Happy for a good reason

Today nothing happened. I went to work and I came back home. There is nothing much to say about today.

I woke up, dug in the garden, and went to work. I have an easy job, so I can not complain— except that I am slightly embarrassed about boss scolding me this afternoon. I ate my lunch around 4 PM and clocked out on the dot. Nothing special happened. I don’t think I changed anyones lives, and I will probably not remember this day to tell my grandchildren (Not that they would be particularly excited about the details of a sandwich I ate). But when I came back home, I was happy.

Not because I accomplished anything spectacular. Not because I finished work. Not because the sandwich I had at lunch was pretty darn good — But because I was so happy that I was alive.

It is a simple appreciation, but it is the most important one.

Generosity on the platform

When I was waiting for the train, I noticed a man from my neighborhood also on the platform. We made small talk and he offered to buy me a drink from the vending machine. It was such a kind gesture for the hot day. As I said “Thank You” and got on my train, I told myself that that is the kind of older person that I would like to be. Sharing what you have, and buying food and drinks just to make the other person’s day.

I sit down and he waved to me from the platform. As the train pulled out of the station, a man that I didn’t know handed me a little teddy bear and got off at the next stop. I don’t know if generosity is actually contagious, but it defiantly made me a little more giving.

The most unfortunate thing

I hear him whispering sweet things in my ear. He tells me that he loves me. On my face, I force a sad, sweet smile and make a tear fall from my right eye.

I told him that I wish I could love him. I told him that now was not the right time. I told him we would never complete each other — that he would be unhappy.

I will never forget the melancholy expression on his face, on his whole that broke my heart. I tried to spare his feelings the best I could, but I realized then that nothing would work. I understood in that moment that heartbreak is quite inevitable when passions are not requited. When two hearts do not meet, it is the most unfortunate thing indeed.

This is what the woman in the painting told me.

The devil on my shoulder

Do not read beyond this line 

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Why can’t you be good at everything now? If you don’t pick up piano again, you will regret it in the future. You have to find a balance. If you don’t take your time, it will turn out crap. Why do I see so many couples? Be patient with yourself. You have to build good habits. It has to seem natural. You have to think about others. How come the machine wouldn’t accept my number? Would life be easier if I could do everything already? I need more time. Time passes so quickly. Would I feel more motivated if I had a significant other? I need to get my car license too. Why are there so many couples? I’m just tired. They said that if I put ten thousand hours into something I would see a difference. I would feel better. Is it just my mood? Why did my days get cut at work? What do people think of me? I need to stretch more. I red to pick up my diary again. Gardening would make me feel better. I’m just not getting enough exercise. I need to contact my friend. Dishes in the sink aren’t done. What time is it? Great, I forgot to floss. Why can’t I control my curiosity?

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While taking a very late walk, the angel and devil on my shoulders were hard at work. I had so many conflicting thoughts. My mind was very tired. However, waking up this morning I find myself in a more positive state of mind, but the devil on my shoulder always seems to return. It is hardest when the one that puts you down the most is yourself. You fight back and say I can do it – when something whispers Can you really?

What brings me back down to earth is remembering that I am not the only one with these conflicting thoughts. I am sure many can relate to the feeling of your emotions swinging like a pendulum.You tell yourself that you need balance, yet you should enjoy the ride. I want to hear about what happened to so-and-so at work, but I have to control my curiosity for good karma and remember that it is none of my business.

Though my suffering is incomparable to those who have experienced so much pain and gave up tremendous things for the good of others, it is difficult to see past my own pettiness and live to benefit those around me.

The reason to why I put Do not read in the beginning of this post is simply that: I do not want people to know what I am thinking. It is easier for people to interact with the bubbly girl who agrees with everyone. I myself am not happy to admit to how I am truly feeling, but a weight gets lifted of of me when honesty becomes the best policy. I feel more like myself when I turn my ear away from the whispers coming from devil on my shoulder.

Who used my iPod?

I was on the train going to Kyoto this afternoon while thinking about my random businesses and jobs. My head was going on a long brain rant about money- thinking about how I could get more people interested and how we can pay our bills. I don’t enjoy thinking about it, but it always seeps into my thoughts.

With thinking about money, worry always seems to follow. I worried and wondered how I could make money or at least sustain myself while doing the things that I love. It is not an easy thing.

I came out of my trance and took my iPod out of my pocket and opened my notes. I am the only one who uses it, but the first thing that opened up was an entry that I had not written:

Always focus not on if it can bring money, but if it brings happiness.

I still don’t know who used my iTouch, but that was what I needed to read there on the train.

Poetry in junk drawers

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I don’t write poetry these days, but recently I dug through our junk drawers and found a lot of my old stuff.

“Backache”

Lie on the floor

Reach to the sky

Pray to heaven

To let you fly

 

Watch my back

Heal my pain

Trying to live

While staying sane

 

Stopping the morning

Endure the hurt

Hold on to your chest

Fell the heart burn

 

Flip the pages

Learn your new things

Hopscotch on words

Let your mind breath

 

Come to a block

Break right through

Because you don’t have

Anything better to do

I only have Indonesian coins and bears

 

Do you worry often? I know that I have had my fair share of worry in the past. My imagination would go into a frenzy and I would become afraid of things I had conjured up in my head. I thought I had been controlling it better recently, but during my vacation earlier in August I realized that I still had aways to go. I stayed in the woods of Nagano with family, and this was the first year bears had come so close to the area. I would go to bed thinking of bears coming into the cabin, and me waking up with a bear in my face. It was not as fun because my irrational fears took over me the rest of the trip.

While I am not good at handling that kind of worry, I discovered today that I am fairly calm when it comes to non-life-threating situations.

Yesterday, I stayed in Nara with my piano teacher during Tsukimi, which is the time when the moon is fullest and brightest. I had a great time, and woke up in the morning fresh. It had been a while since I had stayed in my pajamas until one o’clock in the afternoon. I was not at my house, so unfortunately all of my electronics were on their last leg of battery time. I did not mind because I would be going back home in the afternoon to clean and my third-world problems would be solved.

After lunch, my teacher dropped me off at the station and I went happily on my way to buy a ticket. It was only few steps before I reached the ticket machine that I remembered that the day before I wiped my entire wallet clean. I was 20 yen short of buying the cheapest ticket to get on the train and had nothing left except a few useless pennies from Indonesia. It was the first time I did not have enough money to enter the station.

I told my self that I should be worried. Did I feel worried? No, not really. Despite my lack of concern, I was too embarrassed to ask a Japanese person for some spare change. The idea of it made me feel strange. Luckily, just as I was thinking about my options, a foreign couple walked up from behind me. Right then and there I asked them if I could borrow some coins. They were very kind and said that I didn’t need to reimburse them.

I bought my ticket, I got on the train. Bada Bing Bada Boom. Just one problem- I forgot I had bought the cheapest ticket. My original idea was to call my sister after I had gotten off of the station and beckon her to come to my rescue, but my phone was out of battery. Here I was, waiting for the train, and again thinking of my options.
Suddenly from behind me, I hear a Japanese voice asking me in English, “Where are you from?” Though the conversation started in English, we gradually switched to Japanese. Turned out, he was in the group with the same people who had helped me ten minutes earlier. I asked him if I could borrow his phone and I was able to call my sister. We were talking until I got off, and thanked him one last time.

Though this was not the most spectacular occurrence from this week, it was a simple experience that reminded me that it is not necessary to freak out about minuscule problems.

Worrying is just for the bears.