Levels of life

I managed to finish the book Levels of Life by Julian Barnes while taking my lunch break before the second half of my test. I enjoyed it and I was able to get into it enough so I didn’t have to worry about the two test directors that showed up just for me(I was the only one that was taking the test). Some quotes from the book that I scribbled down:

Perhaps the world progresses not by maturing, but by being in a permeant state of adolescence, of thrilled discovery.

So why do we constantly aspire to love? Because love is the meeting point of truth and magic. 

He could hear himself living.

We were together for thirty years. I was thirty-two when we met, sixty-two when she died. The heart of my life; the life of my heart.

It hurts exactly as much as its worth.

Perhaps grief, which destroys all patterns, destroys even more the belief any pattern exists.

There are two essential kinds of loneliness. That of not having found someone to love, and that of having been deprived of the one you did love. 

Jottings from the 18th.

I randomly jot down sentences that pop up in my head. If you would like to comment on the two questions presented here, feel free to do so.

photo-176August 18th, 2015.

I run my fingers though my own hair to comfort myself.

Why do people have to lie? Why do people have to pry?

Do you need reassurance that you are a good person? Do you need other people to remind you or tell you?

Wind is amazing. You can’t see it, but it takes you in and envelopes you.

We all have to go through the same process of learning. Whether we are five or if we are thirty, trial and error happens. Mistakes must be made before you can see all angles.

What have I learned exactly?

photo-168I’m uncertain of how I should start off this post after a long hiatus. In my head, a lot has been going on, but at the same time it seems like I’m simply going through the motions rather than using my minutes, hours, days to the fullest.
I have started working at USJ officially and I’m currently on my second week. The first few days during the middle of my shifts I asked myself why in the world I decided to take this job. This week was a little bit better and upon finishing I thought, “I guess that this time it wasn’t so bad”.
In this short period of time I have learned a lot through this position, a few lessons that I can apply to my daily life as well.

What have I learned exactly?

I have learned to count money the correct way, and I have learned to speak politely in Japanese to customers. I have learned to smile. I learned that I am scared to go to certain areas of the park. I have learned to deal with customers that can be a little bit unpleasant, and realized that I cannot take their bad attitudes to heart. I have been in situations that made me have to stretch the truth to my superiors. I blamed a couple of things on the Chinese when it was my own incompetence. I beat myself up for that on the way home, but I am happy that I caught myself at least. I was not strong enough to handle it in the moment, but I am hoping that for next time I can because I am a bit more prepared.

There is a lot, a lot more that I have put to memory these past weeks, and I will update slowly on this Universal “journey”. I am not allowed to give away much for privacy reasons, but I think there is nothing wrong with mentioning experiences that are beneficial to growth.

On the way home, I saw this woman on the train. What was written on her shirt lifted my spirits.

The chance to learn

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I am on the train going back home after an evening of serving. It is 12:00 am. The restaurant that I work at will be closing soon and I will find myself in a new work environment- Universal Studios Japan.
I had training there last week and was unlike anything else I have ever experienced. From 10:00 AM in the morning to 6:00 PM at night, I was taught how to stand correctly and how to relax your face with smiling exercises.
Thinking about new work scares me. In the start of any new endeavor, I am always afraid of doing things incorrectly. When I first began at the Spanish restaurant, I was nervous and slightly dreaded the pressure of having to answer to my boss if I made a mistake. Confrontation is not my strong point, but the restaurant experience these past five months was the perfect balance and I am thankful I had the chance to work there.

Juggling the house work, studies, multiple jobs, exercise and play I sometimes I feel like I am in over my head. However, at the end of the day after an evening of waitressing, I smile as I walk home because I am so happy to have the chance to learn.

Thank you.

Cheers to all of the beautiful things and opportunities that surround me. Thank you so much for it all.
I smile at the clothes that are hanging from the line. I look down at the potato garden that is overgrown. I feel my lungs take in a breath while my heart beats away steadily. I have a lot to take in, and yet there are times I turn my face away from the beauty. I say no to what is happening in front of me today because of a bad mood or a cough. I say no to today because of social pressures and the stress I conjure up in my own head. I say no to today because of laziness and fear. I don’t want to say no anymore.

To take in each lovely moment and reply with,
thank you.

Leave me like a dream

photo-160The Sakura season in Kansai, Japan is slowly coming to an end. The petals drop to the ground and all the tourists (a LOT of tourists) and locals await another year to sit under the trees and celebrate the coming of spring. Although the weather has been quite cold, it’s a great feeling to finally think that the winter and all of the crazy ups and downs in the temperature could finally be over.

I have two new jobs, making three in total. I would like to blame that for my absence on this site, but it is only partially true. More than being tired, it is my attitude of “I can’t be bothered” when it comes to writing a new post. Procrastination is not one of my greatest traits, but I don’t hate that part of myself. I try to not be upset these days because otherwise I will only be fighting an endless battle that ends in frustration.  A friend of mine told me that I must try to embrace it and accept who I am rather than forcefully try to make changes. Slowly with that awareness, those traits can leave like a dream.

In the meantime, I’m currently enjoying sitting down in my favorite organic cafe’, listening to something that is a mix of Japanese jazz-rap-fusion and find my mind traveling to different places. 

Today was almost perfect

Today was almost a perfect day.

I don’t mean it in a negative way; it is a hard thing for one to have a perfect day, but to come close to one is bliss.
I started off my morning going to my favorite place in Kyoto: Papa Jons Cheesecake Factory. Every month they organize an event called The Flame where they have a wonderful combination of musicians, storytellers, and entertainers. Every time it is wonderful, and tonight’s was the last one of the year. I was talked into putting up some of my artwork at the restaurant by my *ahem* mother. It sounded like a good idea, and with a bit of pushing from her, I decided to give it a go. The night before, however, I was regretting the decision. Not only was I nervous about showing my art in public, but I was sick with a terrible cold and was dreading getting up at an early hour to take the canvases all the way. With a lot of water and salt though out the night, I managed to feel semi-decent in the morning and I dashed to the cheesecake shop.
With a bit of creative thinking from my lovely friend and owner of the shop, we hung them up.

Afterwards, we spent the afternoon chatting over coffee.
I can not describe how much I enjoyed the afternoon. We touched on many subjects, and I felt like the walls that I have up around certain people instantly disappear because of his sincerity. The conversation moved from topic to topic effortlessly. Religion, psychology, past, feelings, emotions, stories- we never ran out of things to talk about. I was extremely happy to have the chance gain a little more knowledge and wisdom from my dear friend.

After lunch, because I was in Kyoto I intended to go to a few famous temples since I don’t travel to touristy places often. After I left the house and before I reached the bottom of the hill, I found myself in the house of another: A sweet elderly lady who owned a mini gallery. I noticed the art hanging on the walls and she invited me in to come look. We ended up talking about art over green tea and sweets for hours.

After excusing myself from her lovely gallery, I then found myself on a bus going to the Kyoto Art museum area, and took a train to where I was that morning handing up my paintings. The day seemed to go by so fast, but it was great. I enjoyed every minute of it and it still wasn’t over.

I got to the event two hours early, and slowly the restaurant started to fill up. Familiar faces entered the shop and we greeted each other  with smiles and hugs. It is always a happy event.

The music started, and the event was a smash. I was touched by the music and cried during one of the songs. I don’t find myself tearing up during performances, but this particular song hit me, bringing back memories from the past and even to a conversation earlier today.

If anyone who is in Kyoto, I would highly recommend this event. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and the restaurant most likely won’t be around to hit Fall 2015. Please hurry and buy yourselves some cheesecake at Papa Jons!

Right now, I’m nodding to myself and thinking: Yes, today was almost perfect.

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