What I learned from traveling to Japan

What I learned from traveling to Japan

We often recount experiences as indescribable but this is one that merits an effort to describe. It was as though I went back in time to a place although familiar, I was experiencing it as a completely different person.

I traveled to Japan to reconnect with an organization that gave me the opportunity to dance, teach and travel over ten years ago. On the way, it was comforting knowing I’d be reuniting with my past as a happy person. I was in a good, happy place. I like my job, my house, my life. I was content. Little did I know I was soon going to realize that there was something missing and I was in desperate need of having my buckets filled. I needed a reminder of the journey I had made to get where I am today; a reminder that there was a time where I was far from family and friends and most days it was a struggle to get up and face the day. A reminder that without my strength, perseverance and lack of fear to fuel me, I never would have created a life that although stressful 99% of the time, it’s one that I am in control of and one which I wake up happy almost every day.

My first trip to Japan came at a time where I needed space from my everyday life to gain perspective and feel that there would be a time where I would be happy again - I was very early in the process of building myself back up. I found myself in a country surrounded by people with the most respect, honour and graciousness that I’d ever experienced. For the first time in a long time I felt worthy of praise and valued for my skills and knowledge. Between my touring cast and Japanese homestays, I was in an environment where I was encouraged and supported. All of the sudden there was light at the end of the tunnel and I knew when I left Japan I’d be able to finish what I’d started and return home to start the next chapter of my life.

During this recent trip there were many experiences that were spitting images of my first trip there: deja-vus, familiar faces and surroundings etc. It was almost as if I flashed back to that person who felt insecure in her own skin, not in control of her life, and distance from friends and family. How did that same person, almost seven years later, now work in a high-pressure corporate sales job in the big bad city, own her house, car, dog, and be able to have full confidence in herself to be anything she wanted to be?? Needless to say, the wave of emotion that came over me was overwhelming. I wanted nothing more than to go back in time and tell that young 20-something that everything was going to be fine. It was going to be okay as long as you stayed true to who are. Being yourself is one of the most difficult lessons to learn and maybe I’m a late bloomer, but being able to own the person I am and laugh off the rest is my best achievement to date. Why beat yourself up by placing judgement on yourself when you already feel like the rest of the world is. I’ll tell you, by being the best version of you that you can be, you’ve got it made.

 

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