Let me take you back to the 27th of March, 2008. After an eleven-hour long, mostly sleepless and restless flight, eight dead tired souls full of hopes stepped onto the Narita airport thinking that a temperature of 12C was too damn cold. A year on, things have changed so much that 12C is seen as pleasant as it can get. That's just one of the many things that has changed in this year, and one of the less important ones too.
A year ago, I stepped on this land as pretty much a nobody. A year on, my perceived value has changed. From within I'm still who I was, the same fun loving guy who people saw as an arrogant, selfish jerk who didn't give a damn about others, but who is in fact a sentimental soul who always put others before himself. But my market value has changed a lot. A visit to the Paradise Island proved that without a doubt. The same guy who was despised by many was treated with smiles and love. I can only silently laugh inside. Money, a strange thing I tell you.
A year ago, I stepped on this land with a broken heart which I thought that would never heal. And I was even more sure of that when that 'wasn't-to-be-mine' soul mate left not just me, but the whole world - forever. You have to experience that to know what it is like. But, an year later here I am putting all that behind. That took some effort though, but I just did it.
A year ago, I stepped on this land leaving behind a GREAT bunch of friends knowing perfectly well that I'm gonna be missing them like hell. And I did. But never I thought I'd make even a better friend. Someone who simply defines the meaning of a true friend. And I'm ever so glad for it, for it could be the best thing happened to me in my life. Sometimes life is so good!
A year ago, I stepped on this land thinking doing everything for your 'supposed' friends is nothing to think twice about. How wrong was I? I learned it the hard way, but at least I did learn it and I'm glad I did sooner rather than later. You just sometimes have to let things go. You should never expect things in return. And above all, it is not OK to hate, and it doesn't do any good to you. As Buddha put it, "You're not punished for your anger, you're punished by your anger". Wisdom at it's best!
A year ago, I stepped on this strange land not knowing what to expect, and saw a lot of unexpected things you I thought I never would. For one, I got to know how it feels to be a minority. You could see the racists behind the a bit too much polite Japs. Yet you could not stop being impressed by their discipline and work ethics. They are certainly not the laid back good-natured Paradise Islanders, but we do have a thing or two to learn from them. And during this year, I traveled to so many places and did so many things that I would never have done in that beautiful Island. I have Bungee jumped. Been to the top of Mt. Fuji. To Hokkaido full of shining snow. To the beautiful mountains of Nagano. Saw the wonderful colours of Autumn, and the lovely Sakura flowers in Spring. I'm glad for all that.
To put it simply, in a year I have lost some things that I wished I didn't, but gained some that I wish I will never loose. There are some things that money can't buy, so loosing them is not an option! But all in all, I'm a happy soul that the one stepped on this Land of the Rising Sun a year ago. But above all, I have realized how much I love, and how much I miss that Land Like No Other!