Katie in Japan – post #5

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Leaving Japan, felt like leaving behind a childhood memory. It felt close to me, familiar and a place of great imagination. Leaving wasn’t just leaving the place, it was the people in the HELIO program and the people I had met in Japan. Being immersed in an energy of innovation and curiosity, as a total norm was incredible. My mind has grown so much from this trip. I am almost relentless to go pack my bags once more. I’ve been home for a week, and my life has shifted. I noticed immediately upon arriving in Japan that my life had been put on hold. Growing up, I always wanted more from life than the regular routine. It took me several years to even go back to school after high school. So once I settled into the routine of grinding at college, working three jobs and complaining about winter, I had forgotten how vibrant life is. At the start of this year I went on a camping trip in Kauai, Hawaii. It was the start of the change for me, because I realized we have a choice.

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Wherever you are at any given point in your life, you have choice and nothing, seriously nothing, can stop you. Here’s the thing I realized, you have to do it. You can’t just sit and wait for life to hand you epic adventures or inquisitee conversations, you have to step out and find them. We can see the world from our front steps, yet we were given feet to move. We’re not trees, we don’t have roots. What is holding us back? Now I understand the pressures of money, job security and all the lot of it. Yet when I die, I don’t believe I will be buried with my pension plan or the nice house I live in. All I can take with me is my mind and my memories, if I’m lucky enough to keep them.

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I’m not here to make you depressed, or to make you feel insignificant. I’m just here to tell you if you put yourself out there, opportunity will attack you. At least it did for me and most of the people I admire most. Being in Japan confirmed all I believed to be true about myself, my life and the direction I need to go. It was the affirmation I needed t change my mindset from waiting till Friday to rejoicing in the fact I was able to live through Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s shifting my mindset from thinking someone else will take care of it, to understanding passion is ment to be played upon. It needs to be nourished and grown.

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So leaving Japan was hard. Leaving the beautiful island, the colorful streets and magical gardens. Leaving the people I barely held verbal conversations with, but grew so fond of, like Soa. Leaving the group of like-minded, bad a**, creatives I grew to love. Leaving the incredible fresh sushi and cold brew coffee. Leaving it all felt wrong and strange. It was hard to explain how just two weeks was enough time for my heart strings to fan out like a spider web and attached to so much. Yet I owe a lot of to Japan, and I will never forget it.

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To the place that surprised me, inspired me, and reminded me how small our lives really are. To the place that held memories of green tea, long car rides and accidently hiking mountains. To the place where I left my friends and my favorite food. To this beautifully unique, bold and elegant culture. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Arigatogozaimashita

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