One of the offshot photos from my self portraits taken last month, when I first got my new tripod. My hair has really grown longer since then! Let's see how long it grows this time before I get impatient and cut it short again. Actually, I've always had long hair since I can remember, all the way until a few years ago. It just never really occurred to me to cut it super short.
Here's a photo of how long my hair was back in 2010, during my first spring spent in Japan:
So different, right?? And wow, so young.. haha. Gotta love those Tokyo cherry blossoms though :) I remember how amazed I was to see them for the first time, like endless snow, a sea of white stretching on and on along the riverside. That amazement still hasn't faded with every spring I spend here.
I came to Tokyo in September of 2009, so in a couple more months, it will be 5 full years that I've spent living here. I know I say this all the time, but... that period really has passed by in a flash. It's said that time seems to speed by faster and faster as you get older. It's a little bittersweet, and a little frightening, but at the same time I'm glad to be where I am. When I look back, I can recall how immature and inexperienced I was at so many things. I also had more extremes in temper, obsessed more over things that ended up not being useful to me, and wasn't as confident and motivated to go after exactly the things I want. No, that's not quite true.. I think a part of me was always pushing through and going after what I wanted without being too afraid. But the thing was, I guess I didn't know exactly how to get what I really wanted, and worse, I didn't even know what it was that I truly wanted. There's nothing wrong with that - it's what growing up is about. Young adulthood is filled with such trials and twisted roads and dead ends and doubling back - the wandering through emotions and feeling of being lost - it's better to have gone through it, if it meant coming out on the other side on a much brighter road. And I definitely have. Life is never perfect of course, but I feel so happy and grateful to be where I am now.
When I was in my third year of college at UC Berkeley, finishing off my requirements for my cognitive science major, deeply into my obsession with music and songwriting, hanging out with friends, falling in love and never saying anything about it, dreaming, dreaming of someday flying to Tokyo...
I couldn't have imagined that years later, it really would all turn out okay, that everything that happened really does have a meaning and comes together okay in the end. That all of it made me who I am. And that there is never a perfect magical solution, but that happiness really comes from within, a conscious decision to keep trying and trying and working hard and falling down and getting back up smiling again (even with gritted teeth sometimes). That life is about continuously growing, challenging yourself, and redefining your own happiness all the time.
Some of you have been there with me since the beginning of the journey, since I first started posting singing videos on Youtube and following me on my journey to Tokyo, following me through til I found my renewed passion for photography, for creative work. Who knows what the future might bring? I thank you for being there and for sharing the art, for the shared energy of enjoying it together. It gives life so much color, fills it with so much meaning. Thank you. I am grateful.