This year, I've had the privilege of meeting so many wonderful people and doing photography jobs for some fantastic clients. I think that's one of the best things about my work, meeting all these different people. Since childhood, I've been more on the shy, reserved side, but doing the work I love makes it easy for me to talk, connect, and just enjoy the experience of working alongside others, even people I've just met for the very first time. And even when our sessions aren't very long - an hour, a couple of hours - those moments are lasting to me. Not only in the photographs taken, but the thoughts discussed, the emotions and hopes captured in the sunlight of the afternoon, or the sparkling city lights of a Tokyo evening.
Not at all has been easy, of course, but working through the challenges and coming up with solutions becomes another invaluable experience. After all, as long as you don't let hardships beat you down into the ground, you grow stronger with them. And stronger. And stronger still. Little by little, mistake by mistake, stumbling and falling and clambering back up again.
I've made new goals in the latter half of this year, and I'm still struggling to achieve them. But struggling is good. It feels sweet and sometimes painful, but it is being alive. It is reaching out for excitement, energy, adventure. For something great. I hope to work harder than ever in 2015 and make those dreams come true.
Ever since I came to Japan and even before, having dreams has carried me forward. Sometimes I lapsed and broke and forgot what it meant to dream, to have passions. Sometimes I submitted. But always, I feel grateful to stumble blindly and grasp and climb my way back to that deep-rooted urge to create. The feeling has taken on many forms, has morphed and grown extensions, sometimes to unrecognizable or surprising shapes. Life itself is always a surprise. Just when I think I know how it will go, something wholly unexpectedly steps out and whacks me in the face again. Isn't it invigorating?
To you, reading this, thank you. Thank you, again and again, for coming along with me in this journey of mine, for reading these words and sharing my creative work with me. There's so much I want to do in this upcoming new year. The only limit is time (and possibly sleep). Let's all work toward our goals together, and make 2015 the best year so far for each of us.
Thank you for an unforgettable 2014!