I now count down the hours until I leave Japan instead of the months. I have really enjoyed my time here; the beaches, food, arcades, and old ruins are all experiences that I feel very lucky to have participated in.
For the last month I have been living alone in a foreign land, which has left me to stew in isolation with all of the emotional ingredients that come with a divorce. Anger, sadness, loneliness, and confusion have been my state of mind and have gotten worse as the weeks have gone by. Something I was not expecting to feel is shame. I have always tried my best to cheer people up and get them to think positively, but here I find myself with all of these negative emotions running through my head. I feel like a hypocrite. I feel like this is not me--
--and it is not. Anger and sadness are not the emotions that I choose to identify with, but they ARE what I am currently experiencing. These emotions are natural in this situation, and I am coming to understand that it would be more harmful to myself in the long term to pretend that I'm not feeling them when I am. I have seen bitterness and self-pity hurt so many people; there are those whose lives revolve around hating others, themselves, or the world in general and I have been scared of becoming like that. It's so sad to see people bringing suffering upon themselves. What purpose does it have but to lead to a miserable existence?
A couple of days ago I decided to make the conscious effort to get up and go for a walk. The day was sunny and I went to the beach and then to eat my last bowl at my favorite Okinawa ramen shop. I have decided that no, these emotions are not me, they are not my identity, but they are PART of me and they're something that makes me human and can help me learn from past mistakes. Indulging for long periods in depression and wondering why good things don't come to us will get us nowhere. Being happy or content is an active decision that we must make for ourselves. Do not be ashamed of your feelings, but don't let them rule you either.
Do not wait for rescue and then blame the world that it never came or because it wasn't good enough. Only you can make the active decision to save yourself. Many of us have friends and family that can help, but we must be the ones to reach out and be willing to put the effort into working with them to heal ourselves.
If the wind does not serve, take to the oars.