Monday, August 6, 2007

reflections on a life left behind

Sojourner's Highlight: Plan an adventure and live as if stalked by death (and I mean that in a good way)

I sit cross-legged on the bed in my room on the 15th of 50 some-odd floors that make up the 5-star Keio Plaza Hotel, downtown Tokyo, Japan. I enjoy the air-conditioning, and reflect.

The month before leaving was an incredible time for me. Knowing about my upcoming trip gave me endless energy and enthusiasm to enjoy life to its fullest. It was kinda like knowing you’re going to die, so you live every day like it’s yours last, but far less moribund. You know: carpe diem versus memento mori, the same but different, six of one, half a dozen of the other, you say potato, I say apple of the earth.

Anywho. Every day was awesome. I saw more people than I would ever normally see, and I enjoyed my time with them even more than normal because I had so much energy to put into it, and I was determined to absorb their presence as much as possible, every minute I had left with them.

I did more activities than I would ever normally do. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail was the most challenging and out-of-the-box of them all. But other opportunities that I would normally turn down or pass up for later, I eagerly accepted. Dinners, parties, going out on the town, seeing movies, going hiking, going shopping, seeing the fireworks.

Of course, this hedonism entailed much increased expenditure of income that was no longer in-coming, and was enabled by my recently dis-employed status. The fact that I was determined to have only a certain amount to bring to the J-spot with me, and that I simply accepted the necessity of spending on new clothes, equipment, etc, meant that I splurged like never before. My camera alone is an expensive expense I would not otherwise have considered, were it not for the exotic, exciting, eye-opening nature of my then impending trip to and life in Japan.

Just like the Juan de Fuca trip, I can’t convey what it felt like to live through the experience of life up to my leaving. I had confidence and energy like never before, was less reserved, less hesitant, less miserly and less miserable than ever before, and appreciated my life and the people around me in a way I hadn’t felt before.

This past little while, life has been awesome.

The trick will be to maintain that energy, confidence, and willingness now that my departure has occurred, and my ultimate destination for the next year, Sapporo, has almost been reached.

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