Over some lovely bread and a cup of coffee, a friend and I talked cameras. I was telling him about how I wanted to buy a decent camera to start taking good photos because my Itouch just wasn’t cutting it.
Even though this conversation happened last week, looking back I realized that I had fallen into the same rut that many people stumble into the, “I can’t do ABC now until I have a good-quality XYZ”. He quoted a man from Youtube saying, “The best camera is the one that you have on you”. I have heard alterations of this phrase before, but this time it got stuck in my head. I tried to apply it to other parts of my life and I found quite a few areas I should change. One of them being travel.
I have always encouraged people to travel in their area and that it can be just as interesting as taking a plane to a different country, but I was not walking my talk. I would make the more comfortable decision to go home and relax instead.
A few days later, I got the idea in my head to find the cranes that I see from my living room window. On my way home, I would always silently wonder what they were building or how long it would take to get to them. I decided to not leave those unanswered questions under the rug (no matter how mundane they might have seemed).
I took my bike and rode down the hill, and as I rode I reprimanded myself for this being the first time to explore in the four years I have lived here.
I am always around people, and this was the first time I had some alone time without family, friends, or internet. It was quite refreshing and I let my mind go off on some tangents. Some of the stray thoughts that I had were these:
For some reason, I don’t like to show my face in neighborhoods. I don’t like it when I pass people and they stare. It makes me feel self-conscious; like an outsider. I can’t do anything about it, but probably a feeling I should deal with in depth.
Answering the question as to why I don’t try to explore the area more: I think I know my neighborhood well therefore it is predictable and uninteresting. My brain believes that nothing too out of the ordinary can happen on my turf.
All I want is to have the time to do what I want to do. To travel, to spend time with friends and family. To make art. Is that too much to ask? It just might be when our ego gets in the way. It thinks it’s trying hard. It thinks its putting in long hours and emotional effort. But what it doesn’t know is the number of doors that were left unopened simply because the mind whispered to itself, “I did my part. I don’t have to try harder”.
With random thoughts floating through my head I managed to find the cranes. It was not a huge event in my life, and I probably will not remember this story to tell my grandchildren; but I did it. I found the cranes.
It is a strange feeling to have been born and raised in a country where people always assume you are from somewhere else. If someone asks me where I am from, my automatic answer is Japan. I was born here… I was raised here… how can I not be from here? No, where are you really from, is the usual response. I have never been upset, it just feels strange. When I visited America for the first time in seven years when I was fifteen, I had culture shock. America is my passport country, but it never felt like a home to me. I feel like a tourist in America, but I am viewed as the tourist in Japan. I have heard third-culture kids say that they do not have a from, and that they feel like they do not belong anywhere. Now for me, I feel like I belong everywhere. I am the one taking pictures and gathering up anecdotes and experiences. We don’t have to limit our homes to just one country, one city, one street no matter where we think we are from because we are all tourists in this world.
The feels…the feels. After watching an intense episode of the Justice League this picture in some strange, geeky way makes a little bit more sense to me.
Japanese T-Shirts and other products are infamous here for not making a whole lot of sense. What most people likely do is put whatever they want to say in Google Translate and think that’s good enough. Many things get lost in translation and you can end up with many raised eyebrows and cocked heads. I keep my eye out for ones that actually mean something. One of the recent ones that I’ve found is on this bag. Most of the students have no clue what they are wearing, and after I explained this one to the owner, he nodded in agreement.
It summed up what I had been thinking about that exact day. I had been talking with my sister and we discussed the usual worries and slightly irrational fears that comes with being young. The running theme throughout the talk was, “What should I doooooooooooo“?
We are caged in the idea that we have to know what we want to do. We have to have a plan. We have to have the right balance all the time. While I was traveling, however, the spontaneous moments were the times that changed my course for the better and great things happened when I least expected it. It is the social pressure around us that is pushing us to take the more conservative step instead of the leap of faith.
Mistakes go hand-in-hand when you are following your gut so you have to give yourself a little legroom when you make the not-so-right choices. There is no shame in admitting when you are wrong. We love to (and in a way, trained to) show the staged part of ourselves. We love the attention and the likes on our profile pictures, but perhaps the freedom comes when you embrace both the cringe-worthy and positive sides because that’s what makes us human. That’s what makes each of us beautiful and 100+ Facebook like-worthy in our own way.
The lights of the city, they came shining though to me
With sound of the train tracks floating to my window
It screams that it doesn’t want to leave.
When I want to focus, there is nothing I can do.
I’ve got my eyes fixed on the moon
Yet all of my mind is still on you
My sister and I spent most of our free day watching re-runs of The Justice League. We both are terrible at keeping up with TV shows but this one kept our attention for hours *shiver*. With all of the unnecessary bumming around it made me feel disappointed with myself. Instead of watching Hawk Girl beat up people with her mace. I could have been doing the homework that I have been neglecting. Instead of watching The Flash make sarcastic comments and run around in circles, I could have been exercising off the Indian Curry I ate for lunch. But noo… I did not do anything seemingly productive. From the outside it would look like I had taken a break from taking a break.
However, between the thoughts of regret and of my fluffy stomach, I smile a happy smile. Because even though I didn’t exert myself today, it was a day well spent because I was with my most favorite person: My twin sister.
For nostalgic feelings click here:
I have enjoyed baking since I was young. However, after I started working the hobby seemed to make its way out as new responsibilities came into my life. With a need for artistic outlet, baking found me again. With some inspiration that I got from the website I will plug on the bottom, I decided to try cake photography. I found it adorable and I also wanted to create cute images like the ones she had posted. You can check them out here:
After making a couple of images and talking with my sister, I realized that there were so many people doing food photography. I admired what they were doing, but I wanted to do something different. My sister suggested taking the photos outside. One thing led to the other and my first photo was taken at a train station in our area. I was sick as a dog but I didn’t want that to stop me. Since that first image, I took three other shots. One in a convenience store, one on the cable car tracks, and the most recent being in Kyoto with a good friend of mine. Each one comes with its own emotions and experiences.
The newest one in Kyoto was great fun for me and hopefully for the model as well (I didn’t realize I had made him hold a cake in one hand for a straight fifteen minutes). One thing that I was struck by was all of the positive feedback from the by-passers on the street. Everyone that walked by smiled and/or commented. It was great to give them something a bit unique to go home to and tell their families about. A cake is a very simple thing, but frosting it in the middle of a street in Kyoto made it all that more interesting.