A cultural awakening

Last night a friend invited me to a dance concert held at a local exhibition hall. It was a showcase of the best dancers from various studios around Hiroshima. As I sat and watched over the course of nearly three hours, I found myself suddenly completely comfortable in my own skin.

These dancers, particularly the instructors, were being real; they were being their authentic selves. There was no pretense or fake identity; they were themselves. I admired their hairstyles, their choice of clothing, the expression and most importantly, the passion they showed throughout the entire concert.

Here are people who despite the rules and regulations of Japanese society, have chosen to be who they want to be, not who somebody else tells them they should be. I’m sure at some point, just like me, they have questioned what they are doing and whether it wouldn’t just be easier to be like the rest of the world. But ultimately, they know that this would stifle their creative spirit and their soul. Being comfortable is easy, but it’s not truly living.

Fitting into society and society’s expectations of you is something I’ve always found boring. Watching these artists, I realised that I value my freedom and freedom of expression, more than anything else in this world. I value being able to choose to be myself without the fear of rejection or simply being scared. I value the fact that at any time, I can walk away from a situation because it doesn’t align with my beliefs. Many people don’t have the luxury to do that or perhaps they do, but they choose not to for a number of reasons.

I have always identified more with the misfits of society; the people who don’t do regular jobs, the people who have chosen to step away from everyone else, to be quirky, or weird, or whatever other terms are used to describe creative people.

I’ve discovered in the past two years, but particularly, the last year, that I am not and will not ever be satisfied to do something that makes things easier for everyone else, but not myself. Balance is necessary and this balance comes from weighing up both your own feelings and those of others. This is in stark contrast to Japanese society where group harmony is number one and your own feelings are secondary. I’m not Japanese and I will never be Japanese.

I wonder if the long-term residents here really enjoy the life they are leading or whether it’s simply because they have become stuck in what is easy or comfortable to do. I’ve tried to do this and I can’t do it anymore. I love my friends, I love my lifestyle here, but can I keep doing the same work, always having to pretend that I enjoy it when I don’t?

The answer is no.

I am choosing to be myself and I will not be labelled or categorized according to what somebody else thinks I should be.

I am me and that’s okay. It’s nice to realize you finally accept who you are.

As for other people… I don’t care if you like me or not. I’m not going to be a people pleaser anymore. And I certainly don’t give a fuck if that’s to your liking or not. Accept me as I am, there’s no other alternative.

A Month of Healing

A while back I wrote about my Holiday of Healing in Taiwan. It seems that this continued into the month of August in the form of motivational/inspirational quotes.

I started the month with the idea of a project/goal where I would post one quote each day that inspired me to be a better version of myself. I wouldn’t know exactly what I was going to post until the morning, so even though I found many quotes I liked each day, I felt that I needed to post what was fresh in my mind at the time, as it would be the most appropriate.

This morning I woke up early, groped for my phone to see what time it was and then decided since I still had 40 minutes or so before my alarm went off, why not use the time to find my quote of the day.

It seems it was more difficult than usual. Now normally I would say that was an issue. Something HAD to be wrong. I couldn’t possibly have exhausted all the things in my mind (and indeed life!) that I needed help with. Suddenly a lightbulb came on! Maybe this past month of posting quotes was what I needed to make me realize that I have all the knowledge to heal myself inside of me already, I just needed a little reminder. In “The Alchemist,” Paul Coelho wrote, “You already know all you need to know. Wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.” It seems I finally learned that lesson. And listened to my heart. 🙂

It was time to search for a writing quote. What I found was something that not only spoke to my heart, it wasn’t necessarily about writing. It seems serendipity is all around.

The quote I found sums up perfectly my attitude and my vision of what it is I need to do next. I’ve been procrastinating for years and making excuses that it was too hard, not practical and that it would never work. All negative attitudes that don’t have a place in my life anymore.

It seems that my project/goal for the month worked. Mission accomplished, goal achieved! Next goal please!

Oh and the quote in question…

“It is a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.”

 

 

 

Are you man enough?

People often ask me why I’m single.

“You’re too picky!”, they tell me.

No I’m not picky. I just know my worth and I also know how strong-minded I am. I’m yet to find someone who is a match and THAT’S why I’m single.

Finding someone as equally strong-minded as me (i.e. stubborn), who knows what they want and who is secure enough in themselves is a very difficult task. I’m not saying I want a “macho man”, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth, but what I DO want is someone who has guts, determination and passion: for me, for life and for their work.

This article from Huffington Post got me thinking about what it is I REALLY want and so I scribbled down the following notes:

  • I like direct people who tell me how they’re feeling and who are prepared for me to do the same. If you want something from me or you want to know something, ask me. I am not into playing mind games.
  • I also demand respect as a human being. Every person deserves honesty and in a relationship, I expect commitment. I will not enter a relationship if I am not prepared to stay faithful to one person. I believe that if you want that, you should remain single. DO NOT FUCK me around.
  • I want someone who constantly strives to make themselves a better person and someone who gets to know themselves well enough to know who they truly are.
  • I want someone who likes intelligent conversation, but who also doesn’t take themselves too seriously and can make me laugh.
  • I want someone who isn’t intimidated by me and who has the courage (i.e. balls) to approach me in the first place.

And perhaps ultimately, I want someone who I consider to be my best friend who I just happen to love having sex with as well.

If you think my list is too much to ask, great, keep your opinion to yourself. I believe that unless you know what you want and you aim for that, you will always get second best. Don’t short change yourself, whether you are female OR male.

Perhaps my favorite thing about the Huffington Post article was that it wasn’t written by some feminist on a rant, it was written by a male who just happens to have the balls to fall in love with a strong woman. You go dude!