Reflection | From up high…

KIMG1195.jpg

View from Keisoku Mountain, Japan, March 2018

Many things seem so small, especially problems.

Every couple of months, I find myself standing on top of a mountain somewhere in Japan. Each step upwards feels like torture…and an accomplishment.  I look toward my fellow climbers in awe, at their speed and the seeming ease with which they climb. Of course, I don’t know what their experiences are–they could be suffering as much as I am. The climbing could be a testimony for each one of us that we are alive and still trying.

Recently, I’ve been reflecting on the past decade of my life. At this moment in 2008, I was planning a wedding and preparing for a future that certainly isn’t the one I’m living now. By this time in 2009, I was dreaming of living in the house that I would eventually call home before the year’s end. In 2010, I had lost 80 pounds, was trying to save my dying marriage, and by Thanksgiving, was mourning the death of my beloved pet.

The end of March 2011 found me preparing for my third visit to Rome, trying to figure out how to live life as a single and mostly jobless person. I was still dreaming–this time, of living in Rome. By 2012, I was a full-time undergraduate, living, studying and working in Rome. The following 4 years were marked by a series of avoidable and unavoidable events, all of which left me pretty broken but with a good deal of insight.

By the end of March 2016, I had been living in the U.S. full-time for 6 months. I had gained back half the weight that I’d lost, was in the throes of a serious depression, and living in a highly psychologically toxic environment. Something had to give–I had fallen to my lowest point.

When you’re at the bottom, seeing or even imagining the top can be difficult.

KIMG1202.jpg

Keisoku Mountain, Japan, March 2018

 

 

I couldn’t see up or even imagine what life could be like beyond what I was experiencing at that time. However, I knew that there had to be some other kind of life for me.

Where I was, how I was, who I was, and what I was doing…was not my final destination.

I didn’t know if I could ever be happy. I didn’t know where I could go or even what I would be capable of doing. I just knew that I no longer wanted to be a participant in prolonging my circumstances.

I had to take a step forward and upward, even the smallest one. And so I did.

On Friday, March 17, 2017, I began a new journey. I boarded a flight to Japan, a country I’d never been to before. I didn’t speak the language and knew very little about the culture. Still, I knew that I had to take the chance, to give myself the opportunity to change, to begin climbing out of the deepest hole that I’d ever stumbled into.

When you’re climbing a mountain, you have to use both your hands and feet. 

Now, it’s Friday, March 30, 2018, and I’m sitting in a Starbucks somewhere north of Tokyo. My partner is working on her laptop, and I’m listening to The War on Drug’s “Pain.”  I haven’t reached the top of my mountain. Still, I am no longer at the very bottom. It’s a start, and that’s always the hardest part when you’re climbing–at least, for me. There are times when it feels like I can’t catch my breath, like my feet won’t take another step, like my hands won’t support me as I reach upwards. Still, I try.

That’s what I’ve learned over the past decade. All you can do is try and never give up. Every problem is a mountain. Tackling each one means getting to the top. Getting there, however, means looking ahead, taking each step carefully, being prepared to use whatever means necessary to secure yourself…and definitely having those who care about you by your side.

Until Next Time,

D.

 

Sridevi became India’s “No.1” breaking gender and language barriers — Quartz

Acting legend Sridevi died after suffering a cardiac arrest in Dubai on Saturday (Feb. 24). She was 54. The movie star is survived by husband Boney Kapoor and daughters Jhanvi and Khushi. She was in Dubai to attend the wedding of her nephew, Mohit Marwah. Sridevi was renowned for her naturalistic acting abilities, her comic…

via Sridevi became India’s “No.1” breaking gender and language barriers — Quartz

Just a Note: Missiles…

il_fullxfull.569624056_ilvx

Image found via GIS

I’ve started this at least 4 times. I’m struggling to capture the experience of being back at work this week. In between the news of one disaster compounded by another disaster, whether natural or man-made, I found comfort in the smiling faces of the children I teach. We sing songs, laugh about strange English words, and do our best to communicate.

With laughing and smiling faces, the children shared with me one of the new English words they learned over the summer: missile. They played games that depicted missiles be launched and then landing…and my heart broke.

They are processing, I am processing, this summer of man-made mayhem.

Until Next Time,

D.

 

 

 

 

Poetry | And then…

25887465135_12bb12a9a0_k

Is this what we do?

Try to remember moments

when mortality seemed mythical,

when walking gave way to dancing,

when story, ours, lacked history, and

when…, and when…, and when…

And then realize the futility of the process.

-db

 

Contest | ExpertAssignmentHelp.com Student Essay Writing Competition ($850)

Just a heads-up about a new essay writing competition. It started back in July, but it does not close until the end of December! Not only are there cash prizes (listed below), but contest winners will also be given the opportunity to author blogs on the ExpertAssignmentHelp.com website. Below are some of the details of which I have been informed. Please, visit the website for complete information about the competition and how to enter.

  • Name: Essay Writing Competition 2017
  • Task: Write essay in fluent English and with depth on the topic
  • Start Date: 10 July 2017
  • Last Date: 31 December 2017
  • Prizes: $850 Total (1st Prize: $450; 2nd Prize: $250; 3rd Prize: $150) + “Authorship on our blogs
  • Eligibility: Open for all (FREE)
  • Participation Fees: $0
  • More information: ExpertAssignmentHelp.com

 

Essay Topics Include (Please, visit the website for complete list):

  • My horror story regarding Plagiarism.
  • My experience of first day at university.
  • Coping studies along with part-time job.
  • Studies, Love, Passion… A deadly combination…

journalist_1456449768

 

Happy Writing!

Until Next Time!

D.

 

For the sake of normalcy

istock_000059566150_medium-1-900x540

I pour a cup of tea, sip it, delighting in its aroma.

I pack my bag for work, glance at news headlines on my phone, and contemplate dinner.

I prepare lesson plans and life plans, all the while wondering if any of it matters.

I place my keys on a magnetic hook, glance through a new book, and consider leftovers.

Life has become a news stream, a ticker tape parade of banal bits and sordid pieces, that fails to bore or shock anymore: a birthing of and dying in indifference.

I pick up my pillow, hold it close, finding comfort in nostalgia.

-db

Until Next Time,

D.

 

 

Reconnecting

own-sunshine

Another grey summer day in Japan and life continues on. I wake up to a wall of clouds outside my window, the sounds of money being earned with each passing car, and the hazy whispers of my partner. It’s barely 6 AM.

I consider 24 hours earlier: I was standing in her apartment, face unwashed, clothes disheveled, emergency backpack straddling one shoulder, and wondering if this was our last moment together–North Korea had launched a missile towards the north of Japan.

A few months earlier, I arrived in Japan with a baseline plan of refocusing myself, laying the groundwork for accomplishing future goals, surviving earthquakes, and embracing the unknown.

This morning I am content with waking to a winter-like sky, watching my partner eat leftovers for breakfast while taking pleasurable sips of a Starbucks’ soy green tea (matcha) latte, smelling burning sandalwood incense, listening to passing cars and The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on YouTube, and wondering and planning what else the future holds.

I am moving forward with writing, with loving, with being loved, with enjoying the simplest aspects of life while appreciating how complex life can be. For now, I’ll return to daily blogging, sharing my thoughts about life in Japan, how I’m managing my fibromyalgia, and whatever else that comes my way.

Until Next Time,

D.