365 Photo Prompt: April 28 2017

Sidewalk:He wasn’t sure how he’d ended up there. 

He just knew as he rolled over that this was not a view he was used to. 

He was on his back on the ground in the middle of the street. 

Wtf. 

Even the colours seemed different and there was a definite blurring of the edges. 

He was drunk. 

Of that, there was no doubt. 

He missed her. He missed her terribly. 
But since when have you ever resorted to drinking? a little voice in his head piped up. You don’t ever drink. 

No, but I also haven’t ever been this in love and fucked it up so badly, he said in his defence. 

His head hurt. 

Suddenly he felt a presence looming over him. 

“What the fuck are YOU doing here? And more to the point, what the fuck are you doing on the ground?”

Shit, he suddenly realised where he was; on the sidewalk outside of her apartment. 

What the fuck WAS he doing there? 

365 Photo Prompt: April 27 2017

Children: I never wanted children.

People said I would change my mind and for literally a heartbeat in time I did. And only because I fell for him. Then he’d treated me like shit and I had closed up. The moment was gone and I knew then that it was never coming back. 

To be honest, I didn’t trust him. Or not enough anyway. He already had a family and he’d failed at that. I didn’t want to be a halfhearted attempt at another and I also didn’t want to be left like the last woman. He had his story and he was sticking to it but I didn’t quite know whether I believed that either. 

I smiled at the thought of all my students now. They were like my own kids. I saw them for nearly 8 hours a day and I was hugged, kissed, climbed on, sat on, sneezed and coughed on as if they were my own. It didn’t bother me at all. They were kids; they were just being themselves. 

It was nice to be around such brutal honesty for once in my life. I felt like I’d finally met my tribe. 

And they were 30 years my junior.

Just the Way You Are

As a follow-up from my forgiveness post this morning, I wanted to write one about being true to who you are and learning to accept yourself fully. And yes, sometimes that means not being so hard on yourself and learning to forgive yourself.

Here’s what I have learned:

 

Last year I was a happy, free, totally true-to-myself kind of woman. Yes, the type I’d always admired and finally realised I had become.

Then something changed.

I met someone who in the beginning appeared to like me for me, but gradually wore away at my true and very real self and almost made me forget who I was.

I became someone who tried desperately to gain the smallest piece of acceptance from someone who didn’t respect me despite what he said. Remember, actions speak louder than words.

I became someone who bit-by-bit changed herself in order to keep the peace.

What I learned from that made me who I am today: more real, more secure, more confident and abso-fucking-lutely, never going to do that again for another human being.

In fact, if you have to do that for anyone, you’re hanging with the wrong crowd! 🙂

So, this is my advice which for once in my life, is advice I know I am absolutely qualified to give.

DO NOT CHANGE FOR ANYBODY.

That’s it. Plain and simple. But no, not as simple as that, so I’ll break it down a bit for you.

The reason people are attracted to you in the first place is because of who you are. Yes, the messy, emotional, authentic self with crazy hair, bursts of passion and wild ideas.

Stay true to who you are. I’m not saying that you can’t evolve as a person; that is essential for personal growth, but do not compromise on your values or who you are as a person for anyone else’s comfort, happiness or peace of mind. That says something about THEIR insecurities, issues etc., and nothing about yours. If someone wants you to change or even worse, is sneaky about it and tries to make you feel guilty, ashamed or blames you for who, what or how you are, the only thing you need to change is their relationship status to you.

GET OUT.

They are not your friend or your boyfriend or girlfriend. They are trying to satisfy their own wants, desires, needs and insecurities by making you feel worthless.

In fact, if you get down to it, they are insanely jealous that you are as comfortable in your own skin and they want desperately to be the same.

You don’t need anybody’s permission to be who you are. If you are happy with yourself, that is enough. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

And maybe even most importantly of all: never ever apologise for who you are. If you have to apologise, that’s a huge red flag warning you to keep your distance from that person. If you feel sad or angry or ashamed around that person by being yourself and feel you need to change, again, ditch the person, not yourself. There is nothing to be ashamed of for being you.

If everything fails and you end up falling for their bullshit which sometimes we all do, don’t blame yourself over and over and keep beating yourself up about it. You might feel disgusted with yourself because you told yourself this would never happen. Sometimes though, it does. Big deal. Forgive yourself, file the lesson you learned and move on. Once you’ve learned this lesson, I guarantee the person will leave your life forever. You don’t want or need them anymore. You have yourself and THAT, is absolutely enough.

As Bruno Mars once sang, you are perfect, “Just the Way You Are.”

Forgiveness: for others or ourselves?

People always say that you should forgive others, even when they do unspeakable things;  Ghandi, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela; three men who rose above their haters and those who wronged them and moved on.

I used to think that forgiveness was best too. It meant that you could let go of the anger and hate you felt towards the person and stop it from consuming you from the inside. In other words, it was for your own benefit, not the benefit of the other person.

That, I believe still holds true, but to be honest, I don’t believe anymore that everyone deserves forgiveness.

If someone is genuinely sorry, I will forgive them and as I’m not one to hold grudges, I won’t ever bring it up again. It’s gone, finished. You can only say sorry once; there’s no need to keep saying it if you are speaking from the heart.

But… if someone is just saying sorry to avoid conflict and stop me from not liking them, absolutely not. That says more about them than me. It says that they don’t want my disapproval and that they’re a selfish prick. If a person isn’t really sorry either or still doesn’t believe they did anything wrong, in my eyes, they also don’t deserve forgiveness.

From all the lessons I’ve learned in my life, the biggest one I’ve learned to date (finally, thank fuck!) is that sometimes you just need to realise and accept that some people are arseholes, they will never change their disgusting behaviour and no matter how much love you show them, they will always be this way. This also means that you don’t have to forgive them, you should not make excuses for their actions and they don’t deserve to be part of your life in ANY WAY.

Yes, you need to be strong and walk away. Some people are just toxic and there is nothing wrong with cutting someone out of your life for your own good and your own mental, emotional, spiritual and even physical health.

It was a hard lesson to learn and one that kept being repeated over and over and over. Hence why this quote is so important and why I want to leave you with it:

FullSizeRender

And finally, the most important person you will ever have to forgive is yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself for not recognising that someone was not the person you first thought they were. Lessons are hard to learn sometimes and being able to see the bad in people when you are someone who inherently tries to find the good, is one of those. People come in all sorts of disguises.

 

 

I’m allergic to spring… or perhaps people

I hate this time of year.

Sure, it’s spring and the weather is warmer, the cherry blossoms are blooming, school and new jobs are starting and apparently, it’s time for new beginnings and love, but…

Hiroshima people are going to hate me for this, but it’s also when the baseball season starts.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like baseball and I am a Carp fan, but I don’t for one minute enjoy the congestion that Game Days bring.

In fact, I try to time my comings-and-goings with when local games are scheduled. I will do anything to avoid Hiroshima Station or trains (and public transport in general) when they’re on.

If I haven’t checked and suddenly I spot a sea of red shirts marching towards me, I do find myself groaning out loud, blurting out an expletive or two and messaging friends who regularly use trains to warn them of the impending situation. And no, I’m not an exception. I have found fellow haters of these events; it’s just that they aren’t so brave and vocal about voicing their opinion as me. Probably for fear of death threats.

Today for example, I missed a train because it was A. Carp Game Day, B. Too full and C. Too full because it was the Carp Train. Yes, the big red one covered in photos of the players. Oh and D. Carp versus Giants.

“Fuck!” I’d said out loud. I debated whether I should have just walked the whole way to Soleil but with the cold that I have, I decided that wouldn’t have been be the wisest decision.

Carp Games and baseball season aside, this time of the year also means the annual Flower Festival.

I love flowers, but to be honest, I’ve never been to that part of the festival. I go for the food and only if I’m with someone else who has managed to drag me there kicking and screaming.

I detest the crowds. Actually no, I detest the influx of visitors who take over our city. This I know is not just me either because I’ve heard others complaining about it. In fact, I’m sure a large majority of the crowd aren’t locals because many locals I know avoid the whole event like the plague.

I used to hate winter in Hiroshima and longed for the warmer months. Now I’m the opposite. I yearn for the time of year when things start to cool down again and by this, I mean literally and figuratively. I breathe a sigh of relief when low season comes and the tourists disappear to warmer parts of the world. I am already looking forward to winter when Hiroshima becomes quiet again.

Until then I think I might hide out in my apartment; or perhaps my neighbourhood; Yokogawa has a lot to love about it. I’ve noticed now that I’m even avoiding downtown at this time of year.

If you notice me missing, please message or email me or even better, stop by to make sure I’m alive. I need social interaction, but with people who are familiar and comforting and… local.

Did I mention I hate this time of year?