Well, it’s been three and a half years now and I’m still here. My mum reminded me of that the other day. She seemed surprised to think that I’ve remained in a place that has given me the best and worst times of my life so far.
Probably because I used to run away from a lot of things when I was scared or when I felt like I’d just had enough. I guess you taught me to stick it out, or not necessarily to put up with things, but to change them when they were no longer serving me.
Hiroshima, I’ve learned a lot from you.
First and foremost, you helped me to finally find my groove.
I learned exactly who I am and I also learned that I will never be the same person I used to be because of you and my experiences here.
I learned that there are ghosts of my own here, but that rather than let them haunt me, I need to lay them to rest, or at least, let them go and do their own thing separately from me. Just like you, Hiroshima, I need to find that peace that exists within the depths of my soul.
I realised the other day, Hiroshima, that you are like my hometown in Japan; you have served a purpose that I so desperately needed and I thank you eternally for that. You have been a home to me, a place where I feel 100% comfortable and yet, recently, I have finally admitted to myself that I don’t feel the same about you as I once did.
I’m not saying I don’t love you anymore, I do, but it’s changed. I’ve changed. I feel that rather than growing, I’ve become stale and flat and lifeless. I can challenge myself here, but I want and need bigger opportunities and more stimulation than I know I will ever find here.
I didn’t want to admit that to myself because it meant I would have to leave you, Hiroshima; I used to feel the same way about my hometown in Australia. It meant starting over and going on new adventures and finding new people and new situations to learn from. Yet, if I had stayed where I was, I would never have met you, Hiroshima.
As much as I love you, I love me more and that means letting go. I cannot be with you forever because I know with all my heart that you are not who I am supposed to be with. You were for a time, but you’re not anymore and I will never meet who I am supposed to if I stay with you.
I’m crying here, Hiroshima, because it hurts. It hurts to admit that I was wrong and it hurts to know that even though I once loved you, I don’t feel the same way now.
My memories of you are good and bad and you’ve definitely given me some scars I will live with forever. Just like you, Hiroshima, I now wear them proudly because it shows I survived. I want to think that rather than letting them define me, I define them. Hiroshima, you have chosen to see your history as a marker of events that changed your life; you have turned them into something positive.
I am going to do the same.
Thank you, Hiroshima.