Would I really want that though?

Last year one of my ex-students asked me what I wanted for Christmas.

I told her a remote control so I had the ability to erase the last six months of my life.

Memories can be a fucking shit of a thing. Good ones become better, etched into your mind as things that are exaggerated as time goes on, and yet the bad ones, either become worse or you convince yourself that they weren’t as bad as they were.

That’s the trouble with memories. They exist, but only because we remember them.

If you think about that, it’s pretty amazing. We give something completely transparent and non-existent in a material sense, a solid, ‘body,’ as it were, to continue living.

But what if you could erase the bad memories and never have to think about them again?

That’s exactly what this article talks about. Using drugs you can completely alter your memories and thus, they will never have existed.

My first thought was: Great! I could get rid of that horrible experience or the series of events leading to it and essentially obliterate a person I used to know.

My second thought was: but if I erased all that, wouldn’t I also erase all the valuable lessons I learned as a result of those shitty, shitty experiences?

And finally, my third and final thought was: what happens if the drugs also change my other memories?

I’m starting to think I would rather have the bad memories which fade over time as I add new ones to my brain.

But maybe that’s just me.

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A little older, a little wiser and perhaps…

A little harsher.

Yes. I’ve evolved.

Like everything in life, people change and this year marks my third year straight here in Japan and in Hiroshima. I’ve learned a lot here, I’ve had a lot of great experiences but fuck man, I’ve also had some of the worst experiences of my life. I’ve cried many, many tears, but funnily enough (if I can use that term), all of that has involved men.

A friend saw me the other night and said, “Wow, your hair looks great and you look happy!”

He’s right. As I told him, I ditched all the shitty men in my life who I was letting hold me back and hence, being single and free is the best thing for me right now.

I’ve been reading a lot lately about how long it takes to really settle in and it seems that three years is the significant milestone. I can say that after deciding to go to Tokyo last weekend, I have finally found my groove.

My first two years I spent socialising and drinking and going out a lot. Sure, I did meet people, but out of all of them, I don’t keep in contact with anyone. The real friends I met were ones I met when I was sober and at English cafes or events.

I don’t have a problem with having a drink and it’s part of life in Japan, but I felt after reading that so many people class it as their hobby or meeting people who complain that they want to change their life and then they just go and get drunk, is not something I’m interested in.

When I lived in Tokyo I was very young, I was naive and I don’t feel I was ready for the city back then. I didn’t cope with stress very well and I ran back to Australia.

It took me eight years to get back to Japan and I have never ever regretted that decision.

In the past, I felt like I wasted a lot of time here but now I can see that it was just me sorting out my shit.

I have had many conversations with Western men here and they all agree with me: most of them come here to escape something and most of them never get their shit together.

One American man told me the other day that women are far stronger than men and I said yes, I agree. The women here are far more ambitious than the men (I’m including Western and Japanese women) and seem to be able to deal with the stuff that’s thrown at them.

I was seeing a guy here for a few weeks and although I like him, I love myself far, far more. I sat down the other night with him and told him I will never consider another man in my decisions about my life. Tokyo helped me to see that the ambitious Jade that’s been hiding in Hiroshima for three years has finally broken free and I’m not willing to sit and waste my time here or anywhere else anymore.

I kind of feel like an older, wiser and definitely harsher Jade. I feel like my motivation mojo is back.

And I do need a change of pace and place.

P.S. This is kind of unrelated, but I can’t be bothered writing another post about it because I don’t actually care… I’ve discovered that men think more than me and when they finally start talking about it, they don’t stop. Please stop. You go around and around in circles and you’re all talk and no action. Don’t complain about your life when you know you have the power to change it. Secondly, not everything is about you. Stop being so self-obsessed. My daily writing prompts are fiction, creative fiction and if you recognise yourself in one of those prompts, maybe it means you’re guilty and you need to take a hard look at yourself.

 

A lesson learned… And thank you 

Of all the lessons I’ve learned during my time in Japan, the one that tops the list is that having friends and people who love you and accept you makes life worthwhile. 

The support and encouragement I’ve had from my friends here has allowed me to to grow into the person I am today. Without them there are many things I would not have been able to do and I would’ve spent more of my time here crying instead of smiling. Although there have been tears, without my friends I would not have been able to overcome the problems I’ve had. 

I’ve also learned just how much each of us are struggling with money and financial hardship here. Yes, even in a first world country there are people who have problems with money and that I think is disgusting. 

I want to thank my friends who have taken me into their homes and fed me, have paid for my meals when we went out and have bought many beers when I’ve been upset and needed them. The beers I mean, not my friends, although I do need them too!

I want to thank my friends for reading my Japanese letters when I didn’t understand and telling me not to worry about it and just to throw them away. Again, the letters, not my friends! 

I want to thank my friends who have bought me presents that cost them so much money but more importantly, presents that they took the time to think about because they knew I would like them. 

I want to thank my friends who have sent messages or come to visit to check up on me when I was sick or when I was really upset about something. 

I want to thank my friends who have hugged me and stroked my hair, or patted my back and kissed my head and simply been there for me when I’ve cried. Many times they didn’t say anything and I didn’t need or want them to say anything; I just wanted them to be there for me… And they were. 

I want to thank the friends who despite how busy they were, put down whatever they were doing and took time for me. 

I want to thank the friends who made me laugh even when I felt like crying or who made me laugh when I was crying. 

I want to thank my friends for being there even when I yelled at them or got angry with them because I was upset or scared or knew what they were saying was true. 

I especially want to thank my Japanese friends for never judging me when I made stupid decisions whether I was drunk or sober. They never said I told you so and they never ever gave me advice because they know I wouldn’t listen anyway. 

To all my friends, Western or Japanese, thank you. You know who you are and I love you. 

Thank you for being the kindest, most caring loyal friends that I could ever have. You would do anything for me and I would also do anything for you. Don’t ever hesitate to ask when you need my help. You know I’m always there for you. 

Someone once told me they didn’t need friends and they asked me if I needed mine. I didn’t even have to think about that. Of course I need mine. Everybody needs friends and without them, life is meaningless.

本当にありがとう。

Angry Rant #1 2017 

Yay! It’s that time again!😝😜😋

I haven’t done an angry rant post for awhile so I guess this means I’m nearly back to normal. I mean I’m watching porn, I’m getting out and doing stuff with my friends again and I realised I dated a douche bag last year, but I digress… 

So what has gotten up my nose?

People who expect things in return.

I do good things because I want to. I am not someone who says or thinks, “Okay, now it’s your turn.” 

If you are one of those people who expects something back, then I feel very sorry for you. Perhaps you never give anything freely. There’s always an expectation on your part. 

After having ridiculously high expectations last year, let me tell you, ‘friend,’ you will be very disappointed in life.

I’m not saying don’t have goals or aims, I’m simply saying God, The Universe or whatever you call it, is taking note and will deliver.

On the other hand, sure I do get stomped on sometimes but I’m learning that unless you go at life with an open heart you’re fucked. You will only be doing things for yourself, never for anyone else. Although sometimes you do need to do things for yourself, there’s a difference between taking time out and being a selfish prick. 

The other type of person who really pisses me off is the type of person who likes to suck up to you in order to win your favour. 

In my case you will be in my favour by being respectful and being a nice person, not just to me but to everyone. I appreciate gestures that are heartfelt and genuine, I do not appreciate or want anything to do with something that has an ulterior motive. Be honest, don’t be a fucking arsehole. 

Rant over. 

Jack has her mojo back… or is it her groove?

Either way, let me just say that a certain very special someone in my life who I can now call a boyfriend has been the most positive thing to happen to me in a long, long time.

I can’t explain what he’s done to me and for me, but all I can say is that I have my motivation and lust for life back again as you can see from my Instagram photos.

This morning I went for my first 5 or 6 km run in over six years. Yep. And… it felt GREAT! I came home, had granola and soy milk with banana and now I’m drinking my coffee.

Yep, I have not only hung up my partying shoes (which I knew I would do eventually once it was out of my system), but I have my life back again. 🙂 It’s the most incredible feeling in the world.

Thank you. xxx ooo

A dedication and goodbye to my friend, Justin

This morning I set out for my walk, one earphone in, prepared to talk to my mum like I do every Saturday morning at that time.

She answered after a few rings, but her normal, upbeat voice wasn’t so happy. Something was wrong.

“Where are you?” she asked me. “Are you close to a seat? I have something to tell you and you might need to sit down. It’s a bit of a shock.”

My heart sank. Something had happened.

I sat down and waited for her to speak again.

Yesterday one of our family friends, a guy I’d grown up with, passed away. He just dropped dead. Yes, just like that. One minute he’d been walking and the next he was gone.

He was 39.

There were no warning signs; nothing at all to indicate that something was wrong. He died from a massive brain bleed.

Another family friend messaged my mum with one word: why?

I think we all wondered the same thing.

It certainly puts things in perspective. Last night I had a small fight with someone I care for very deeply over something that was trivial on my part. How much time do any of us have? Certainly not enough to waste it having stupid fights because we’re scared to say how we really feel and what we really want, even when we know the other person feels the same.

But this post is not about me. It’s about a friend I grew up with, ate chocolate with, drank coffee with, travelled with and laughed with. I remember his love for heavy rock music, his love for all things technical and his incredibly sweet tooth.

I think what makes it even sadder is that his dad passed away just five years ago in a similar situation. He was just one of the many men I was lucky enough to call, ‘Dad.’ Now two of the men I thought of as family, have gone.

I will miss Justin very much and I just wanted to take the time to share the memories I have of him. Today in celebration of his life I am going to drink coffee and eat something deliciously sweet and chocolatey. He would certainly approve.

Goodbye Justin.

Beauty is also all around us

I wrote of love the other day and how it can be found all around us, if we want to see it and if we want to create it.

Beauty is the same.

As I sit here tonight in my beautiful one room apartment in Japan, I realize just how lucky I am to have a life here, one that I’m creating each and every day, with friends around me who love me just as I am. That is beautiful.

Earlier I leant out the window, my arms resting on the sill, staring up at the sky as it changed color. I couldn’t resist snapping some photos and capturing that brief moment when the sun sets. The beauty is not only in the scene itself, but in the realization that every moment is beautiful. Every single moment in our lives will never be repeated and that is beautiful.

The spring weather today was glorious and as I sat and ate breakfast with my friend (or ‘my girl,’ as I refer to her), we couldn’t help but look at the blue, blue sky and smile. The sun was shining and like everyone around us, we took full advantage of it.

After that we spent hours just walking, sitting, talking and reveling in the beauty that is found on days like this. We know that here in Japan the seasons are very distinct and even though today we complained about winter and how cold it is, even it is still beautiful.

Beauty can be found in everything and anything. Beauty can be found in the most spectacular of things, or the most simple of things. Beauty can be found not only in things, but in people. People who love us, people we pass on the street each day and know by sight and people who are strangers or those we have yet to meet.

Everything is beautiful, if you just let it.