Ironically, the tragedy that shook Japan so recently also brought positive aspects and changes in all of our lives. Suddenly I became much more aware of the core values that really matter at the end of the day, and I want to help in any small way I can- whether it's participating in fundraisers, giving out household items and blankets, or hosting some friends from Tokyo. In a really selfish way, this disaster reunited me with some close friends in Japan I had not seen in ages (such as Mike), strengthened existing friendships while creating new ones (Valerie, a fellow Montrealer who practically became my sister). It also brought me back to my Kagawa roots, and ended up being so soothing and surreal, in the most unexpected, delightful way.
Returning to reality is always harsh, even if this reality is as exciting as Osaka. Recently, I got caught up into a scary spiral that revolves around a work-eat-sleep routine, and I feel like I'm forgetting to enjoy this new Osaka life. I promised myself to work harder at building my Osaka world, and that includes being more outgoing and taking advantage of the area and opportunities that arise.
I doubled the effort on my Japanese studies... because language skills open up more doors. I spontaneously chopped my hair... because it's refreshing. I went to Kyoto on a Wednesday night... because I can. I adore Kyoto, and for a short train ride I can be in a magical world for a few hours, surrounded by kimonos and green tea sweets and tea houses... that's the beauty of living in Kansai.