One year in Tokyo

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Ironically, this photo was not taken in Tokyo.

I don’t know how to start this post.

In fact, this post is a month late because I don’t know how to put into words all the feelings of love and gratitude and happiness I feel being able to live in this amazing country for the past year (and also because I’m being a procrastinator as always lol).

Have you ever felt like there is a place where you feel like you truly belong, a place where you can really call home? I’ve always felt awkward and out of place despite living in Malaysia for most of my life but I think Tokyo is that place for me.

The city with it’s always-changing landscapes, it’s vibrant nightlife, the kindness of random strangers everywhere, being able to get anywhere quickly with the convenience of public transport, having clean toilets even at dodgy-looking highway rest stops, the fact that you can go to the konbini at 5am in the morning alone dressed in your pajamas without having to worry about being robbed or raped or kidnapped…

I like it. I love it. I never want to leave.

All the friendships I’ve built living in a sharehouse here with a warm and welcoming community also helps. Imagine being fed with sweets and yummy treats almost everyday by your neighbours who “made a little extra”, going on trips to Kyoto and Okinawa, getting drunk and doing crazy things together until late into the night…

I’m really glad I took the plunge to move into a sharehouse instead of living alone (partly because it was too annoying to view different properties and I am an extremely lazy person) because without all these people my life in Tokyo would have probably turned out really differently.

Moving to Tokyo has also been really crucial for my development as a human being. I used to be very selfish and spoilt, always needing everything to go my way and throwing tantrums or crying when I don’t get what I want (you should ask Cheryl how I was like when we first became friends lol). Nowadays, I think I’m still a little spoilt (in fact one of my friends called me the most ワガママ person in our sharehouse oops) but I’m learning how to be more tolerant and considerate of other people.

I’m also learning how to socialize with people more despite me being super introverted and shy. It also helps that I’m surrounded by lots of friendly people willing to strike up conversations with you at any time of the day. Of course it still gets overwhelming sometimes being surrounded by so many people, so when that happens I’ll retreat into my room and read a book or watch a movie on my laptop or just lie on my bed contemplating about how to best conquer the world. Kidding.

In fact, I recently even took up a part-time job (insert shocked gasps and incredulous faces here). My friends used to tell me that they can’t imagine me ever working because I’m too fragile and emotional and won’t last in the harsh world of working adults (lol) and I myself used to think that all I wanted in life was to find myself a husband, get married, and be a stay at home mother.

But being in Tokyo, and being surrounded by so many independent and successful people, my mindset has slowly started to change. I wanted to grow and change as a person and the first step to doing that is to gain as many experiences as I can here in Tokyo. Right now, I work part-time at a fashionable store selling vintage branded bags in Omotesando after school and I haven’t thought of quitting so far so I guess it’s going pretty well? (laughs)

Finally, I just want to say that I’m really thankful to have such supportive parents who allowed their daughter to fulfil her dreams of living in Tokyo. Without their support both emotionally and financially, I’d never have been able to live the life I’ve always been dreaming of ever since I was five. Thank you daddy. Thank you mummy. I love you.

Right now, I have a little less than a year left before my student visa expires and I still don’t know what I’m going to do after that. Will I be able to find a job here? Should I start my own business instead? Do I want to live in Tokyo forever? So many questions which I have yet to answer. But one thing is for sure, living in Tokyo has been one of the best experiences of my life and no matter where I end up in the future, my memories of this place will be my most precious treasure.

x, Hermes

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♬ Song of the day – Tokyo Dreamer [NICO Touches The Walls]

 

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