What kind of future do you seek for yourself?
For most of my life, I avoided thinking about my future. I didn’t know what I want to be or what I want to do. It was tiresome enough just to endure through today and tomorrow. If I did had any idea, it was that I wanted to be in Japan.
And now, I am here in Japan.
But life doesn’t just end there. My story isn’t a “I got to Japan and lived happily ever after” story.
I am alive here today, and have to connect the present to the future for as long as I am alive. However, it is clear that the path in front of me is a caved in tunnel. What I must do now is to dig my way out.
Not a pretty picture, right? Digging your bare hands into a pile of endless rubble, with no idea when or how the whole place might come down on you. If there is anything that is certain, it is that nobody will help you. You are on your own. I am on my own.
As you may know, my life has been hanging on threads. To even get to this caved-in tunnel, I have been stringing threads together, just barely making it. With enough threads, I made a string. With enough strings, I can make a rope. With enough rope, I can make a net. I am a long ways away from being able to make a safety net for me in Japan, but at least I have an idea of my goals, a direction to aim myself towards.
Ok, so I just added more metaphors of my situation onto the already existing list that I have. So what?
I reached this dead-end tunnel, set up camp, and now working on digging my way through. However, a certain friend of mine arrived at a similar dead-end… and he turned around. He is leaving Japan, going right back to where he started, and has to find another route somewhere somehow to some place, Japan or not.
He made different decisions than I did, and I cannot tell whose decisions were correct. It will take many years for the big picture to form.
But from my point of view, my opinion on his actions, and my current understanding of him, is that he failed.
He has no idea where in life he wants to go, no direction to walk towards, no specific goals to chase. One can see that state positively as having the freedom to do anything. In fact, that was exactly what I recommended to him, to try and do anything and everything. But he doesn’t have the motivation nor the willpower nor the creativity to. Despite having better chances and a better environment than I had in Japan, he achieved nothing and has to return empty handed. Although some may call it differently, I call it a failure.
There is nothing wrong with wandering and fumbling your way through life. You have no idea where your life might go and maybe that is part of the fun. However, my friend’s issue is his lack of initiative. He doesn’t go search out new things. And by “things”, I mean stimulants in life, such as events, places, opportunities, hobbies.etc. Instead, he just sits there and only reacts to what comes within his reach. Even if he does take a step, he doesn’t take the second step. Him coming to Japan was exactly that, only the first step.
I tried to help him. I did what I could in showing him new things, taking him to places, and encouraging him to explore more. But the entire time, I can feel a resistance from him to go further, a resistance against taking the initiative to go beyond what I showed him. I wanted to be a guiding hand that connects him to new things, but if you try to push him, he only pushes back.
There is no saving him. Only he can save himself.
I can only wish my friend the best of luck. However the first thing he has to do, before even making an effort, is to make a decision. He is not satisfied with where he is in life, so he has to decide what he wants in life and how to achieve it. He needs to sort out his priorities. I am not an amazing person in a great position where I can look down on another person’s life. At one point, I had hit rock-bottom myself after all. However, as a friend, I am simply disappointed in how he couldn’t connect his life to anything new in Japan.
As much as I had just bad-mouthed my friend though, him coming to Japan was definitely not without meaning. His decision that brought him to Japan last year was a life changing one, not for him but for me. He had saved me and my life in Japan. When I hit rock-bottom, his friendship provided the mental support I needed to keep going, the light that gave me hope. I am only still in Japan because he was here. I owe so much to him and wanted to see him succeed, to have obtain a reason to be in Japan besides having saved me.
When I first reunited with him in Japan, I was so happy that I had a friend walking the same path of life as I did. However after some time, I realized that the future he and I were walking towards was different. And now, our paths diverge here. Whether or not our paths will cross again in the future, we are still good friends that will continue to talk to each other online now and then. But as for meeting in person, this is good bye, my dear friend.