The dragon year is coming to a close. As I sit here midday in my apartment with my terrace view of inner city Naha, listening to the sounds of construction, to the vague roar of automobiles, the lunch time chimes at a local government office, and the tiniest sounds of a sanshin being used during a music lesson, I think about the life I've been creating for myself in Okinawa and how different it seems to be from the life I had expected when I first decided to move to Japan. How different indeed it seems from the life I was attempting to build for myself in NYC. Instead of lamenting that difference, I've come to just accept it and enjoy what it does offer to me. I've found less anxiety and less pressure to steer my life in some vague direction that I thought it should be going towards. The tyranny of success no longer dominates my thoughts constantly. Still, I know there is a pathway I'm walking. I have not sat down in the middle of it to have tea and contemplate eternity.
One of the biggest things I've been thinking about is what I'll do after I leave Okinawa. In thinking about this, I've decided that I need to take big, daring leaps. To push at the boundaries of my life that are held there by fear, by insecurity, by the need for comfort, the mundane, the ordinary. Instead, I want to push into and through these walls in discovery. I want to always see the beauty that is before me, rather than walking past it or dismissing it. I can't really make any suggestions for anyone else, but I do believe that everyone has their own perimeter of security. It is that imaginary wall or boundary we have created to keep us safe (in whatever areas of our life we feel especially insecure), but which also limits our experiences on this earth. Many of us dance around it, making claims that we'll do those things which we then dance like little bees around, while finding every reason not to actually do those things. Everyone has these little fears. We cover them up with the mundane, with avoidance techniques.
My biggest problem was always going halfway. In my life, I found that I could take leaps; that I wasn't afraid of the initial challenge, but I'd find myself going towards the goal with only half the nerve needed to attempt it. A lack of self-confidence, a lack of belief that I could actually achieve these things. Second guessing... I looked outward for acceptance, for guidance, for others to boost me, but often found only vague ramblings or nothing at all. I know now that one needs to have faith in oneself before anyone else will have faith in you. So it is with this knowledge that I am going to attempt to create an even more daring life than the life I've been living. I don't mean physically challenging (like I'm going to become a jet pilot or scale Mt. Everest or bungee jump off the Tokyo Tower), but I do think taking on the things one fears is a similar feat. Let's just say that I am going to take a blowtorch to the perimeter and burn my way through it. To get to that edge and live there. Every day. To metaphorically do what this man did:
Japan has been good to me. I am thankful for the experiences I've had here and I am looking forward to many more. If you're following this blog, I encourage you to also think about the perimeters around your life. Let's make some very positive changes in our lives in 2013. Let's live it freely and fully with no hesitation.