying to be in control of what I feel. Because who doesn't want to feel happy? And if you want to, why the heck shouldn't you be allowed to? It's only when your dark and angry feelings start running away with you like a wild horse, that you lose the capacity to feel positive things.
I do love laughing and chatting with people close to me, but in general I guess I'm more of a serious person, and always tended to take things too seriously. But my realization about how fast time passes by has definitely helped with that. I just don't have forever to sit around harrumphing and scowling when I feel like someone has done me wrong. Even if they did, I have plenty of other things I can do and try. So many ways to live and be alive. I can't help getting in a bad mood or feeling angry sometimes, but I hope it will be less and less, as I learn to exhale and offer a smile instead of battling frown with deeper frown.
I saw this poster while riding the train the other day. I can't remember the exact words, but it went something like this:
"Even if you live until 80, there are 29,200 days in your lifetime.
How do you want to spend your next ones?"
Those words really hit home with me. I mean, wow. If you put it like that, there are so freakin few days left. Even 29,200 days sounds like nothing. To some, I expect it may sound too long. But for me, it's just not enough... there is so much I want to do.
So to make the days that I have not amount to nothing, I'm doing my best.
To learn. Laugh. Love. Live.
Let's fill this world with color, spread the sounds of music, continue growing and learning. Even if you feel at a dead end, there must always be a way. Fall down and cry, but stand up and forgive again. Love again. Dream big, huge even. But also, don't forget to give thanks for what you have now.
Thank you. Thank you for everything.
Thank you so much for reading this entry.
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